DAV insider: Andrew Grunstein, Head of Research

In our third edition of DAV Insider we hear from our Head of Research, Andrew Grunstein.

What’s your role at the DAV Foundation?

My role at the DAV Foundation is Head of Research.

What does your average workday look like?

One of the great things about DAV is that workdays are rarely the same and always interesting. At the start of the day I like to take a short jog and then settle into an area, usually outdoors in a park or near the water, and start searching different topics and phrases related to whatever subject I am doing a deep dive on.

A lot of the work is processing information either analytically to share, or taking that information and doing a lot of thinking about what it means, drawing conclusions from that information and transcribing them. The variety of topics I get to explore is great fun!

What do you feel are your greatest challenges in your role?

Working with a very impressive team definitely keeps one on their toes to constantly make sure you are providing value to the project, the team and the community. The exponential pace of advancement in the fields of autonomy, drones and decentralised networks requires you to constantly be absorbing information to make sure you are current and accurate. You also have to have a deep understanding of how business models work in different verticals, markets and consumer behaviour, which affects the success of technology adoption.

Tell us a funny, quirky or strange story from work.

Virtually everyone I talk to about DAV responds with interest, all the way from curiosity to wild enthusiasm. To offer a counterpoint: I was visiting my Father Eugen in the nursing home he is in. A group of people were sitting around and a nice lady asked what I do, as they have never seen me without a laptop under my arm. I spent the next 10–15 minutes banging on about the virtues of distributed ledgers, networks, autonomous vehicles and a tiny bit of crypto for added confusion. My father replied that he thought the fax machine was the best technology… We all had a good laugh and I don’t expect any of them to ask me about work again anytime soon. I guess it’s very important to know your audience.

Who’s your favourite superhero or fictional character, and why?

Shotaro Kaneda from the Akira anime series. Why? His awesome motorbike of course!

What gets you excited about DAV?

DAV is building the Internet of Transportation — that in itself is exciting but it’s also a lot more than that. When I think about the revolution of an open sourced internet, and the millions of people that now engage in commerce on all scales, that is what I see DAV is going to do for transportation. I can sit in a cafe and discuss a business idea with a friend, go online, register it, create an e-commerce site and start marketing it to make money all within a couple of hours at a low cost. For me the internet most importantly is “idea enabling”. In the same way I see DAV already being “idea enabling”. This is the most exciting thing for me, by removing barriers to entry you allow anyone with an idea to participate, the more people participate, the better the outcome. I’m ready to see what the wisdom of the crowd holds as this fun and important journey continues.