I got my start in technology in the early 90's as an operator of a BBS, an early form of pre-Internet social network built around trading software and games. I taught myself to code to make plugins for it. My BBS career ended when a German telecom sent a cease and desist letter, causing my parents to confiscate my computers. I had hacked into their systems to make free phone calls.
I focused more on the hardware side in college, once designing a 16-bit microprocessor for a class project. I graduated with an M.S in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Electromagnetics.
After college, I moved back into software and worked at Motorola, building government encryption software. Later I joined Orbitz, where I helped scale backends for airline reservation systems.
In the early 2000's I got involved in the development of Ruby on Rails, building open source libraries that were used by many web 2.0 startups of the time. I launched a social network for fitness enthusiasts in 2007. It was one of the first sites to feature a live newsfeed.
In early 2008, Groupon's CTO showed me a demo of Google Maps on his iPhone. At that moment I knew mobile was the future™. I quit my job the next day and went on to build Drum Kit. It ended up getting 10M+ downloads, and was featured in Apple's iPod Touch ad campaign. It remained one of the top 10 music apps for nearly 5 years.
Around 2013, I started getting disillusioned with the tech industry due to the increased centralization of power, and considered studying to become a nutritionist. However I decided to apply my skills to non-profits, and joined TED where I built new versions of their iPhone and iPad apps. I also heard about Bitcoin around this time but didn't think too much of it.
In 2016, a friend introduced me to Ethereum and crypto in general. The hacker ethos of the ecosystem reminded me a lot of the BBS-era and early days of the Internet. As I explored the space, I saw the potential it has to re-decentralize the Internet, and build new services on a foundation of sound money.
To be continued…