Finding the world's 'lost Einsteins' and the end of aging

Product Hunt Radio

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Sept. 25, 2018, 6 p.m.

In this episode of Product Hunt Radio I'm joined by two incredible people, Laura Deming and Daniel Gross, who have accomplished more before the age of 30 than most people have realized in a lifetime.

Laura grew up in New Zealand and came to San Francisco when she was only 12 years old to join a lab studying aging. She was accepted to MIT at 14 before leaving to form Longevity Fund, a venture capital firm investing in companies aimed to help us all live longer and healthier lives.

Daniel came to the Bay Area from Israel, accepted into Y Combinator in 2010, the youngest founder to go through the program at that time. His startup, Cue, was later acquired by Apple which led him to a leadership position across a number of AI and machine learning teams at the company. He left Apple to work at Y Combinator and recently launched Pioneer, a program to identify and support brilliant people in the world.

In this episode we talk about:

  • What it was like for Laura and Daniel to move to the Bay Area from overseas.
  • How Pioneer is aimed to find the “world's lost Einsteins, Marie Curies and Elon Musks”.
  • Why some animals don't age and how humans might be able to learn from creatures such as the tortoise or the naked mole rat.
  • The challenges posed by living much longer than humans do now and how society might change as a result.
  • Why you should sometimes call what you're creating on a project or experiment, rather than a startup.
  • How to find your passion through experimentation.
  • Advice Daniel and Laura have for founders and young people looking to start something big.

Of course, we’ll also cover some of our favorite products that you might not know about.

We’ll be back next week so be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Also, big thanks to our sponsors, Airtable, GE Ventures, Intercom and Stripe for their support. 😸

Quotes from This Episode

“The benefit of the Ivy League is not the curriculum, I think Google's an awesome curriculum. The benefit of the Ivy League is the network and the branding.” — Daniel

“There are a hundred versions of me that sent that same email and never got a response — and how many girls are out there who just never got the chance to explore science and grow in that way?” — Laura

“The question is, 'can we build a digital Ivy League campus' — that's truly what we're going at here [at Pioneer].” — Daniel

“Young people can do great work but I think it's really under-appreciated the extent to which that's a real phenomenon.” — Laura

“I think the biggest thing we're fighting with Pioneer is this subtle enemy of self-editing.” — Daniel

“We assume that the number of years we live today is the correct amount, but really it’s optimized for the savannah and different mortality conditions.” — Laura

“All you have to do, if you want to become a Laura Deming or a Ryan Hoover, is you just have to take your passion seriously — no one needs to give you permission.” — Daniel

“We should be able to choose when we die, and that could be later or earlier than it currently is... Everyone in the world should be able to choose how long they want to live, based on their particular circumstances.” — Laura

“We want to bring the power of software to the problem of finding the lost Einsteins.” — Daniel

Companies and Products Mentioned in This Episode

Anki— Learn more faster with better flashcards.

Longevity Fund — Investing in companies that will allow us to live longer, healthier, lives.

Nanopore Sequencing — DNA sequencing on a portable device for under $1,000.

Pioneer — An online tournament for productivity.