There's a quote by Eric Hoffer I remember reflecting on during my college days.
“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
I didn't quite get the meaning of the quote back then but today I live, breathe and sleep it. Every day, there's new hardware and software that smart people across the world are building - each more efficient than the last. Most people don't realise that computers, once a handy tool to save time, are now saving so much time that human beings might not even be necessary in the general workforce a few years from now.
Human progress moves quicker and quicker as time goes on—a phenomenon futurist Ray Kurzweil calls human history’s Law of Accelerating Returns. In a day and age where computers make most tasks easier, there are larger and larger groups of people who are losing their jobs. The first venture capital backed company I founded and served as CEO for worked in the recruitment space, serving over 4 million requests in 2016. In that year, I truly saw the damage automation could do, as well as its potential.
A clear pattern emerged - the lines between most "industries" were blurring and technology seemed as pervasive as ever. The folks using my platform who understood this continued to rise up the ranks of their respective companies, while the ones who failed to comprehend why it was necessary to learn new skills were left behind.
It was a great personal lesson for me and over the last 4 years I've tried to dig deep into every single field I'm passionate about. The shy young web developer I was back then proceeded to pick up the art of writing, design and the skill to sell anything. With the ability to talk to both humans and machines, I hope to one day make conversation with a frontier that has challenged homo sapiens since the dawn of time - the human genome.
In all of this, I still get time to keep up with the Kardashians (or the next best thing: The Life and Times of Donald J Trump).
I'm CEO at Avalon Labs - a holdings company I call a playground. We've ventured into building everything from Software as a Service tools to Blockchain to Mental Health platforms. At Avalon, we put profitability before everything and try to pick up paying customers within 4 months of launch of any product. A few years ago, I would've called this a herculean task; but with our modularized approach to building apps, global network and partially automated sales force, Avalon wastes no time getting what it wants.
We've also picked up some recognition along the way, and I've tried to make time to speak at events this last year.
I try to write about where the world is headed as well as my own journeys, techniques and mistakes. I occasionally guest post on Sitepoint, Yourstory, Inc42 and a few other online journals.
I'm a Transhumanist (if you're within 5 metres of a cell phone, you could be classified as one too). The Blockchain, Education, Medicine and Uncontrolled Cell Division excite me as much as they challenge me and I'd love to be a part of good projects that need the financing, the network or the know-how.
As a computer scientist, it would seem odd that I'm interested in medicine. In reality, I believe Bio Tech is the Tech of the 21st Century. With a subscription to Nature, BMJ and PLOS One, I try to keep up with the fast paced changes in the med-tech and bio-tech spaces (in reality, most of these studies are either underpowered, susceptible to bias or make poor use of statistics).
The possibilities that Oncology and Microbiome research provide are exciting, with early evidence leaning towards microbiome manipulation being a panacea for everything from Anxiety to Arthritis. The entry barrier to gene editing is now trivial thanks to Jennifer Doudna's work on CRISPR. If you're working on any of these fields, I'd love to contribute - financially or otherwise.
The Blockchain will possibly revolutionise the way we interact with financial assets and databases. It's been an exciting 2 years watching this nascent industry grow and being a part of the wild (wild being an understatement) ride. What has me gripped is the potential use cases of Smart Contracts (programmatic money, for the uninitiated). If you're working on something cool, I'd love to hang out!
Let's face it - education in the country is a mess. If you've found a novel way to impart adaptive education in this country, I'm game to get on board. The world is moving faster than ever, and it's become important to learn new skills on the fly, from digital sources. More importantly, applying available information is something we're not very good at. Memorising information is where our system leans right now - a reduplication of what is one Google search away. I'd love to change that - sooner rather than later!