3CO

Who: Steven Jenkins and Lance Legel
Field: Tech and Augmented Reality
What: Plant Tech company
Where: Amsterdam
Website: www.3co.ai/

 

How to start a plant tech company using augmented reality

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3co is a digital marketplace whereby consumers can purchase pot plants in augmented reality using their phone. Consumers can simulate what these plants would look like in their living room, find the one which they like best and then purchase it with one click.

There’s this huge gap between being able to walk into a garden store and going online on a website and buying a plant. Their aim to create this new purchasing experience for the consumer.

3co inspires people to imagine and create paradises through augmented reality and artificial intelligence. It is the business of making urban and ecosystems more beautiful by rendering 3D scans of jungles, gardens, furnishings and architectures that can be customized and ordered in real-time.
 

Click here for a short video introduction.

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Introduce yourselves and tell us what you do.
S: Steve Jenkins. I do anything that no one wants to do, sort of the role of a start-up CEO, but there’s a lot of fun stuff that we do. I get to talk to customers, get out there in to the wild to understand the business problems. So that business interface into the company is really my focus.

L: This is Lance Legel and I’m the CTO. Whereas Steve says he does the sh*t work, I do the super hard work and together we make it work.
 

How old are you and where are you from?
S: 29 from Catskill New York (the home town of Mike Tyson).

L: I’m also 29 and turning 30 in a few days. It’s always been a goal to be a millionaire by the age of 30. Maybe on paper we’re getting there so it’s looking good.
 

Did you go to university, if so what did you study?
S: I studied Economics and Urban Planning at Cornell university in New York. Urban Planning was about understanding social cities and economic dynamics. We looked at good examples of urbanisation and a lot of more bad examples. So, we spent a lot of time looking at Los Angeles ha-ha!

L: I originally studied Physics. I was super into astrophysics, I wanted to find the aliens out there. But then I decided to focus on stuff going on on earth and I concluded that computers were super useful. I got into computer science and robotics. About 5 or 6 years ago I was in a neuroscience lab which is where I got into artificial intelligence.

We think that there’s a lot that Artificial Intelligence and new technologies around augmented reality can do for cities. What if we had a real-life sim city where people could see what their future city could look like. Together design and not just have politicians deciding everything. We think that we can get there in the next 10 years.
 

Were you good students growing up?
S: Ha-ha no, I mean in high school I was OK. I failed a few classes in college.

L: I actually was not. We got the grades but did we really care about school? I was one of those kids in college who got OK grades but was always trying to do stuff outside of class and I think that’s served me best in the real world.

This included starting an organisation or researching on my own. The idea of being that when you get outside of those constructs of university and the people that didn’t learn how to think for themselves or didn’t learn how to lead others get in pretty rough situations. So, entrepreneurship has always been the way (from my perspective).

S: Since we’re talking about grades, a friend of mine, who went to Penn somewhat famously published his grades, which were all C’s. Of course, it’s a good college but he did that because he’s now incredible successful and it was in reaction to a lot of students actually taking their own lives. For the first time ever, they got something lower than an -A and they don’t see a future.

So, if there’s anyone out there getting bad grades you should focus on getting good grades on the things you care about. For example, we’re hiring for market designers and so if people have straight A’s in marketing design and Ds in everything else, that’s fine. 
 

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"Grades are about a metric of learning but the point is that don’t do sh*t that you don’t like and find that thing you’re really passionate about and just go all in"


But some people may not know what their niche is or what they’re good at?

L: The best thing they can do is experiment. So, if someone’s really young and they’re doing ten things, may advice is not that you need to focus because you’re young you’re having fun. You’ll probably get crushed by nine of them but if one of them turns out to be the thing then great!

Steven and I met in Brazil and I remember being in the hostel at breakfast one morning watching him code whilst everyone was chilling. He was telling me what it was like to be a freelancer. Tell us about your journey up until now and what your first job coming out of university was?
S: My first job was in New York City at a financial technology start-up that basically modernized an archaic trading platform. So that went well and after four years I left with a lot of equity that I invested into which allowed for me to take on a new skill set. Over the next year, I taught myself how to code and started traveling.

