Could you tell us about yourself and your background?
Sure! I grew up on a small kibbutz in the North of Israel and also spent some time as a kid in South Africa — where I got into computers. My first machine was a commodore 128, and I taught myself Basic from the manual and some magazines in the school library. These were fun times… I later got more serious about developing code and by the time I finished school I was also developing software in Pascal, x86 assembly and COBOL.
After I graduated from high school I spent a year living in a commune, working with youth all over Israel. By the end of that year I knew the national bus timetables off by heart.
Next stint was almost seven years in the army. I graduated Mamram’s Software Development course and stayed on as an instructor for two years . At the end of that period, and a six-month officer training, I ended up as the Head of the Central Operating Systems Department.
Since leaving the army I worked in several start-ups, started a few myself, got married, moved to New Zealand and made a bunch of new friends, Oren included!
As a CTO, what is a typical day like for you?
There’s really no typical day. Oren and I normally start the day talking, planning and arguing. The women in the office always say we sound like a married couple. We then normally have a strategy chat with Jason (VP, Business Development), and then whatever comes my way — technical discussions with the Horizon State team or blockchain companies, product discussions with our analysts, sales meetings and reading a lot of technical material to make sure I always keep up to date.
How did you come to work in the crypto/blockchain space?
At the end of 2015, Mick — a really good friend of mine and one of the smartest people I know — took me out for a burger and said we have to get into Ethereum and smart contracts etc. He said “I don’t know yet what it’s good for, but when everyone finds out — we’ll be there and have a lot of interesting work.” We agreed to research a bit and meet again, but this somehow never happened and he later moved overseas.
At the time I was working as a CTO of a payroll company, and through immersing myself in the world of payments and accounting I got interested in crypto from that angle, and started learning some more, trying to think about use cases and the potential of this technology.
Mick and I caught up recently and talked about crypto and things. In my mind he always got in early and made a ton of money, but apparently that wasn’t the case… he went on to do other things, and the crypto world lost a true hero, in my opinion.
What have you been working on lately that you are excited about?
The product research and definition for the engine behind our community empowerment and mobilisation really excites me. The more I dive into the ins and outs of individual vs. group decision making, bias identification, inclusion and opinion crowd-sourcing, the more I get excited about the possibilities and the challenges out there. There are so many different ways we are affected and influenced by the type and language of the information we consume. These ways are known to advertisers and public opinion shapers throughout the world and are not always used in a positive manner. I keep imagining what can be done with the right system in place, and the difference this can make in people’s lives— and this excites me daily.
Where do you see Horizon State in the next year?
I think the next year is going to be crucial for Horizon State. We launch in India next month, and there is a lot of potential there to be in the global spotlight for a while. I also think the entire blockchain and cryptocurrencies world is going through a fundamental transition right now, and it’s going to be very different this time next year. With many projects failing to deliver, or dying for lack of users — it is going to take a combination of vision, a strong team and some luck for anyone to come out the other side, and I believe wholeheartedly Horizon State is one of the projects that will.
Apart from Horizon State, is there another crypto/blockchain project that you are interested in?
I am following closely NEM and Tenzorum, PowerLedger, Circles and Civic. Each of them are obviously a bit different but I think the common thread here is that these projects have, in my mind, a potential to make a huge change in people’s lives.
Where do you see crypto in five years?
I think currently there is still a high noise to signal ratio in crypto. The ICO frenzy and the pumping of a lot of money into marketing has created a bubble which is now in the process of shrinking. More people are now aware of the technology and the potential uses, and large companies are becoming real players in this space.
As the technology matures, so does the thinking around its philosophy and utility. I think there are some hard questions that we still need to solve (some effort is already in motion).
In my mind, we need to determine the real use for various mechanisms, and figure out whether or not they are the correct and productive. For example — is having an underlying cryptocurrency for the chain necessary? Does POW and the financial incentive for miners work — or does it encourage centralisation? Are all tokens necessary — or should we use the underlying cryptocurrency? Do we need to change the way the chain works so that there’s less waste of resources across the world?
I think all these questions and more will be answered in the next 2 years or so, and a lot of the missing tools will be added to the main chains. So in five years time we will see a surge in productivity and blockchain will be a more standardised technology, with less speculation and a more stable eco-system.
And a few more things you didn’t know about Nimo:
· Favorite motto: “There is only one way to win. You start as fast as you can go, and slowly accelerate.”
· If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be? Cake decorating.
· Do you have any phobias you would like to break?
Wetas. When I first moved to NZ, we lived right on the bush in Wellington and these things were everywhere. I see less of them now but I still don’t like them.