Reflections on 2016: Michael Root, DogVacay

This holiday season, we are again sharing the reflections on 2016 from Southern California's technology ecosystem. Today's contribution is from Michael Root, the new CTO of DogVacay ( longtime Los Angeles tech vet, having most recently been at Riot Games. DogVacay helps connect pet owners with pet sitters and dog walkers. You can see all of our holiday reflections here.

What's was biggest news from you or your‏ firm this year?

Michael Root: Personally, my biggest news this year was joining DogVacay, in October, as their new CTO. In my role, I oversee all technical departments at DogVacay and have been working to further build the company's engineering teams. Our mission for the company has always been to continuously looking at how it can provide better value to the guests and hosts and make life better for both pets and people. We launched walking this year. You can now go online to and schedule a walking for your dog. This is very exciting.

What's the biggest lesson you learned this year?

Michael Root: The biggest lesson that was reiterated to me again this year was the importance of responsibility. One has to take responsibility for everything in their life. Now this might sound a little bit lofty and over generalized, however, I think not. I know from experience that when I change my attitude, my perspective changes and as a result the world around me looks totally different. I have this saying that how you do anything is how you do everything. I am trying to always level up my life. This includes work and my personal life. How can I be a better leader and how can I be a better husband and friend go hand in hand. When I realize, there is nowhere to go in life and that if I can focus on the present moment and be the best I can be, the world will unfold perfectly and I will get where I need to be.

What's your favorite technology gadget, device, or innovation you ran across this year?

Michael Root: Drones are fantastic. The DJI Phantom 4 drone is amazing. It is a little pricey but the feature set is quite compelling. I am going to spend Christmas vacation at Mammoth skiing and hope to create a nice Christmas video of the experience.

Finally, what do you think will have the biggest impact on the technology industry in 2017?

Michael Root: The Internet of Everything in both the consumer and B2B market will continue to rise in 2017, especially in North America, connecting data, things, processes and people. Intelligent systems will grow rapidly in 2017, especially after the release of the Home app from Apple this fall. A smart-linked home will be an affordable possibility for anyone. Security, lights, electronics, and climate can all be controlled for the first time in one app. Wearable devices will continue to climb and integrate with healthcare and big data.

Michael Root is a 30 year veteran of the Los Angeles Tech Industry. CTO of DogVacay and was previous Director of Engineering of Riot Games. Married with two cats and spends free time biking, golfing, skiing, and flying small planes. I love life and try and live it 120%.