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OODAcast – A Conversation With CEO of Percipient Balan Ayyar

Balan Ayyar is the Founder and CEO of, a Silicon Valley based artificial intelligence firm focused on delivering products and solutions for the most pressing intelligence and national security challenges. We have been tracking this leader for years and have watched him inspire many to achieve great things. His leadership in senior officer roles in the US Air Force (he is a retired Brigadier General) included tours in combat zones and commands back in the US, including at one point leading the entire Air Force recruiting system. His visionary leadership in the corporate world resulted in the creation of a new firm providing new AI capabilities that are already serving some of the most critical missions in the nation. He is a disciplined visionary with an incredible thirst for learning and a knack for connecting with others.

We loved the fact that we recorded him while he was at his desk and when we started asking about what he is reading he could quickly grab his favorite books and give his his insights. It is also always great to talk to a real Air Force leader about the OODA Loop and the model of continuous action and how it applies to not just military ops but business.

Topics we covered included:

  • How the national security establishment needs to change to get ready for the new world
  • Views on the struggle between open societies and closed/dictatorship/communist societies and how that relationship is
    changing now.
  • Role that AI can play to accelerate the return of our economy
  • Concepts for getting classified information to users where ever they are, including at their homes. Seems technically feasible, and seems like the risk/reward equation may have shifted a bit recently.
  • Ideas on how US tech firms can better support the nation in the new economy.
  • Lessons learned from leadership of Percipient that could be helpful to other CEOs or other leaders in government.

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Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of OODA LLC, the technology research and advisory firm with a focus on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity which publishes and Bob is the author of the book The Cyber Threat. Bob has been an advisor to dozens of successful high tech startups and has conducted enterprise cybersecurity assessments for businesses in multiple sectors of the economy. He was a career Naval Intelligence Officer and is the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency.