Hello people, i am looking to crowdfund a total amount of $30k to support myself for the next 3 years, as I research, learn and build in my interest areas which revolves a lot around Artificial Intelligence among a few other things. One of my current final goals, is to build an Augmented Reality Glass, called Iris, that can replace everything that one does on a daily basis on a laptop/mobile on the glass. So one can text, take calls, keep tons of screens floating around with which one can keep track of things constantly and more and more. Along with that, I plan to build a wrist worn gesture device with which one can interact with the glass constantly, ie, without physical keyboard or mouse.
Before getting into any details of why i am starting a fundraiser of $30k. Let me start by introducing myself, after which ill move to why im interested in doing a startup, followed by why i am not interested in raising an investment if im trying to build a startup which mainly focuses on the point that my goal is to build the product and am not interested in selling it, after which i describe why cant i look for business cofounders immediately, then i conclude my article saying a bit more about different things and what im interested in building in the long run (Iris).
A bit about my background
I have mostly worked in Software and AI. I would request one to head over to my Github and Linkedin profiles to check out what all the things i have worked on. I started out in my undergraduate years, learning about the basics of Computer Science. Took hundreds of courses and build a lot of projects. Started out with building applications, and gradually moved into Artificial Intelligence. Im interested in AI ever since i ran into the idea of creating intelligence in some book. During my final year, i started working on different kinds of AI projects. And during this time, I worked with 2 companies, Datametica, OpenCV as a Computer Vision Intern and later joined Microsoft Research as a Research Intern. I worked in Computer Vision majorly, along with every other areas associated with AI.
After MSR, i realized i want to build a startup, and thus started working on TReX. Please read more here. My First Paper and the birth of TReX.
The takeaway point from the article is, I want to build an AR Glass, in the long run, that can replace what one does regularly on mobile and laptop, and do everything from the glass itself. Building this requires, research in AI, specifically computer vision and natural language processing, and photonics. I am research focused, and i spend most of my day exploring the latest papers and learning about different areas.
Why i am interested in doing a startup?
The key reason among many is that I want to work on things that * I * want to. If today morning, im interested in the algorithm that is used to detect lines in images, then i want to spend my time working on that. Not interested in doing some dumb job, where i have to do things for someone, show up in some particular time, have deadlines given by someone else, and etc etc etc. Will be happy to do all those things, if I want to and for myself. Money is not even on my mind. Back in March 2020 when i finally realized that i wanted to a startup, these were/are the 3 major reasons
1) I want to research in different areas (Which may or maynot innovate humanity)
2) I care about building things which can help others go about their lives.
3) I care about building a community where people are sophisticated, smart and intelligent and are using their time profoundly in researching/building things that matters.
I asked myself and confirmed that i believe in those 3 things profoundly, as i believe they are very important for any startup.
The last question i asked myself, before finally diving in was,
1) Do I believe in the idea of money (i asked myself this, cause as a startup at its heart to run requires money)?
- Yes i do. An example i used was, i think, of one chef and one engineer, if the engineer spends majority of their time building things, which he loves doing, then when he needs food, he can take it from the chef, who spends majority of their time just cooking things. And vice-versa, on the other hand. And they may exchange money in the process.
Now, this may seem like a very silly question to ask, but its important to verify that i as someone, who wants to build a startup believes in everything that involves it.
Now, why am i not approaching investors?
Because as i was working on different things, over the last 6 months i realized couple of things about myself.
In brief, I am looking to build something that i need, in its very best form possible, and give it off to people if they think they need it. I dont care about selling or going out of my way to convince someone else if they should have it.
So, in a way, im not interested in taking money from people who are looking for their money to get doubled in a short period of time. And I honestly dont care if someone sees this has a potential or not, and that also potential in the sense of making money. And honestly, worst comes to worse, i might just not be able to build it before someone else, i will build and make the process public for sure, but i as just one person can only do limited things in a certain time, and im not trying to compete with anyone here.
Im new to hardware, photonics and a lot of other areas, and im learning and building things as i go, and it will take some time and that’s okay. But i wanna focus entirely on the this and related research areas the whole time. Also, once investors come in, a lot of things becomes optmized with respect to money. And thats just not something i want.
Ideally, I would want collaborating with someone, who wants to do business, and then do a startup-startup.
Why cant i look for a business cofounder immediately?
There’s no point. Its not ideal to approach someone randomly, tell them an idea and hope them to believe in it, the same way i do. That doesn’t work.
Here’s a little story supporting that,
In Jan 3rd week, we completed the MVP for TReX. Now, during this time i have got myself 2 cofounders, one who handles the business and one who focuses on the design. Something happened starting the 4th week.
