Jeff Kudrick of Blue Ocean Technologies On The Case For Optimism About The Next Ten & Twenty Years

Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine
Published in
15 min readNov 2, 2023

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If we all agree the future is doomed, then that is our focus that we manifest. There is no such thing as right and wrong, there is just a scale of favorable and unfavorable which is determined by consensus. You would need an ultimate wrong and an ultimate right and at the end most things are in the middle anyway. It is a question of how much are you willing to ruin along the way in collateral damage. If we don’t listen to logic and understand reality, we will swing too far and pay the price.

Reading the news can be so demoralizing: climate change, war, fires, epidemics, rogue AI, mental health challenges, authoritarianism, extreme partisanship. But humans need hope. In order for us to create a positive future, we need to be able to have hope that there can be a positive future. What is the “Case for Optimism” over the next decades? What can we look forward to and hope for to help us strive for a more positive future?

In this series, we aim to explore and highlight the positive aspects, potential breakthroughs, and reasons for optimism that lie ahead in the coming decade and beyond. We are talking to authors, researchers, entrepreneurs, scientists, futurists, and other experts who can shed light on the exciting advancements, innovations, and opportunities that await us. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Kudrick.

Jeff Kudrick is a successful entrepreneur, artist, experiential engineer, and business owner. He is globally recognized and an awarded innovator in the world of decorative concrete. He is an artist masterfully versed in multiple mediums including concrete, metal, glass, resins, plastics, acrylics, wood, water/hydraulics, and electrical and mechanical systems.

Jeff recently founded Blue Ocean Technologies, LLC, focusing on the development of new building products and systems to create more resilient, sustainable, and socially responsible communities.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

It is funny that this is the first question. I just finished writing a book spanning a few years of my childhood growing up in the docks in Montauk. My father quit his job to shark fish after the movie Jaws. My childhood was mostly one of little to no supervision. Perhaps luck or I was smarter than most, that I can be here today and not maimed, or dead by some accident, or maybe it is just how we should grow up. I was raised by strangers much of the time, and I had my mother’s parents around for much of it that were the only examples of an ideal traditional life that I had. My parents provided lessons by accident and was a result of their experiences. My mom was very hospitable, as her mother and father grew up very poor in eastern coal country, PA and moved to Long Island when they were married. My mom would make sandwiches and have me bring them to the men building the houses behind our childhood home. They were not of any association to us; she was just being nice. They would in turn teach me what they were doing, and I would be the gopher for them during the day when I was 7. My dad was aloof and had no understanding of fatherhood, or supervision, so I was left to my own devices when I was in his care. I was with him most of the time in Montauk, while he chartered his boat and I grew up on the docks learning how to filet fish from the old timers, I would do this for money. I would sell fish to the yachts in Montauk Yacht Club and the chefs on the Yachts would eventually show me how to cook. I learned how to ask questions, be responsible for myself and be observant out of necessity. I had the experience of many different perspectives, more than most people would care to consider. I try to understand why with about anyone or any situation that I experience. I did not continue college past a few semesters, and I was not encouraged to. College did not move fast enough for me, and a virtue of patience was not learned until later in life and was my biggest struggle. I paid a Harvard tuition many times over through the years of owning my own businesses in bad decisions, partnerships, hardships, and client issues. I am an artist and by nature, I create. I create amazing products in a variety of industries with just about any medium I touch. I attribute these skills to three things. Blind ambition, passion, and persistence. These qualities develop themselves when you don’t feel like you have that safety net, that someone is there for your better interest, when you are left to figure it out. I don’t know if I would change any of it either.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I don’t know that I have a career. I am an artist, of which I include in any business that I create. I was however pushed to go out on my own by an eventual friend who helped my then current boss out on large or complex projects. Joe Marra was a big, sausage fingered man, jolly in a gangster sort of way. He saw how I worked, and how I jumped right up to take on any challenge, and typically, achieve it. The person that I worked for was not held in high regard and Joe told me one day, “You can do this Jeff, go out on your own, just do it”. That was it. He did not take me under his wing, walk me through the steps or do anything for me. I stumbled through it, when I needed to build up the courage to ask for help, which was paying him to help on a job, asking questions about contracts, taxes, or other business activities I asked after I had already misstepped. He passed away not many years ago at maybe 65 from cancer. I miss just having him there, even if I didn’t need his help, to complain about being a business owner, or joke about employees, just that I had his support.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

