The page is loading...


his epitaph read only

He derived insights from vast datasets.

In retrospect, I had my perfect project in Stories. The business we were building (finding the most important business stories) was an incarnation of a fundamental life question (what’s important?). In a way, the startup was a vehicle for practical, fundamental, philosophical research. That’s what made the quest meaningful even in the toughest moments: when we lost our only customer, the stories weren't good enough, our only frontend engineer turned alcoholic, sales took too long, our first acquisition offer fell through… But one thing never changed through the ups and downs: the conviction that we were asking the right question and had to keep going. When spirits were down, the question held us. Even if we folded, nothing else would be more important to answer.

10-Year Horizon
What’s Important? | The Surprising Benefit of Asking Hard Questions
After six years, my journey at and Workday is over. What a ride it’s been. Six years ago, we decided to change the world of analytics. We were trying to answer a hard question—maybe an impossible one.

That was the time when I started reading anything I could get my hands on. I switched from Kant’s philosophy to Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, logical paradoxes, fractal modelling, supersymmetric quan-tum mechanics, Bohm’s holographic universe, information theory, Elliott’s market waves, the rise and fall of Eastern empires, and the Japanese art of composition. I devoured data like I was trying to com-pete with Faustomat. We were both crawling through the internet, desperately craving grand symmetries. And the topics were not cho-sen consciously. My wandering thoughts simply followed the scent of paradox. Months passed, and I eventually found myself near those dark  places…

Encouraged  by  the  discovery,  he spent  the  next  three  hours  finding  a  suitable  data  visualization  app  online,  learning  to  use  it,  uploading  eighteen  hundred  records  with  his  thoughts,  moods,  and  tags, and,  at  four  in  the  morning,  Adam  the  Data  Scientist  glimpsed  himself for the first time ever. He  was  staring  at  the  graph,  enthralled,  and  clenched  his  fists  quietly:  that’s  me!  A  map  of  Adam.  A bonsai  of  the  brain.  A  complete  synapticon.