L: So, we’re in Miami and we know we want to start a company together but we don’t really know what we’re doing. We’re coding and Steve’s learning some really hard stuff, he’s sweating and he’s super bothered by the challenges that he’s facing but he’s super determined to get through it and this is a story that anyone could really relate to. The story for me is how Steve’s driven to get past that hard stage.

"There’s always going to be this really awkward stage when you’re learning something that’s truly transformative for you and the fact is that it’s going to be extremely painful. Really for him, he was extremely dedicated for a year and he didn’t have any programing background before that. After that, he was taken on contracts, working remotely and digital nomading in Brazil whilst surfing. The other side is nice but you have to get through it".

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So, you were basically working as digital nomads?
L: Yes, we had much more freedom. You also need to be a hustler, you really just need one contract and it’s about convincing one person to pay you money whilst you’re off somewhere doing whatever you want. Really the way to do that is to have an unfair skill advantage in a certain thing that they really want. You’ve got to be so much better than everyone else and as long as that something really is in demand you can basically set the terms.

How did you find clients when initially starting out?
L: AngelList is really good because you can you’re a remote contractor, part-time flex and your skillset.
 

Can you shed some light on the preconceptions around being outside of your comfort zone and not having the security net of a 9-5?
S: I think it’s good to have runway, so you definitely have to have savings. If you don’t and you’re going week by week, you’re not going to be optimising for the long run. I was lucky enough to have some savings saved up which gave me that year of runway to learn how code so that when I wanted to make some more money I could really easily.

L: For me it’s been about learning new skills that I could make money on demand. You don’t necessarily need to go digital nomad to take on your first freelance contract. You can take a freelance contract whilst you’re still currently in your 9-5 job and when you go home at night, go ahead and be working on that contract.

Really, it’s about hustling, you gotta convince one person to pay you some money and the way you’re going to do that is about having skillset.

If you’re a good designer, copywriter or anything that is in demand and if you’re not good at it, that’s OK but get really good at it, that’s the point.

Develop your skillset to the point where you can start commanding your salary.

So, you were basically working as digital nomads? What was it like comparing that to the 9-5 you were previously working in?
L: Much more freedom. You also need to be a hustler, you really just need one contract and it’s about convincing one person to pay you money whilst you’re off somewhere doing whatever you want. Really the way to do that is to have an unfair skill advantage in a certain thing that they really want. You’ve got to be so much better than everyone else and as long as that something really is in demand you can basically set the terms.

How did you find clients when initially starting out?
L: AngelList is really good because you can you’re a remote contractor, part-time flex and your skillset.
 

Can you shed some light on the preconceptions around being outside of your comfort zone and not having the security net of a 9-5?
S: I think it’s good to have runway, so you definitely have to have savings. If you don’t and you’re going week by week, you’re not going to be optimising for the long run. I was lucky enough to have some savings saved up which gave me that year of runway to learn how code so that when I wanted to make some more money I could really easily.

L: For me it’s been about learning new skills that I could make money on demand. You don’t necessarily need to go digital nomad to take on your first freelance contract. You can take a freelance contract whilst you’re still currently in your 9-5 job and when you go home at night, go ahead and be working on that contract.

Really, it’s about hustling, you gotta convince one person to pay you some money and the way you’re going to do that is about having skillset. If you’re a good designer, copywriter or anything that is in demand and if you’re not good at it, that’s OK but get really good at it, that’s the point. Develop your skillset to the point where you can start commanding your salary
.

"Once you have a niche, you can develop several niches and you be a so-called generalist, which is what an entrepreneur has to be.

That’s the next step, you’re no longer doing freelance contracting in this one niche thing but you’re managed to have some basics of general business. That’s why freelancing is a natural step before starting up your own business. It makes a lot of sense".
 

