Jed McCaleb is a programmer and entrepreneur who has pioneered some of the most exciting and important transformative technologies of our era. He started out founding MetaMachine, developing eDonkey2000 to pioneer peer to peer, multi-source and 1-to-many file-sharing. He made cryptocurrency history by running the world’s first online Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, and by co-founding the innovative currency Ripple. He now works on harnessing the blockchain technology to enable banks around the world to provide basic services to the 2.5 billion people who now do not have access to basic banking services.
That’s why McCaleb serves as an adviser to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI). That’s a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the implementation of Artificial Intelligence has a positive impact on the world. Jed McCaleb believes AI is going to make life much simpler and easier for people over the next two decades, solving many of the problems we now face. AI has even more potential than blockchain, and MIRI is developing software tools to guarantee AI is used safely. He compares the impact AI will have on the world to the agricultural revolution. He’s super excited by AI, but agrees it’s also terrifying, and wants to make sure it is used only in ways to benefit humanity.
McCaleb advises entrepreneurs to not let failures discourage them. They will have failures. He has had many failures. He just didn’t let them stop him. You will have to suffer through many problems and get over many obstacles. But eventually, if you don’t stop, you will experience the success you’ve earned. But you do have to be stubborn and not give up, and be able to withstand a tremendous amount of punishment before success arrives.
He recommends every entrepreneur read the book The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb so you understand whether your business fits into the Bell Curve, a normal statistical distribution. If so, you will not receive large returns because you won’t be taking large risks. If you want large returns, you must start a business that’s outside the Bell Curve, a Black Swan event with enormous potential.