"Fitting in" isn't often what entrepreneurs do best. However, when it comes to finding an in-group of like-minded, ambitious, intelligent people, we all need some kind of crowd to help us learn, find new partners or employees, or at least have some kind of "life" amidst the hustle and bustle of startup-ness.
I don't dig into Discovery News for everything newsworthy, but for a blog-length breakdown of technology they do a pretty good job. At #WatchOutForTheRobots, we take Wednesday to break down some potentially troubling - yet fascinating - developments in technology.
With a burning desire to combine his passions for digital fabrication, biology and computer science, Charles Fracchia came to MIT and Harvard eager to learn. Going to "bio to bits" (gleaning meaningful information from biological data) is something that Charles had never had an opportunity to do at such a high level, and he had high expectations. "I though: Oh, surely, I'm coming to these awesome labs here in Boston... I'm sure I'll come in and have an awesome dashboard to work with, like the movie Iron Man. I'll have my cell growth rate here, heart rate here... you know... something fantastic."
It's #WatchOutForTheRobots Wednesday!
"Watch out for the robots" is just a phrase we use whenever we see a crazy technology that clearly has the potential to be pretty darn scary if it ever were to go awry. No, no, this isn't because we have a pessimistic view of the future (though phronesis in all technological developments / applications is important), we just love finding/sharing this stuff. :)
The Jetsons cartoon show of the 1960's portrayed a "futuristic" household that admittedly seems humorous to us today. An all-capable robotic maid, moving sidewalks and jet packs might have seemed realistic then, but didn't end up being the picture that seems to have taken shape.
Some entrepreneurs hop into the game without an academic pedigree, and some hit the books before they hit the street with a product or service. In fields like robotics, biotech, and artificial intelligence, the latter is usually the case, as the specialized knowledge required to form a company is pretty slim outside of an institution.
I can't write code to save my life, so taking apart an iPhone is out of the question. My academic experience consisted of "keyboarding" class in high school, and everything after that was scrambling to build businesses and websites from scratch.
On the surface, it might be easy to make the argument that the farthest thing from business operations is science fiction. Star Trek and IPOs aren't known for having any kind of direct correlation, and unless you're making futuristic video games, there doesn't seem to be any explicit reason to study Ray Bradbury or Isaac Assimov.
Peter Voss was blessed with a ten-year sabbatical. Not from academia, but from business.
After listing his first commercial software company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (he lived in South Africa at the time), Peter sold it, and the next ten years were dedicated to learning about... learning.
I've been fortunate as of late to communicate with many young and budding emerging tech entrepreneurs in the past month (despite everything else going on here), and Sagie Davidovich is certainly counted among them. Still a young man, Sagie is founder and CTO of multiple companies (most recently in the domain of the "semantic web"), he's now founder and CEO of SparkBeyond, a company aiming to revolutionize software and it's adaptability.