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Where did you guys meet?
S: Lance and I met playing basketball in New York. Lance was getting his masters from Colombia university at the time. I think it’s important (and all investors will tell you this) to have a very strong foundation when starting a company with someone else. It shouldn’t be someone you’ve just met over a start-up weekend, it needs to be someone that you enjoy being around. Lance and I have travelled together for two years and we haven’t killed each other yet, so far so good.

L: We’ve had our existential crisis. Just expect two things; one is to not go it alone. Freelancing you can go it alone, but when you start a company don’t do it. Just because you’re going to be crushed somedays. The other days the founder will be there for you. It’s rare that both of you will be crushed, but at the same time you’re going to want to kill the founder some days.

Also, you really need some value system alignment and things you enjoy doing together. In other words, don’t just speed date your co-founder. It’s worse than marriage.

S: All the bad parts and none of the good parts.

Did you find your skill sets complement each other?
S: My background was in business development and Lance’s in technology. So, when investors are looking for a founding team they want a business guy and a technology guy or girl. What changes that, is that Lance is incredibly good at business as well and I’m become ok at coding.

Just by being around someone you take on some of their characteristics and skill sets and so you do kind of bleed into each other in good ways which helps you communicate at a deeper level.

L: On that note, it’s cool to think about who is the person you admire most and can you spend time with them because you learn from them consistently. I remember when I first met Steve and I realised we were starting a company together I thought it was going to take years for us to fully learn about each other, which is great because we came from incredible different backgrounds. So, finding someone who has some values aligned with you but are maybe different from you is actually a very good idea.


What made you think you’d be good business partners?
L: It started as a friendship, but I remember the day where I allegedly broke up with him.

S: Lance said the business is first and the friendship is second and I agree with that. It’s like when you have a kid together, the children are first and your happiness in the relationship is second.

L: The emotional stuff you can do as a friend versus the massive life changing work we can do for each other as partners is much more beneficial. I can’t think this man enough.

"The statistics on start-ups are pretty bleak. If you want to make a lot of money you’re better of joining an early stage start-up that’s already established. But if you really have a passion for something and want something in the world that doesn’t exist, then yeah go for it. But just be prepared for a lot of shitty times.

Of the average successful founders, 90% fail but of the 10% that actually succeed and have an exit, they get approximately $3 million which isn’t much. That happening over 5 or 10 years and you divide that out. You’re not making much money than being employed".


So, you have to either believe you’re exceptional and then force yourself to be exceptional or you have to be comfortable with that outcome or just don’t do it.

Tell us a bit more about 3co and how it works?
S: It’s a digital marketplace for plants. What Lance and I learnt after moving to Amsterdam, having created a sort of Shazam for plants was that there’s a lot of unsolved problems on behalf of the consumer.

The first being this huge disconnect between going into a garden store in real life and being able to see the plant and hold it versus going to Amazon. The second was getting the resources to care for the plant, so how much am I supposed to water this plant and do I need to expose it to direct sunlight, when do I repot it? All these things, there was no good place for the consumer to get that information. Our focus is improving the consumer experience for plants.

L: It’s like lowering the friction for people to re-connect with nature. We were in NY city and there was this huge project with 100,000 plants and everyone loves plants. It’s cool to be in a forest but nobody knows how to take care of it and it’s actually really hard to get. So we wanted to solve both those problems.

How did you get into the plant industry?
L: We were in digital nomading in Kyoto, on this large pergola on the river looking out and then we found out these farmers in Amsterdam wanted new technology. We had applied to an incubation program. For people who are thinking about joining an incubation program and it’s there’s one that’s related to what you want to do, do it. Because we thought we knew how to do a business but then we realised we didn’t know shit. It’s amazing to get a support network around you with people who just want to see you succeed. I think incubators are a great first step.

