Microsoft's Adam Menges—founder at Lobe.ai and a former Apple employee—on helping people build intelligence into their apps by making it simple and understandable, his unconventional education, having death present, regret avoidance, grit, and his daily routine for note-taking, file management, meditation, and much more.
Adam is a product designer, entrepreneur, and engineer located in San Francisco who specializes in Artificial Intelligence and visual programming languages. He spent time working for both Apple and SendGrid before starting his own company, Lobe, which was acquired in late 2018. Adam is continuing his work on making machine learning more accessible, and researching applications of the technology for video effects. You can contact Adam to find out more at adammenges.com, and reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and +17204840285.
- "You wake up in the morning, you reach over to the side of your bed, grab your laptop, and then you go until you're tired and have to go to bed." [22:40]
- "In order to be wildly creative, in order to increase your creative capacity, you need to be able to see the effect of what you're doing in real time." [24:31]
- "No one can actually context-switch, even if you think you can multitask."
- "[Lobe] gives you a springboard to understand what's happening behind the scenes and go for the research elsewhere."
- "If you are reminded five times a day that you're going to die, it makes each day much more meaningful."
- "All right, I'm never goin to be the smartest person in the room but I'll outwork everyone, and that'll be me."
- "You can do anything you set your mind to do. Don't hold yourself back."
- "If it becomes addictive then the technology is not invisible. It's very present."
- "The mission of Lobe is to make machine learning simple and understandable for those who are not machine learnists—those that don't code."
- Grit by Angela Duckworth
- The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler
- Einstein: The Life of a Genius by Walter Isaacson
- Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
- CSU University
- NVIDIA Titan X graphic card
- Machine learning (concept)
- ReLU (rectified linear unit) (concept)
- ImageNet image database
- Visual programming (concept)
- Hacker Paradise
- Mirrorless cameras
- Direct manipulation
- Bear (app)
- Oak for unguided meditation by Kevin Rose (app)
- We Croak (app) [34:05]
- Love Story Yoga in the mission
- Widget tweet from Adam's countdown
- Spark AR
- Instagram filters
- Shaders (concept)
- All Birds
- Statistical death
- Deliberate practice
- vvvv (visual programming language)
- The Future of Programming by Bret Victor (talk)
- Behind the Tech with Kevin Scott
- The Creative Brain (movie)
- Abstract: The Art of Design (documentary series)
- Samantha Walker
- Kevin Scott, Microsoft's CTO
- Bill Gates
- Jonathan Ive
- Markus Beissinger
- Mike Matas
- Angela Duckworth
- Elon Musk
- Steve Jobs
- Lindsey Menges
- Bret Victor
- Cal Newport
- Teaser. [0:00]
- Intro. [1:16]
- An unconventional education and avoiding context-switching. [2:15]
- SendGrid. [4:30]
- Apple. [5:38]
- The beginnings of Lobe. [6:26]
- The machine in my apartment. [7:39]
- A consumer tool. [9:20]
- The origins of Lobe. [10:13]
- Projects people built with Lobe. [12:17]
- Wind tunnel simulation. [12:32]
- Parents autoplaying audio books. [15:06]
- Tracking dolphin migration patterns. [15:53]
- Is Lobe a black box? [16:59]
- Joining Microsoft: From three remote workers to eighteen employees. [18:53]
- Early days of Lobe: How it was to start the company. [19:49]
- What do you miss? Building Lobe while traveling the world. [21:04]
- Visual programming and immediate feedback. [22:10]
- Photography. [22:47]
- Direct manipulation. [23:31]
- Adam's daily routine. [23:58]
- Meditation. [25:45]
- CrossFit and Yoga. [26:20]
- The goal of meditation and focus. [27:00]
- Distractions and notifications. [27:33]
- Screen time. [28:02]
- Death and regret avoidance. [29:31]
- Habits to have death present. [31:21]
- A death countdown. [32:51]
- A file system to be present. [33:36]
- How many days do you have left? [34:05]
- Calculating your statistical death. [34:20]
- Analog activities. [35:11]
- Keeping in touch online. [35:43]
- Grit. [37:01]
- The Grit Scale: Angela Duckworth's work on grit as an indicator of success. [41:09]
- Forgetting past fears and struggles. [45:19]
- Deliberate practice. [46:52]
- Custom-made clothing. [47:57]
- Connect with Adam. [51:39]
- Books. [52:15]
- Media recommendations. [52:37]
- A purchase of $100 or less. [53:22]
- Success. [53:58]
- Role models. [54:24]
- A message to the world. [54:42]
- A healthy relationship with technology. [54:50]
- Ideas: When and where do you get them? [55:38]
- Creativity: What makes you more creative? [55:59]
- Slowing down. [56:21]
- Simple. [56:34]
- Intuitive. [56:54]
- Your mission. [57:13]
- How will artificial intelligence and machine learning impact our lives? [57:24]
- Outro. [58:35]
Ask a question and I'll try to answer it in future episodes. I'd love to hear from you.
Join us on Discord and introduce yourself to the community.
If you enjoy the show, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes? It takes less than 60 seconds and really helps.
When you buy through links on Getting Simple, I may earn an affiliate commission.
Theme song Sleep by Steve Combs under CC BY 4.0.