Episode 37
Adam Menges
Lobe: Machine Learning Made Simple.
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.
October 26, 2020
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59 min
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Episode Notes

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 adam@adammenges.com and +17204840285.


Favorite quotes

  • "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."

Books


Links


Media


People mentioned


Outline

  • 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]

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Theme song Sleep by Steve Combs under CC BY 4.0.