When I was in my early twenties, after getting out of the Marines in a recession, I found work with a family run dock building company. It was run by two brothers and the third youngest worked for them. I came on and eventually felt and was adopted as an honorary brother. I was a typical artist then. The kind that did not take criticism well. Well, that lasted about a week. The mocking if I was sick, if I got hurt or a cut or complained about something that I did not want to or felt I could do, was brutal, and consistent. In a short time, you get used to that if no one is around to shelter you or make you feel that it is weird or bad. It allowed me to temper myself against stress, despair, anger and a litany of excuses we make in any endeavor worth achieving. They taught me how to weld, operate heavy equipment, cranes, rebuild engines, pumps, and just figure it out. I couldn’t make excuses about anything, no one would even entertain it. When I did side work, like installing 15,000 gallons of saltwater fish tanks in a mansion and had to do the life support, plumbing and electrical controls, they did not jump in and do anything for me, they waited for the questions. It wasn’t like “you can do it”, “you’ll figure it” out support, it was accepted and unsaid that this was their sentiment. I would just ask what they thought about something, how they would do it, or give suggestions. The encouragement was never asking are you sure? You can figure it out. It was like they already knew I would, they saw it, even if they had no idea what I was doing.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am working on a plant based resin that is not in conflict with Prop 65 in California, already a big plus. This resin has amazing properties. I am binding a mixture of recycled lightweight glass beads, fibers and fillers to create finished lightweight surfaces that look like concrete, terrazzo, wood, or anything you can imagine. A terrazzo slab is 5 lbs/sf at 2" thick and the wood slabs are between 1 to 2 lbs/sf at 3/4" depending on how you engineer its properties. These products are fireproof, water proof and bug proof. They are up to 90% recycled content and can be recycled into other products. They reduce the carbon footprint by reducing on the raw material side, transportation, erection, and increasing life cycle of the products they replace. They use our waste streams and not virgin materials, forests, or petroleum products. They can provide lower energy cost, environmental impact costs and we can begin to appreciate human creativity and innovation rather than natures fruits which are destroyed in the process.

I also have a manufacturing system for prefab bathrooms, kitchens and homes with a 65%+ recycled concrete composite that can replace studs wood or metal and sheetrock in one panel. These panels are extruded as flat or ribbed panels that glue and bolt together with puzzle geometry that cannot fail. These create much more resilient living environments, that are faster, more cost effective and stringer than conventional building materials and systems. This can be used to create substantially safer, energy efficient and enduring structures. The finished parts can be assembled with robots in the factory and in the field because the geometry is accurate and consistent. The cost of production is a fraction of traditional construction.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Open Minded or Self-Improvement

Desire to help others or Kind.

Persistence or Can-Do attitude.

Why is it important to have an optimistic outlook about the future?

What we believe and what we focus on is what we achieve. I think it is as simple as that, we have no choice but to be optimistic. I think that this is what the metaphors in the bible refer to or any religion for that matter. The idea of good and evil. We live in a connected collective consciousness. If we maintain the majority with beneficial ideas and ambitions, we tilt the scales in that favor. If we all agree the future is doomed, then that is our focus that we manifest. There is no such thing as right and wrong, there is just a scale of favorable and unfavorable which is determined by consensus. You would need an ultimate wrong and an ultimate right and at the end most things are in the middle anyway. It is a question of how much are you willing to ruin along the way in collateral damage. If we don’t listen to logic and understand reality, we will swing too far and pay the price.

What are some reasons people might feel pessimistic about the future, and how do you suggest we address these concerns?

People feel like they don’t play a part in decisions or outcomes of world events. These are collective outcomes that are viewed after all the events and the time it took to get there has already happened. If you don’t participate in the world in a way that you can see results or seek a goal outside of you then of course it seems like you have no control because you are not participating. Also, the needle moves, and you must be open to seeing the good and not just be preoccupied with the bad. We are living in the safest and least violent. times in history, however, our focus has only been the agreement that only Human life is precious. All life is precious and collectively we need to shift our focus and understand the impact of 9–10 Billion people with freedom!

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share with our readers your “5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About The Next Ten and Twenty Years?”

1 . There are discussions of equality, inclusion, and people in the bigger picture are being raised out of poverty at a rate higher than in the past, progress is real. We are also questioning these facts and coming to a more balanced view of how we should exist without the prior violence and capacity for hatred that we saw in the past, although this is not to say these things don’t still exist. We are seeing that it is useful and necessary to have hardship, failure, and hurdles, but having these equally distributed is the key take away.

2 . Sciences- Technology is making major gains in critical areas of the sciences. Overall gains in healthcare and the ability to manage disease and short-term health, holistic understanding of nutrition and the body for long term health, computing power and tools to manage the general chaos of the world, Sustainable energy and cyclic industrial processes are hand in hand because of industry’s need for energy, i.e. steel, cement, travel. These are all areas that are being developed with more consequence driven creative solutions. All the issues we have today were issues before, energy, pollution, health, however we did not see the effects until we added billions of people. Now we must fix, what we did on borrowed time and make strides for seeing what effects we may induce with our solutions today. The world today is forcing us to pay attention, and we increasingly are.