S: There’s a really nice platform called F6S where you can create a profile of your business and basically search all of the incubators and programs. It’s sort of like ‘The Common Application’ in the US where you create one application and then you apply with that to all the different universities.

So it was just out of luck you meeting those farmers?
L: I think I was going crazy for some time and so did Steve. Basically, there was this very subtle research thread where every day I was reading more of the value of plants. There was this co-working community in Lisbon called Second Home Lisboa and it has a thousand plants in it. I remember going inside of it and my breath was taken away by how fresh the air was and also by how beautiful the space was.

When I got a membership there, I remember saying this has to be a big thing. If we could make it so people could just push a button and get a thousand plants in their co-working space how cool would that be. Eventually we tried to figure out how to do this. We knew we wanted to make it easy to get a lot of plants. Don’t get too caught up on the idea, its’ more about where do you want to go and what kind of outcome for yourself and the world would be pleasing even if you don’t know how to get there. It’s actually really helpful to be ambition about this vision and as long as you’re specific, you have to give yourself time for the idea to evolve to a concrete plan of action.

But we set a super ambitious goal for ourselves to push a button and get a high-line and we’re still on this goal. You know where you want to be in 2, 5 or 10 years and you always want to reverse engineer that today.

This incubation program was called Let it grow in Amsterdam. Let it grow is a platform that facilitates entrepreneurs and urban idealists in bringing their green innovations to life.

They’re a catalyst for the urban green movement, exposing what’s possible and encouraging both city dwellers to take plants and flowers beyond their traditional definitions. Why do you think you were chosen out of all the other applicants?
S: Admin error? I think they saw us as producers of technology. The other start-ups in the cohort were more lifestyle businesses. While we were outsiders from America, I think they liked that about us. We learned way more from then than they learned from us, so we benefitting greatly from the program.

L: There’s not really many technology companies focusing on plants right now. But you think you’re crazy, you have this idea to combine things that nobody’s thought of combining before but you feel like it could be something. My encouragement to you is to continue onto that thread and don’t let someone tell you you’re crazy and keep going. It’s about getting on this Alice and Wonderland journey-just keep going deeper in the rabbit hole. 

You guys were previously based in Dam and you’ve just moved to London to participate with TechStars for 3 months, which was extremely competitive to get in so congrats!
S: We’re lucky enough to be in this co-working space called Rise London sponsored by Barclays. Barclays partners with TechStars for a 13-week accelerator program.

Tell us how you managed to get this opportunity?
S: A lot of persistence. I think it was the hardest thing I ever did. 1,200 start-ups applied and only 10 got accepted.

L: It’s this brutal interview process over a whole month, which goes from 1000 to 80 to 40 to 20. You can imagine how we’re feeling at 20, we’re like we got this far how could we possibly not go.

S: The way we got into the first 8% was through a series of warm introductions. Lance knew people in Colorado, I had friends who had done the program so we came highly recommended. Even if you’re great, you can’t blame them for missing you. 920+ start-ups were said no to and I imagine some of them were led by really great founders.

 

"Use the network, don’t think you’re cheating. We literally showed up to their office in London and demoed our technology to them. In the point being, don’t be afraid to be passionate about your company in front of the people who are judging you.

You need to go above and beyond to impress people, and this is true for jobs. As Steve says, don’t try and go it alone, go through your network of people. If you don’t have a big network, find a co-founder who does"
 

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Lance, your brother has joined your team recently. On the topic of building a team, what kind of characteristics do you think would make an individual become a good ROI?
S: When someone says they want to work for us, I say tell me why. Here’s our business and here’s the future we want to take; explain to me how you fit into that and what your skillset is and how you plant to accelerate us towards that very specific goal.

When Brendan, Lance’s brother was in the process of joining, he was super thorough. He had addresses points that I hadn’t even thought of, and so it was really easy to say yes. Whereas another person basically said four points. He went to Harvard so he was a smart guy but he’s unemployed. My advice is that you have to be thorough, you have to stand out because the competition is intense.

