Before his family moved from Greece to America, Pryon‘s Igor Jablokov didn’t have electricity in his home—no TV, no radio, no technology. But when he got his first computer, he found his passion. He began a career in artificial intelligence, and he was confused as to why the technology available to him in his lab wasn’t available to everyone else. “No one is going to want a listening device in their house,” people told him. They were wrong. The technology Igor created was acquired by Amazon and is now found in billions of Alexa powered devices. On this podcast, hear how he did it, what he learned from it and what he is now doing at Pryon.

Recommended reading:
We Are All Born Entrepreneurs, by Steve Welch
T-Minus AI: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power, by Michael Kanaan


Donald Thompson: Welcome to the Donald Thompson podcast. I am super excited today to talk a little technology, innovation, startup culture with Igor Jablokov.  And Igor, welcome to the show.

Igor Jablokov: Don, thanks for having me.

Donald Thompson: One of the things, Igor, that we like to do, and we’re going to dig into some of your accomplishments and things you’ve done in the technology space and as an innovator, but tell us a little bit about you so that we talk as friends with our audience. Background, friends, family, kids, all that kind of stuff.

Igor Jablokov: Ooh, yikes. So, it may be surprising based on my accent or, or my neutral accent, but I was actually born overseas. So, I was born in Greece. Came to the U.S. when I was about six years old, very idyllic upbringing, both my parents are artists.

You know, so  we got exposed to everything you can think of. I mean, we, we lived where and played in the dirt, you know barnyard animals around us, dolphins, visiting turtles, sea horses all, all the, like. Very creative people to be around. So, you know, I didn’t really see any technology around me.

No, you know, no running water, no electricity, no TV, no radio.

Full Episode Transcript

The Donald Thompson Podcast is hosted by Walk West CEO, The Diversity Movement CEO, mentor, investor, and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Donald Thompson.

Music for this episode provided by Jensen Reed from his song, “You Can’t Stop Me”.

The Donald Thompson Podcast is edited and produced by Earfluence. For more on how to engage your community or build your personal brand through podcasting, visit

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