3 . AI — Technology will give us the ability to find solutions and do mountains of technical work in much shorter time frames. We understand that time and leisure give us the ability to think and make better decisions. AI will give people the ability to manage their busy work, in some case reduce or eliminate the need for certain jobs altogether, however, critical integration will be performed faster, more accurately, and with less time using AI.

4 . Inner Space — I think that our societies are in flux, but in a way that is trying to find an equilibrium. We are not divine creatures, our bodies are made to eat, defecate, and birth generations the same way as any other animal. Our minds can be looked at with a microscope to see pathways in our minds, synapses fire and look at scans of what areas fire. These amazing scientific discoveries still cannot see how the images are saved or referenced or who or what they are talking to, for example a soul. Many religions are finding a general disillusionment with specific verbatim interpretations of scriptures. People will be hitting walls and inner boundaries of their minds and forced to search for answers. The mental healthcare crisis we have now is because of the software that is loaded in our heads from fear disproportionately being communicated to the public, internal and external realities not being aligned because of the cultural displacement of people’s opinions being allowed in conversation. and the overprotection of children, we are reacting to far in many cases out of comfort. The pendulum will swing back, and people will start to overcome their fear of internal mind space investigation and these much needed establishments will flourish.

5 . Survival — It is necessary for the survival of the species. We are hardwired to do it, aside from collateral damage we will prevail. Hopefully before the world is not recognizable, but if that is what it takes to swing to the pendulum so be it. Shame on us.

In what specific areas do you see technology having the most positive impact over the next 10 to 20 years?

Construction

Health care

Energy

Chemistry

While technology holds immense potential, it can also present challenges. How can we ensure that the progress we make in technology contributes to a more optimistic future and doesn’t exacerbate societal problems?

Inner Space. Understand who we are and what we do, and why. Individually. In business, and at work, people rarely fix the problems. They mostly fix the result of a problem. We also have all sorts of personal enigmas that keep us from communicating, being honest and acting in responsible healthy ways in groups. These are basic psychological tools everyone should learn. It is however, beyond, education, wealth, and most people that our conscious is not the tool that is critical to fix. We run 90% of our daily lives subconsciously, and it is well known. These are thoughts programmed and embedded in our minds from childhood, layered and protected by years of other programs and proofs of why we are right. Consciousness is a tool to bring up those beliefs, question them and use our logic and others to decide what is more accurate, or real. We need others, not the typical friend, that friend that no one keeps around, the honest one. We need friends that we can trust and be honest with. AI might help us here; our minds need an objective observer. Some of do this, or have these friends, and look to change our minds, be uncomfortable, be humbled and see what reality is really like, but it is the minority. This is the only way for people to communicate effectively and look at consequences of our actions. For example, I was a “latchkey kid”, then came “helicopter parents”, seemingly the parents were protecting their children, but not looking at the consequences honestly and the harm they may happen if a child is to grow up with the skills needed in their subconscious for the “real world”.

How do you maintain your optimism during challenging times?

I think about what happens if I give up, not just on me but society. My children and their hardships, what that looks like for them, or how I really have nothing to complain about.

But simply it took a long time for me to have empathy for others. It took a long time for me to stop doing what I always did (what I was taught and understood as a child) and do something different, be uncomfortable, try new experiences, and be able to understand other perspectives by being there. I have accomplished more and experienced more than I ever thought I could, when I stopped listening to my older inner self. I have found so much joy and peace in this place than I ever had in that old place. If I stayed in the old place, I would never understand how great life can be, and other people and relationships can be. That is a gift that makes me want to give it to as many others as I can, that keeps me going.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I have trained a lot of people how to create and fail doing it. I work in concrete, decorative to be exact. It is a living thing, changing as you work according to numerous variables many of which you cannot change. Like life or the problems in it, seemingly chaotic and uncontrollable. It is tangible and physical, yet subjective. It is a metaphor and a perfect medium to teach people how to think about life, doing, learning, failure, planning and creating. I think that trades in school, especially trades with artistic skills are not useful just for a job. They are not only a way to teach people how to understand how things work but are a necessity of understanding life skills that help people in the face of disasters. If these were coupled with proper dialogue and communication skills, and psychology we can prepare young adults for a better, safer, and self-valued life.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 😊

Bill Gates — I believe he has the same desires that I do. To help mankind as well as the environment around us. I have had some unique experiences that allow me to see and communicate things that others can’t, and he has the resources and the platform to accelerate that.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Linkedin, www.Blue-Ocean-Technologies.com

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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Yitzi Weiner
Authority Magazine

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator