I do research. I've done it for policymakers, corporates, startups, and now I do it for a deep tech venture firm: Lunar Ventures. I spend my days learning stuff and seeing if I can make sensible predictions about the future. I've made two big predictions in my life:
- In 2015 working on a project for Intel I thought blockchains and smart contracts would one day become a computing platform not just a ledger for cryptocurrencies. This was fleshed out at Outlier Ventures as our investment strategy called Convergence. Jury is kinda still out but it's looking good on this one. Read: The Convergence Stack
- In 2021, I published a paper detailing how privacy-enhancing technologies were not privacy tools really, but are tools for data collaboration and shared computing. If i'm right, privacy-enhancing tools are one of the most misunderstood and undervalued technologies out there today. I predict they'll be fundamental pieces of the next era of web technology. It's too early to tell if I'm right. Read: The Coming Age of Collaborative Computing
- I'm hoping next year I will have something else around the theme of "post big-data" and how actually the value of data has been overstated. This thesis will contend that algorithms are far more important than data and therefore much of our modern data infrastructure is unnecessary and overvalued.
- There's also a bigger thing, maybe a book one day, that is on the theme of moving beyond data and a dominance of computer science towards knowledge from a synthesis of computer science and humanities. Something like 'natural philosophy for the age of AI'. But I mean that sounds pretty grand, and I'm just a man sitting in his pants writing on the Internet so.. 🤷
⚡ Lunar Ventures // Research Partner (2020 - )
I'm a research partner with Lunar Ventures, a European early-stage deep tech venture fund. I try to figure out what the future might look like and invest in startups building it. I am interested in anything deep tech related that might be important in the future, and I'm actively exploring:
- Privacy-enhancing technology like homomorphic encryption and multi-party computation
- Cryptographically secure data infrastructure with things like data unions and data markets
- Edge hardware with things like analog computing, photonics, and neuromorphic computing
We've invested in 12 companies:
- Mutable. Moving cloud computing to the edge for ubiquitous computing
- Mobius. AI for superhuman vision in every application
- Kyso. Scaling data-driven decision making with data science collaboration
- Molecule. Decentralized financial ecosystem for funding new therapies
- Neurolabs. Shortcut the way to more accurate ML using synthetic vision
- Zama. Making private computation for ML a reality with end-to-end encryption
- deepset. Open source platform for a new generation of language-aware applications
- NannyML. Monitoring mission critical systems for ML degradation
- Wasp. Language for developing full-stack web apps with zero boilerplate code
- Codavel. Latency-resistant content delivery for mobile connections
- Neuro.ai. Bringing ML to deployment with a high performance serverless cloud
- Stack. Reimagining the web browser for the post browsing era
🎓 RadicalxChange // Strategy Lead (2020 - 2021)
Radicalxchange (RxC) is a global movement founded by Glen Weyl to support the development of next-generation political economies. It advances plurality, equality, community, and decentralization through upgrades of democracy, markets, the data economy, the commons, and identity.
I was involved in the project helping launch the fellowship program. Our aim was to bring together mission-driven individuals and teams working on projects that aim to strengthen civil society and rethink public goods. We explored four key topic areas with fellows: governance, property rights, data rights, and competition through interactive talks, networking, and mentorship. We were lucky to have supported a diverse group of fellows working on everything from a social impact venture fund, a data union, a private identity platform and many other valuable public goods.
🚀 Outlier Ventures // Partner and Head of Research (2016 - 2020)
I was with Outlier Ventures for about 4 years joining as the third team member. When I joined in early 2016 my job was to help figure out what to invest in. I authored a paper later in 2016 called Blockchain-Enabled Convergence arguing the future of crypto/blockchains was as a distribution/co-ordination layer for the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. This paper formed the basis of our investment strategy leading to early investments into IOTA, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol.
I later revised the thesis slightly in early 2018 in a follow up paper called the Convergence Ecosystem which incorporated some of the market developments and focused more on the importance of crypto-tokens and decentralised autonomous organisations. This paper led to investments in companies like Brave, Agoric, and OrbitDB.
🌐 WEF // Fellow, Centre for the Forth Industrial Revolution (2019 - Present)
🤝 Ocean Protocol // Advisor (2018 - Present)
🔐 Elemendar // Board Advisor (2020 - 2021)
💵 OECD // Member, Blockchain Expert Policy Advisory Board (BEPAB) (2019 - 2020)
📓 Frost & Sullivan // Technology Strategy Consultant (2013-2016)