What first made you think of a career in technology?
I’ve always loved making things so engineering of some kind was an obvious path. I’ve also always been fascinated by understanding the bleeding edge of what is possible which is why I studied nanotechnology – I wanted to harness newly discovered physical properties of materials to build tech that improves the quality of people’s lives. However, I realised that blue skies experimental research was decades away from real ‘customer’ products so pivoted into the faster-moving world of software and software start-ups and haven’t looked back.
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
I prefer a high trust, high accountability style. In a start-up we move so fast and things change so frequently you don’t have time to micro-manage tasks and approach, so instead I focus on setting clear expectations and outcomes and trusting people to deliver. However, this is always under a lens of Andy Grove’s ‘task relevant maturity’ philosophy for delegation – and where someone hasn’t got the skills and experience we will work hard to develop that with them. As the company grows, opportunity grows in all areas – this presents plenty of individual growth opportunities and those that excel are those that embrace change and adapt.
What do you think has emerged as the technology trend of 2022 and why?
There has been a terrific surge of movement around the metaverse in 2022. A lot of mainstream companies are now latching on to the fact that ‘metaverse’ is more than a buzzword and are giving serious attention to the business potential of a fully integrated, persistent ecosystem of interoperable applications that bridge virtual worlds with the physical world.
Ultimately, this is a technological revolution that companies will have to adapt to or get left behind, ushered in by novel technologies in the distributed computing and networking spheres, with applications far beyond the entertainment and productivity sectors that have dominated metaverse headlines in the past. Organisations that are able to harness the deep functionalities, scale and network effects that metaverse technologies provide will gain a foothold in their industries for the future.
We see this backed up by huge investment in technology for building the metaverse already this year (around US$120 billion allocated so far, according to McKinsey & Company, more than double the figure for the whole of 2021), as well as the inauguration of the Metaverse Standards Forum, which includes some of the biggest players across various industries, including Hadean and aims to make strides in establishing common standards for the development of the metaverse going forward.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
Major investment is going into the harnessing of virtual world technologies in a variety of sectors. This includes Digital Twins, which enable deep understanding of physical systems through simulations that mirror them in virtual form, allowing for deeper visualisation, manipulation and analysis of their processes. These can leverage live data from live IoT devices to form ultra-precise virtual models in real-time. The result is the ‘smart systems’ trend in Digital Twin enabled organisations, with applications in civil engineering, manufacturing, real estate, supply chain management, surveying of natural resources and more.
These simulations obviously require a lot of computing power and complex networking and so companies are also investing heavily into novel ways of leveraging power and extensibility of distributing cloud computing, particularly with regard to the building of scalable, complex, interoperable and secure virtual worlds.
Investment in these technologies will be a major catalyst for the development of the metaverse, which places similarly massive demands on the scale and connectivity of virtual environments. In defence, moreover, there has been a lot of funding allocated to technologies that can enable multi-domain synthetic training environments, where geographically disparate troops can come together to run training operations in virtual worlds that accurately simulate the real world.
Hadean has established itself as a leading figure in these spaces, providing a platform and supporting technologies that are tailor-made for building virtual worlds for web3.0 and the metaverse, with significant partnerships in defence and industry as well. Hence it is that we see huge investments from various sectors converging into the technology that can effectively power and unpin the virtual world simulation technologies of the future.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
In my opinion, the VC landscape and ethos in Europe is still lagging far behind the US. Many European investors still take a financial and bottom-line optimisation approach to building businesses incrementally, rather than committing to the necessary investment for top-line exponential growth with the long-term team incentivisation mechanisms in place to build it. This can lead to situations where the company’s objectives and its investors become misaligned which is a challenging distraction for any start-up.Click below to share this article