L: Skills can be learnt, but culture and attitude are not. You can learn principles of culture and kind of adapt. We have some friends who are really talented and we’d love to see them (skillset wise) on our team but culturally speaking they couldn’t be more opposite. They don’t care about plants and at the same time they’re not thinking in the same space as optimizing physical experiences.

We have some principles which center around improving people’s health and happiness. So if you want to create the kind of environment and culture that will get us there then we’ll go together. We will reach over backwards, with an offer of equity because we need help. It’s not that we’re trying to close doors, we just don’t want to make our environment toxic with people who come in and say ‘why are we even doing this and why don’t we do that’. You want someone to be able to share your values.

We have a pretty precise formula and not everyone in the world can jump in but we’re going to be very clear about what that is when we look to expand.

If you find that you want to work for a company, the best thing that you can do to convince the owners of that company is to identify what are their values are (really dive deep into that), identify how you can become 100% supportive of that. If that is what you do, it’s very unlikely that you’d meet a person that would reject you.


S: The best jobs aren’t found. They are created. Don’t go to monster.com and search for jobs.

L: I mean you might need to to start with.

S: Go to your favourite company and pitch them on a job. That’s what I find creates the most value for the employee and for the company.

L: What’s nice about early stage start-ups is that they’re so small that usually you can find a way to get in touch with the founder.

I have a friend who wrote to Charlotte Tilbury during it’s early days of still being a start-up. She was asking for a job there when there was no open vacancy at the time. But she ended up working as a business analyst for a year. Would you recommend being this pro-active?
L: It really helps if you’ve been at one that did it successfully. Even if you’ve only been there for six months or a year. Seeing all the little things that you would have never knew and managing engineers. But then once you see it, you’ll like ‘ah I can do that’.

 

They say that one day in future there will come a point where we’ll walk past someone and you won’t be able to tell if it’s a robot or a human. Where do you think the future is going with artificial intelligence and augmented reality?
L: The cynical definition of AI is that it’s anything that hasn’t been done before that humans could do. The truth of it is that there’s these principles to it. Basically, humans are at a certain threshold of intelligence and the things they’re sensing and all the ways that they can learn and do. There’s a feedback loop with sensing data and learning all the models of that data. Intelligence is something that can be mathematically optimized by computers when it comes to collecting data and automatically serving humans.

From my perspective, it’s the future. There’s not this robot versus humans. It’s robots and humans and these things are really just extensions of us. If there is a robot walking by that’s indiscernible from a human my guess is that at the very least it’s still going to be controlled by a human. You worry about a bad human, which is why we have things like intelligence agencies who monitor bad humans.

We can take any human problem, which is all of business, creativity, science, engineering and the way we organise our society. All of this is very much ripe for brand new frameworks that are computational and potentially a thousand times faster and more personalised and connected to everyone. Sooner or later, there’s going to be better ways of doing things especially in government and companies. It’s just up to us to have the courage to move forward with it. We’ve got centuries, decades and millennia of wisdom established human based ways of doing things and we’re saying well computers could potentially do it better. 

 

How would you argue that creativity, which is a form or originality can be automated?
L: What interests me is augmented human creativity. Steve Jobs says the computer can be a human bicycle for the mind and I think Steve (my co-founder) and I like the idea of super powers of imagination and creativity. It’s our mission to help everyone imagine and create their own paradise full of plants. What if you could, when you’re thinking about something, see it right in front of you.

There’s this close loop between your imagination and your vision, your visual cortex and what you’re seeing with your eyes. This is what augmented reality does, it shows you whatever you want. For example, we’re working on this application, just for fun and it’s like ‘tell me your paradise’ and you talk into the microphone and say ‘I want a warm open space with jungle vibes’ and all of a sudden it starts rendering right in front of you. How could artistic creators better use AI to create a vision.
 

