7 things I’m thinking about now and an invitation for computer scientists

Posted on May 30, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This has been an interesting few months…after we sold Hyperpublic to Groupon, my calendar freed up pretty quickly…I had more time than I knew what to do with…I think I invested in 4 or 5 companies through Lerer Ventures, and spent a few months in San Francisco hanging out with our west coast portfolio companies and friends that we don’t get to see as much…but for the most part I just recovered…when people asked me what I was doing, my typical answer was “healing”…which is true…you don’t realize how much physical and mental damage you endure as a startup founder until you are abruptly pulled out of the fray…

Last week I moved back to New York City.  I did enjoy the hiking and biking and reading and general calm of SF…but “relaxation” is not a comfortable state for me…during that time I kicked my lens out really far…read about things that won’t have an actionable application for 10-30 years, and generally looked at the world from afar (which is not something you get to do operating a company and living in “execution mode”)…I am done looking far out for a while…and am starting to reign it back in to some sort of actionable focal length…actually, to this day…focal length of vision is an area that is hard to get my arms around…with Hyperpublic, while we had really interesting thoughts about what we could grow into, we built something that had a pretty short time to maturity and market value…as I think about new projects, I am pushing to extend that vision and time to maturity by 3-5 years…but timing markets/trend/consumer curves is always a bit of a moving target…

Anyway, now is a pretty creative period for me…most of my thinking has been pretty insular and self-directed…but I’m ready to start thinking collectively again…and bouncing some things off other people…one thing I learned over the past two years at Hyperpublic is that I get the most value out of thinking and ideating with engineers…we were a 10 person company with 9 engineers and although I didn’t write a line of code at HP, our lead engineer, Eric Tang, recently described me as “conceptually technical”…which is a phrase that I definitely identify with…when I think about products, I don’t have a visual mind…I have a reasonable intuition around experience but not good enough to drive product/ux of a consumer application…when I think about product in my head I tend to see the plumbing…I visualize the back end…the api connections…the data structures…the algorithmic logic…etc…and it just happens that most frictionless conversation around these topics happens with engineers…

I am fortunate to have a lot of really creative engineers in my life, but sadly…many of them are now 3000 miles away from me in Palo Alto…so I’d like to build a new “study group” if you will…no agenda…come with your ideas, whatever you’ve been thinking about…happy to riff on it, help define it…talk about market potential…steps from here to there…I’m not looking for investment pitches…just creative thinking and some new people to think with.  For ease, I have cleared my entire schedule next week in New York.  If you are a computer scientist or data scientist and want to shoot the shit or just say hi…I have  open office hours in Soho from 10:00AM – 6:00PM every day.  Just mail Jordan.cooper@gmail.com with “day and time request” in the subject line…if you want to include a sentence about your background/interests/side projects etc…that’d be cool. Word

**Some themes I’ve been thinking about**

1)   the interface layer between hardware/software and users

2)   new applications of personal data exhaust

3)   creative input mechanisms for non-sensor based information

4)   wearable technology

5)   intracorporeal (in body) hardware/software/sensor solutions

6)   non-healthcare applications of physiological information

7)   interfaceless software applications

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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com

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