We started talking to investors. A few days down the line. And we agreed that pitching both Iris and Trex was not ok, in the sense if investors fund Trex they would ask to focus full time on TReX and Iris wouldnt get the focus it needs. And decided to leave TReX as an internal tool, which we will make commercial when its grown to some extent. And moved forward with Iris. And then i dont remember what were the particular reasons, but I think it mostly revolved around not having the MVP for Iris ready, that we agreed on building something else for which the MVP can be made faster.
It hit me to some extent. And i wasnt sure what was happening. And honestly, one of my cofounders was least interested in the idea of TReX and to some extent Iris also.
My point here, one cant hitchhike cofounders as they go, after everything is decided. Everybody is special, and everybody has their own dreams and goals and life experiences that makes them different. If somehow for a couple of people, their dreams align and they decide to do something about it. They can be cofounders. Else it doesnt make sense.
And please note, im not blaming anyone here, its just how its supposed to be. it was to an extent my mistake, trying to hitchhike after everything was decided in my mind. That’s something i learnt in the last 6 months.
Anyway, one possible way is to build something meanwhile, as I dont have the product MVP ready for Iris, leveraging the same algorithms that Iris will, that im doing. And i believe in the process, i will eventually find someone.
A few concluding thoughts
The concept of money is a viable thing, but i dont thing this economic system is optimized to build things that matter. Where everything is optimized by how much money its making. **Its bullshit**.
I wanna research, learn and build just for the sake of it. I care about innovating, i care about bringing change. And another reason for trying to build a startup in the first place, was that i cannot do shit alone, and if i get help in whatever it is im doing it will be faster and better.
But right now, what i want is to focus completely on what im doing, my research on Computer Vision, NLP and learning about a few other things. And continue doing so. i haven’t figured out a lot of things that are required for Iris. But i want to focus on the things im doing now, and eventually figure them out.
Im asking this amount, to support myself as i go through the next 3years. I just want to work on things that makes me happy and keep it at that.
I dont plan as to how i will support myself, after 3 years, incase i raise this amount. I just want to work towards concrete things that i think are important. That said, i keep talking with a lot of people who are trying to bring change, and can handle the business side, and im definite that will work out.
And for all these reasons, im starting a fundraiser and not going to an investor.
Iris is an Augmented Reality Glass with which one can perform every day tasks that uses mobile/laptop, on the glass itself. So one can take calls, text, schedule tasks, start a timer, take notes, play stupid games, see your route without checking your phone, and more. The possibilities are endless. And the main thing, which is having a ton of floating screens all around, i think beats everything, and this helps keep track of everything at one glance.
The concept of Iris, is trying to be made possible by multiple companies, Apple, Google, and Facebook. A lot of AR companies have released their glasses already, but anyway a lot of things can be improved. For Iris, a lot of research needs to be done in the areas of Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing and Photonics. You may ask, why NLP (Natural Language Processing), i plan to build an assistant inside the glass with which one can converse on the go, and it can serve as ones personal assistant. I plan to build the software, hardware and the OS (Operating System) for the glass myself.
Along with Iris, i plan to build a wrist-worn gesture recognition device with which one can control everything that goes on in the glass, without the use of any other physical device. It will be a full fledged computer sitting on your eyes, with which you can talk to and interact with without any physical device.
I have a lot of ideas on how im about to approach all these problems. But i want to go slow and make sure of things as i go. And ultimately, iv no intention of selling and stuff, i just want to build it the right way.d
Why did i kept the product section so short? Because im asking for people to help me fund my research, not the product that im building, that will be build anyway, once considerable amount of research is complete. Inaway one can think of this amount as a grant. im asking you to invest in me to help me continue my research.
If you are still reading this, thanks for bearing with me for so long. And thanks for reading all this.
Incase i am able to raise the amount, after this period, I am certain that i will cofound a startup with someone, and would have build a lot of things along the way, not just Iris, and lived a happy 3years of my life.
I cant and wont work for somebody and where next steps are optimized with the amount of money. But then, because the humans work following the economic system, me as a human, would need money to survive on the planet. And thus, im asking for the public donation. And incase, i am not able to raise this fund, I will find another way to work on things that i believe is important.
Now, incase you want to donate some amount, thanks a lot, here you go: My Paypal (ill update this link based on the response to this article)
If you want to reach out to me personally or connect with me, here you can find some of the ways: Get in touch with Arc
Have a great day! Incase, you have read till here and cant support for some reason, its completely okay. Just have one takeaway from all this, the economic system is not optimized to do things that matter.