Do you think your business has a social responsibility?
S: First of all, people get along better when they’re buying plants. Science has proven less stress and cortisol levels. I’ve been thinking about the ‘buy one give one’ concept. So maybe for every plant bought, one can be planted in Brazil to help save the amazon. We’re not activists and crazy tree-huggers but trees are a beautiful thing and we need more of them. If we can have this additional dimension then we’ll do it.  At TechStars, a lot of companies will give a 1% pledge to the TechStars foundation who will then use that to address issues in technology start-ups for example equal equity for woman.
 

"First, let’s empower ourselves to be able to make a change and have an impact on society. Obviously, what you do as a business should be something that you’re proud of ethically speaking and I think we are very proud.

Social duty starts with consciousness; when everyone is actually aware and agrees on the basic social problems I’m confident that one day we can get there".
 

What’s the big dream for you both? The 5-year plan?
S: To encode a super power so that anyone anywhere can imagine what a better future looks like through augmented reality and then be able to click a button and have that delivered to them.

L: For example, in Singapore it’s a super green city and they’ve been doing this since the 1970s, but a lot of cities have ignored that. By the time we’ve finished it would be good to see NY the same. We find that the technology is up to the task and we’re seeing prototypes of people who can live in a shared imagination space. Imagine what I’m seeing what on my phone, someone else can see the same thing. You can have a community who can start suggesting changes. What if we could find a way to up or downvote ways to improve our surroundings in our public and collective spaces. We think this is the best future for us and we think we can help lead it. You’re limited to your imagination.

 S: We want to make it collaborative too, because the fact is once you leave your house, you’re in someone else’s room. Neighborhoods need to decide collectively what they want and its’ really difficult for people to communicate what they want by words so that’s why we like augmented reality. We want to be able to project out your paradise so someone can live in it and then you can find these overlaps.

What has been the biggest risk that you’ve taken throughout your career and did that pay off?
L: Steve’s pretty risk averse.
 

S: Well a risk averse person wouldn’t start a company so there’s that! I think you have to be calculated in the risks that you take, but like I mentioned before if you had a runway then you can take rational risks. Reid Hoffman has this quote saying that ‘a start-up is jumping off of a cliff and assembling a flying device on the way down’. As long as you have confidence in yourself and the team around you then it doesn’t really feel like a risk. There’s a lot of turbulence on the way down but you’re the captain of your own ship.

L: It doesn’t have to be life or death and you can learn. People have done it, they know what not to do so listen to them.

For me personally, the risk is that you forget about what you actually care about because of your passion. You start losing your relationships with your friends, family and start losing your own character even. It took me some time to realise that you have to have tour personal life truly and create that space. You should never allow a company or work endeavor to take over that space. As soon as I did that I started to become much more effective professionally. I didn’t feel drained by the company and every time I come back to the company space it’s like ‘oh yes I’m so excited and inspired’.

 
The solution is to set that boundary that’s the inner most core of your life. Whether that means meditating, or playing basketball or hanging out with friends. Obviously, you can’t do as much as you’d like but find a way to set that space.
 

It takes a certain level of focus, resilience and character in each individual to drive routine and want to make their mark on the world. What do you think taught you to be this way and what childhood influences have contributed to this?
S: Both of mine and Lance’s parents were entrepreneurs. My dad owns his own veterinarian and my mother has her own consultancy.
 

L: You have to give credit to your family and if they’re not there you have to create your own inspiration. I’ve been really inspired by the founder of Google Larry Page. He says go for moon spots and don’t go for small things, set that 5-year vision. You’ll always under-estimate what you can do in 5 years but also have patience because you’ll overestimate what you can do in a one year.

For me, the general framework around how computers can change the way humans can organize the world and make it universally accessible. The principles of that are weird and incredible, I just felt like that fundamentally changed everything. It’s really just beginning, truly and it doesn’t matter what age you are or where you are in your journey you can dive into the heart of it.

