7DD top A



What does the new year mean to you?

I usually never make resolutions, but last year I made a commitment to improve my health through nutrition and fitness and, I’m happy to say, I met that goal.  I vastly improved my health, reduced my waistline by 9-inches and lost >30lbs, all without dieting or spending any money (except for the new clothes that I needed).

So, there!

My Top 10 goals for this year

  1. Spiritual: dive deeper into my core beliefs, find new ones
  2. Family: yes
  3. Health: continue nutrition and take fitness to the next level with crossfit-boxing
  4. Professional: build strong relationships
  5. Personal: become a better pianist and try to regain my voice
  6. Technical: build something that solves a really hard problem
  7. Brainpower: Focus, remove distractions (see #9)
  8. Finance: simplify
  9. Politics: null
  10. Expression: more thought experiments, more songwriting

Did I miss anything?  Oh yes, HAVE FUN!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE



Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE

I have to do this!  I started my technical career in medical software at a hospital, worked on many medical software projects and had my own medical software company.  I have a good idea on how to win this prize but I have several problems with this:

  1. The rules are using outdated methods for measuring the success of the device
  2. The device is simply an enabler for solving bigger use-cases
  3. Any solution that solves this problem is worth billions, and
  4. 2015?  Please, the technology exists to scale this much sooner.

Do I sound arrogant?  I hope not, because I’m a complete optimist when it comes to solving world health problems with technology.  I am NOT a doctor and I am NOT a scientist.  I am, however, a PROGRAMMER and I believe that code will solve these problems.  I won’t give out any more right now, except:

How about running this as an open-source project?  Anyone that contributes gets attribution but no money, unless you patent some invention outside of the project.  The challenge is that X-Prize rules are quite constrictive.  If that’s the case, we’ll solve the problem and beat the contest to the marketplace.

More to come.

BIG Data? How about GINORMOUS Data?


The “cloud” just isn’t big enough to store the amount of data that I want to store.  I want to instrument EVERYTHING and create a real-time analytical datastore that allows for real-time and predictive action on most anything…

…The technology exists and any good programmer can write analytical models to look for statistical anomalies and opportunities to exploit unstructured data in ways we haven’t thought of.  A little history…


…Model Output Statistics (MOS) The weather agencies have been modeling weather patterns for decades using super-computers to raise the accuracy of their predictions.  BIG DATA techniques have been used to match models for weather forecasting and we can learn a lot from the best-practices and analytical problems that have already been solved.  Computer models are great, but when you add “sky-watchers” and “storm-chasers”, the models get smarter because humans are (still) better at complex problem-solving, so when you build your ‘big data’, there’s that one important element that you need to consider…


…Brainpower.  Instrumenting data-capture is fun.  Storing it is easy and cheap.  Analyzing it is complex but we keep getting better at it.  Analyzing the data-sets, understanding the output and making sense of it all is hard work.  And visualizing it in a way that humans can easily understand and act upon is impossible.  Well, it pretty much is with current visualization technologies.  So, you see, the opportunities are humongous!..

…but I haven’t gotten to my thought-experiment yet.  What are some of the best use-cases that an entrepreneur can exploit?  How about completely instrumenting the human-body and analyzing health in real-time across the entire global population?  I will explore this in an upcoming thought-experiment but use this as thought provocation for other ginormous data uses.


Data-Driven Government



We all know that President Obama had a strong advantage over his opponents because of “big data” and the hordes of programmers hired to cultivate and curate the analytics.  Now that the election is over it also has become quite evident that the information gathered over the past years is valuable in another way: governing.

I saw the movie ‘Lincoln’ the other day and noticed how important and powerful representative government works.  It is also inefficient and (potentially) corrupt.  “WHAT IF” we could each have a voice in our daily government activities directly, without need for representation?  Why have a representative travel to Washington when my voice can be heard directly?  I have access, you have my data. Why should my representative filter out what I have to say when I can say it directly to the government and politicians can reach out to me without that filter?

Oh wait, isn’t that what President Obama’s doing right now?  Taking governing ‘to the people’, much like campaigning?  Get used to it.

Think about these enabling changes in technology these days.  Then go see the movie and consider what the world ‘would have been’ without the wheeling and dealing of representative government.  Change is coming fast, and technologists and entrepreneurs need to move faster.