Everyday I am honored and humbled to get to lead a group of talented, inspiring, and creative geniuses that power Ripcord on the mission to move the human race forward. I'm the luckiest person I know to have this opportunity to serve and support them.
MISSION & HISTORY.
I grew up in a lower middle class family that ran small businesses and instilled a work ethic in me that has never left. My father, a brilliant man , amazing human, war hero from WW II, former executive and engineer, worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, right up until the day he died to support our family. My mother worked with him and then made our house a home after her long day at work.
They met in Africa, during Apartheid, and fell in love the way people never plan to do. My mom is devoutly Muslim and my father was equally Roman Catholic. The differences in their religions, the color of their skin, their families disapproval, and the time in which they lived when Martin Luther King fought for equal rights and Mandela was just imprisoned, did nothing to stop them from what their hearts told them was right. They left Africa and headed to the US to start a new life in a place where race and religion weren't going to hold them back; California. They taught me some of the most valuable lessons about love, compassion, giving back, and making time for those people that matter most so you can pay it forward. We didn't have a lot but we had a lot of what mattered.
We couldn't afford a computer but a local library had a computer programming class that they offered in their basement. I was too young to take the class but I convinced the instructor that I would be a good bet, that I'd work hard, and that I really wanted to learn how to program. The Apple II+ was my dream machine and they had one. I would write programs, mostly at that time in BASIC, on a small notepad, line by line so that I could run them in my head and continue to work on my programs at home on my pad of paper and pencil before returning to grab the floppy discs containing my code that I'd then edit in class based on what I'd written further on that notepad at home. That little notepad of paper was my most prized possession back then because the code it contained was freedom. It was a playground that I constructed and that I could challenge myself to further develop.
The programming languages and tools changed over the years and the programs I wrote went from things I did just for fun for me, to games to show off to friends, to pranks, to ultimately work but a type of work that I really love. A type of work that got consumed by everyday people and helped them do what inspired them. Working at Apple later in life seemed like a strange dream in a lot of ways because the feedback from our cult-like users was inspiring even when it wasn't always favorable. ;-)
It's hard to believe that from those really early days I've had such amazing adventures with such brilliant folks. From satellite systems, to NASA, to Apple, Exodus, and getting to start a company with Steve Wozniak, my best friend, Apple co-founder, and genius behind my dream computer of my childhood. To now; having the most amazing wife, daughter, family, and life that anyone could ever hope for. While I don't deserve the life I have, I'm pretty grateful for all those people who make it so wonderful and for the opportunity I have to contribute to them the way they have to me.
Sometimes even your wildest dreams don't live up to how wonderful an adventure life can be.
Nowadays I am beyond privileged and humbled to be the CEO of Ripcord; a company using vision-guided robotics and advanced AI to digitize the World's paper and unleash and set free the knowledge of human history which has been exiled on paper for too long. Taking the world paperless seems like a fantastic mission that I will be lucky to see through in my lifetime.
I'm also beyond thrilled to be on the Board of some fantastic non-profit organizations such as the CodeWarrior Foundation which teaches veterans returning from the battlefield to code, ISKME which has built a platform to democratize education and the equitable distribution of learning regardless of geography or socioeconomics, and Hawaii Rescue which aims to transport patients in rural areas to hospitals via helicopter. I was lucky to be able to be a founding member of Singularity University with other amazing founders like Larry Page and Ray Kurzweil. I also am on the advisory board of Astra Space which is the brain child of my friend and former NASA CTO, Chris Kemp, and is set to radically disrupt and improve the way we get to space (that's all I can say about that for now). ;-)
The reason I'm telling this story is that resumes are all about what you did to prove that you're capable of doing what you're about to do. Life is all about curiosity, love, and paying it forward. I am now and always will be the luckiest person I know because I've never been bored, I'll never work a day in my life, and I have the chance now to pay it forward thanks to all those people who prefer that to me paying them and their kindnesses back.
Here's links to some of the companies I've been lucky enough to work with or am currently working with.