I learned that hiring good people is really hard, but having to let them go because you can’t afford them is ten times harder.
Amit Gupta’s colourful career path has only two constants: purpose and fun. The first opportunity to prove his entrepreneurial spirit came early, when he oversaw a staff of 27 as a teenage CEO of his own web startup. With various roles and stopovers along the way, Amit then turned a simple newsletter for friends into a quirky, popular online store for photography aficionados, called Photojojo. It’s hard not to admire Amit’s dedication for creating meaningful opportunities while putting fun first. And as it turns out, even a life-threatening illness has no chance against his tenacity.
I’ve been hearing a lot of stories about people quitting their day jobs to chase indie-success, and I think a lot of people are in for a very hard lesson.
For Zach Gage it’s all art — whether it’s an interactive art installation raising questions about our relationship between the digital and the real world, an iPhone game that has thousands of players discover their linguistic limits, or an old-fashioned board game about an eating contest set in the post-apocalyptic future. The New York-based conceptual artist enjoys blurring the lines between entertainment, code, and art, and thereby explores our often contra- dictory relationship with our digital selves. He also loves poker.
If Apps for Good had run 2,000 years ago, we might have taught pottery classes or whatever was leading-edge technology at the time to solve real-world problems.
There are few other fields where innovation is as pressing, yet as difficult to achieve, as in the education sector. With her unique family background, an impressive career path, and her hands-on experience as a mother, Iris Lapinski is founder and CEO of Apps for Good, a UK-based non-profit that delivers practical tech educa- tion to thousands of students and teachers alike. From her modest studio in Berlin, Iris works relentlessly on improving the learning experience, demonstrating that our traditional approach to school education requires a more personalised, tech-driven overhaul.
Today, I don’t think you have the luxury of three hours to figure out what you are going to write about. It’s all about being able to move at the speed of the network.
When Om Malik left India to try his luck as a writer in the US, he instantly immersed himself in the rising tech scene of the late ‘90s. As he covered the boom and bust of the dot-com era, Om discovered the power of blogging, breaking the latest news from ground-zero in Silicon Valley. What started as a personal site eventually became Gigaom, a successful media company and a respected voice in the startup world. Om has since taken on the role of an investor himself, but his deep-felt fervour for quality tech journalism is as evident as ever.
We’re all liable to create out of fascination rather than seeking to understand and solve a problem.
Scott Belsky recognised early that the fields of creativity and business are deeply intertwined, and as a result dedicated a large part of his life to empowering the creative world to make ideas happen. He did so with a book, a range of productivity tools, a conference and, most notably Behance, a popular online platform to show- case and discover the work of millions of creatives around the globe. Since its acquisition by Adobe, Scott is busy mapping out the mobile future of the world’s favourite creativity software.
I can’t stand all the deception you see in products today — they create false promises, present an illusion of craftsmanship, and seduce using surface-level beauty.
While defying the instructions of your lecturer often results in nothing but bad marks, for Andrew Kim it kickstarted his career and earned him a job at Microsoft. At the young age of just 23, the Canadian product designer enjoys working at the intersection of hardware and software, playing a role in the design of Microsoft’s Xbox One successor and the next generation of Windows. With a deep appreciation of the craft, Andrew walks the fine line between following in the footsteps of giants and injecting a fresh perspective to revitalise a household tech brand.