Blake Rubin is an app developer with a keen eye for the intricacies of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and voice recognition. Blake has been developing apps for years, and although his work has spanned numerous subjects he has found his calling with the popularization of artificial intelligence as seen in chat bots and apps like Google’s Arts & Culture. Blake currently runs his own freelancing studio in San Francisco, the self-named Blake Rubin app development studio where he is the head developer.
Tell us about yourself?
I like to think of myself as a free thinker. I’ve spent my career trying to tackle the challenges of the latest and greatest in technology with the goal of bringing these advancements to play for the general populace. I believe technology can be a tremendous tool for the advancement of humans everywhere if we take the time and focus on using technology for everyday improvements more than just business gains.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I’ve always been a proponent of coding and general programming as a means of expression and a tool to exercise critical thinking skills. It seemed like a natural progression that as I started making money from my hobby I eventually decided to turn that income into my own business. I can’t imagine trying to do what I do in a traditional office environment where I’m responsible for the outcome of projects I don’t believe in.
How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?
Honestly, not much. I’m not trying to be the next big development studio or compete with the guys working for Google or Facebook. They’re doing great work, but their focus seems to be exclusively corporate. I think artificial intelligence is too powerful a tool to limit my focus, so I’d rather stay where I am and develop tools for the every man while working at my own pace.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
I’m a big fan of science fiction so I’ve always been a fan of the Dune series, and I’ve read quite a few of the Star Wars extended universe books. Ready Player One is also a good choice, and since it was just made into a movie it could be a good opportunity to get children reading.
What is the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
The best purchase I’ve ever made, by far, is my development studio. It’s nice to have a place outside my own house and away from the standard office building environment in which I can focus on my work. Something simple like a change in environment can be the mental trick needed to tackle a tough problem. Plus since I own the studio I can work a 20 hour day when I’m really in my groove and not worry about my bosses shooing me out the door.
On the other hand my worst purchase would be my old truck. At the time it seemed like a good idea and the best tool to help on weekend road trips, but I eventually realized it’s just not practical for life in San Francisco. I bike almost everywhere I need to go.
What takes up too much of your time?
I probably spend more time than I should online. Between Netflix, YouTube, and Twitch there’s just a constant flow of content and it’s sometimes difficult to hit the power button and get back to work.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
Before you spend a dime, know your goal and your approach like the back of your hand. Distraction is everywhere, and if you’re not focused on exactly what you need to accomplish it can be easy to get side tracked down the line. Don’t accept a buyout if your goal is to be your own boss with your own business. Don’t cut corners to save on production costs if you’re trying to make a safe and reliable product for children. The right choice depends entirely on your desired outcome.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are both huge inspirations for me. Bezos has managed to take what was a successful business idea and turn it into an empire. Amazon has stake in countless industries and has made so many culturally impactful developments that it’s hard to imagine modern business without them. Musk is similar in the sense that Tesla has branched out into numerous industries and contributed to the technological advancements we’ve seen lately. However Tesla also has the added perk of being focus completely on environmental issues, in some cases to the detriment of their bottom line.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
I’m immensely proud of some of my latest projects that I think will have a major impact on society. I can’t give too much detail since it’s still very much a work in progress, but I have a pair of apps in development that aim to leverage machine learning to translate multiple conversations happening within earshot and compile a transcript in real time.
How people should connect with you?
I think social media is an unnecessary distraction for myself, so I tend to avoid it. If someone needs to connect with me they can check out my website www.blakerubin.net