Recently, Jed McCaleb, the entrepreneur behind several of the most powerful online platforms over the last decade, including eDonkey and Mt. Gox, the first Bitcoin exchange, sat down to discuss the processes that have made him so successful throughout his career. His latest endeavor, a company called Stellar, was created based on the potential Mr. McCaleb saw in the budding cryptocurrency market, in particular, Bitcoin. While Bitcoin tends to focus on moving value from one place to another, Stellar is concerned with making connections between financial institutions in order to supply regions that are generally overlooked by traditional banking corporations. Mr. McCaleb sees tremendous potential in this developing company due to the fact that moving money is often very expensive, meaning that traditional institutions cannot afford to meet the supply of the 2.5 billion people in the world that are unbanked. His goal is to create an avenue that reaches these populations.
When discussing his day-to-day process, Jed McCaleb revealed that he usually breaks down his work time into two separate entities; “focus mode,” where he concentrates on coding and building his product, and “reaction mode,” where he concentrates on replying to emails and other minutiae associated with running a business, making him reach maximum productivity. Mr. McCaleb sites his ability to strategize, keeping his eye on the big picture overall, as one of the keys to his productivity as an entrepreneur. By focusing on the essential aspects of the project, he is not burdened by distractions, and is, therefore, able to create an atmosphere that yields consistent and repeatable gains. Recognizing that failure is a part of the process, he believes that those who remain steadfast in their efforts will eventually achieve the success that they are ultimately seeking.
Aside from building Stellar, Mr. McCaleb is very excited about the prospects associated with artificial technology. While he admits that the possibilities are somewhat terrifying, he believes that, because were are still in the initial phases of artificial technology, the possibilities are endless. He has been actively involved in the research and development regarding new artificial intelligence and recently donated funds to a non-profit organization entitled the Machine Intelligence Research Institute.
Listen to Jed give a talk on YouTube here: