Fun Photoshoot Time!
I am now in week 9 of the 10 week Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University at NASA Ames. The first 7 weeks were filled with lectures, workshops, tours, networking sessions, and brainstorming exercises. During this time I learned about all different types of exponential technologies including 3D printing, drones, robots, artificial intelligence, machine learning, bio and nanotech, social networks and virtual currencies; and spent a lot of time discussing how these might solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Astronaut Dr Ed Lu said in his talk that, “you are all crew members, not passengers, on spaceship-Earth.” Now our challenge is to take all we’ve learned to start businesses which use these technologies to make a positive impact on 1 billion people over the next 10 years. The last few weeks of the GSP are dedicated to this cause and for about a week I worked with a team whose vision was to provide inexpensive and more accessible internet for people in the bottom of the pyramid. My team and I really believed in our idea but quickly realised that we were not the first people to take on this particular challenge, and that perhaps racing both Google and Facebook to the finish line might not be the best use of our time. So our group dissolved and we all joined other groups working on different projects. It is commonly said in Silicon Valley to ‘fail fast’. This phrase implies that if you are going to fail at something, it’s better to know that sooner than later so less time is wasted. I now know this is true from experience. My new team is using artificial intelligence in the education sector. I am particularly excited about this project being that I am an educator and am fascinated by IBM Watson and machine learning. We are still a few weeks away from making the details of our idea public, but I look forward to the moment when I can share more with you.
We went through a Startup Weekend with our teams and pitched to judges yesterday. Here is a photo of my team during the question and answer period. From left to right is: Claudia from Columbia (our Industry Spy), Roberto from Mexico (our Robot Man), Me (our Tough Cookie), Pedro from Brazil (our Maker), and Lorenn from Australia (our Credibility).
I will keep you updated generally as we move forward with our project, however at this time I can’t share any specific details. But put it this way, its a BIG idea and we need to be brave as we challenge the current industry norm. I am confident though :)
So you may have noticed that I have not been writing too much content on here for the last few weeks. That is simply because my mind has been inundated with so much new information that when it comes to writing an update, I honestly don’t know where to start.
We had our group-formation exercise yesterday and I ended up on a team with people I genuinely think could do great things. I love each member of my group individually and believe in their skills. We have yet to decide on an idea, which could be a source of stress in the group, but hopefully it will all work out.
The one thing I do know for sure is that I will not be working on Stackz while here. I have decided to pursue this idea outside of SU and while here work on something that my group and I come up with. Part of this is because I want to keep sole ownership of Stackz (the IP) but also because I want to really leverage the opportunity to do something BIG with technology that I might not otherwise have the opportunity to use outside of this space.
We are headed into a startup weekend where together with my group, we will hammer out and explore some of our big ideas, and hopefully narrow it down to one golden ticket. Wish us luck!
Wesley the Robot
META’s Augmented Reality Glasses
I had the privilege of being hosted at the META campus today. We were given a tour of their estate, had a presentation by the CEO, given demos of their product, served lunch, beer and went for a dip in their swimming pool. It was a fantastic day and I left truly inspired about the future of tech. They are developing glasses akin to what was used in the Ironman movie.
In this photo, I’m actually moving around a hologram with my hand.
Learn more about META here: https://www.spaceglasses.com/
This is a baby dinosaur robot… pets of the future
'Discover Your Strengths' is a self-help book written by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. At the heart of the book is the internet based “Clifton Strengths Finder,” an online personal assessment test which will outline ones strengths. The authors advocate focusing on building strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses.
The theory behind the book is that each adult individual possesses a certain number of fixed universal personal-character attributes, defined by the authors as “talent themes,” which, together, result in an individual’s tendency to develop certain skills more easily and excel in certain fields in a sustainable way while failing or not being able to sustain success or high levels of effectiveness in other fields.
Here are my results:
1 Achiever - has a great deal of stamina and works hard.
2 Relator - enjoys close relationships with others.
3 Command - having presence; can take control of a situation and make decisions.
4 Positivity - has an enthusiasm that is contagious.
5 Activation - turning thoughts into action.
I’d say, these are pretty spot-on…
One of the speakers at Singularity University suggested we do this test to help us in the creation of our project teams. Team creation will be finalized in the coming week or two. Stayed tuned to discover who I end up in a group with and working on what type of project.
Welcome to Google…