A TurbineOne device testing machine learning at the tactical edge.

TurbineOne’s Ethics & Principles

Ian Kalin
3 min readJan 5, 2022


This is our introduction. TurbineOne, the frontline perception company, is about to make a small bit of news. But before we do, we want to go on the public record with a print (“Hello, World!”). A great deal of our business is connected with the Department of Defense. As is often the case with inherently complicated topics like the U.S. military, people may misunderstand what our company stands for and why we’re so passionate about this work. So in the spirit of transparency, we’re writing this blog to declare our principles.

We’d like to introduce ourselves as people first: Matt Amacker & Ian Kalin. As co-founders, we met while working at Sweat Equity Ventures and helping a wide array of startups. While there, we learned of each other’s common passion for public service. Matt was deeply concerned about the personal safety of loved ones in a future where drone warfare was all too easy. Matt had reason to be concerned because as a technology pioneer at Amazon, Google and Toyota, he knew how accessible robotics and AI was becoming and how dangerous it could be in the wrong hands.

Ian served in the Navy and had a defining moment 20 years earlier when he was asked to “eyeball” defense measures from the bridge of his Destroyer after the combat information systems failed. He then realized that handheld commercial radar was far more accurate and timely than what was available on his warship. What followed was a career modernizing government technology that took him through startups, the White House, and executive roles in multi-billion dollar organizations. When Ian and Matt connected, they decided to join forces and become first-time founders.

But before they made a webpage or filed for C-Corp legal status, they drafted up an Ethics Statement. For those that have lived through startups and for those that have only worked for the military, this should seem weird. But we knew that a big part of our business was unavoidably going to require translating the Federal government to Silicon Valley and vice versa. Close colleagues of ours had also been at Google during — what we will personally summarize as — the disaster of the company’s work with Project Maven.

So here it is → Link to TurbineOne’s Ethics Policy. It’s completely public. For those that don’t want to punch over to the two-pager, our summary principles are:

  1. Integrity: While upholding the responsibilities of information security, TurbineOne shall only do the kind of work that we would be proud to share with our children someday.
  2. Responsibility: TurbineOne shall strive to understand, and deal with the consequences, of the direct, indirect, and potential use of its technology.
  3. Accountability: Statements are not as strong as actions and TurbineOne shall conduct its operations (e.g. projects to bid on, partners to collaborate with, external audits to invite, etc) through clear decisions that put principles above profit.
  4. Non-Partisan: In addition to complying with U.S. laws and regulations, and international cooperative frameworks, TurbineOne shall rise above short-term events and commit to the long-term prosperity of our nation.
  5. Prosperity: TurbineOne commits to prioritizing projects and technologies that advance peace, alliances, and diplomacy.

Take note that this is not an accounting of our company’s values, the personal opinions of our team, or our working culture. We’ll save that for another blog! Instead, the link above sets the moral and ethical principles for how TurbineOne makes decisions. We believe that national security is worth fighting for and that we can do so with clear hearts and minds.

In conclusion, we’re a young company with an exciting path ahead. With an ethical foundation rooted in international principles of human rights, the U.S. Constitution, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, our own professional experiences, and our passion for public service, we are confident that TurbineOne’s work is setting out on the best path.