 

What does the definition of success mean to you?
S: In order to be successful, you have to focus on impact and people. It can’t be dollars and cents. If you focus on people and a positive impact, the money will come. It really will. Maybe not tomorrow but eventually. As long as you’re focused on solving real problems for real people. For us, it’s about having a positive impact on as many people as possible. 

L: To be a bit more specific about that positive impact, I feel like for what we’re doing we want to have the world in a place where it’s more peaceful. Where we can create more of that peace that nature can give to us or go beyond that in terms of how we decide what to manufacture or how to connect with each other to create value.

For us, success looks like fundamentally improving your daily experience. When you’re looking up and you see that ugly NY subway or did you finally find the way to make the hyperloop come about. Not some marketing campaign where you’re convinced a bunch of people but you just look around and it’s there.

 

How has a failure set you up for later success?
S: We have the Social app. Don’t try to do a head-fake and try to lure people in with something and then try to sell them on something else. Align what you want your business mission to be with a real business proposition, because unless you do that you’re going to be a year out. You have to figure out your business on day one. Don’t decide to do something and say you’ll figure it out later.

“Not to say we were being disingenuous but monetizing how we can actually survive as a business was never seriously thought of. We just built this great technology to connect people and it was like a Tinder, meet-up and Amazon all at the same time.

So you need to start trying to make money on day one. Because if someone’s not going to pay for it, they probably won’t care for it as much” - Lance

 

How far down the process did you get with the Social app?
S: About a year, we launched the app and had a few users and see interactions take place.  Maybe after we solve this business we can go back to it, but one problem at a time. It was a good experience and it taught me how to code. I built an iOS app and overtime learnt back end. It’s amazing how fast you can learn if your business depends on it. If you fail as a start-up it’s so easy to get higher afterwards. People understand that if you’ve founded and lived in a start-up for two-three years, your skillset is endless.

L: Start-ups are mostly a survival game. As long as you’re willing to keep experimenting for the thing that you think people might want. This is truly our 7th or 8th serious idea. Some of the ideas never got much daylight, but the point being, just keep trying to do something. Don’t think you’re going to get it right in the first stage.
 
We’ve successfully done things as a part of one of the failures and have built up instincts that we’ve gained from that.
 

As tech guys, what tools or apps do you use that have made your life better?
S: I downloaded an app called Curl earlier today because they’re in our building. You can turn on your location and create a trust place like your local coffee bar. If I ask for something, it will use my location as a payment. So you would step out of the coffee shop and it’s paid. I met the CEO last week, cool guy named Mike.

 

Whenever I visit you both in Amsterdam, Lance is always reading some hardcore theoretical mathematical book whereas Steven is often reading an abstract biography of some sort. If you guys could gift one book to someone what would it be and why? 
S: I like Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci’s. I love the story of Da Vinci, he was the original renaissance man and I myself, I want to be a renaissance man. I like biographies because it helps you understand someone. You can almost project their person’s life onto yours and reflect on your life throughout the process.

Lance will be reading ‘the anthropology computing’ or ‘an introduction to manifolds’!

L: There’s a science fiction novel called walk away which is about this utopian/dystopian future. A lot of things are patented and even if you could. In this source there’s this open-source rogue movement with AI where people are trying to build utopia. They build houses and plant gardens and create happy communities. Except there’s this dystopian aspect where the militant government are trying to attack them and calling them terrorists and intellectual theft.

 

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why?
S: Move! Take action and do shit! The reason for that is because a lot of people think you need inspiration before you take action. Inspiration, motivation, action. But I think if you start with an action, then you can find the motivation and the inspiration. Get out there, talk to people, solve real problems and don’t stay in your ivory tower and think about things.

L: Maximise intelligence and don’t be comfortable with ignorance. When you get through the hard stuff, you find you have super powers and so don’t be afraid to learn far more than you ever would.

 

25 JULY, 2018 

www.3co.ai

ARTICLE CREDITS

 
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INTERVIEW

KARMEN TANG

@tangkarmen
anotherstartupstory.com