I am thrilled to be blogging about the wireless power company Ossia and its founder Hatem Zeine. I explain why I am thrilled in my previous post. When I first met Hatem three years ago, I asked him what I should read to get up to speed on his technology. He said: "Feinman's QED."
Now I had dabbled in physics decades before during my Math studies back in university. But, quite frankly my physics was rusty.
So I loved Hatem's answer. This work promised to be a tough nut to crack and I was born to crack tough nuts (actually I was raised to do so, but that's a story for another day).
Anyway, pondering over the Cota technology back in 2010, I came to realize that the root of this technology concerns starting with one Wikipedia page on quantum mechanics and unifying it with a second one.
"Unification" is a word evoking physics. We could also say "marriage" (social), "synthesis" (chemical), or "convergence" (business). But for this post, I'll stick with "unification".
The really wonderful thing about unions is that they tend to produce interesting results. The more divergent the union, the more interesting the result. Contraria sunt complementa and all.
The two Wikipedia pages that Hatem unified describe things that have been known to the world for at least 50 years, even longer.
But in all that time, no one apparently had thought of how to unify these two old concepts to perform useful work. I conclude this because neither page references the other as "see also".
Now that Cota from Ossia has reached the light of day, I call for the Gods of Wikipedia to add this magical thread drawn for them by Hatem.
Which brings me to Hatem.
I moved to Silicon Valley from Canada in the summer of 1988. I was 25 years old.
I moved here because I was looking for a better game. A game played by lions, not just by sheep.
In these past 25 years, I've met plenty of lions. One small subclass is a group of people I can count on one hand. These are people with whom I have worked closely enough to realize that they could teach me something cognitively useful even faster than I could learn it for myself. I pride myself on the fact that my greatest talent is learning.
For me, Hatem is the fourth.
Now, Silicon Valley operates at faster clock speed than just about anywhere else in the known universe. That speed is a wonderful thing for a great many innovations. But it can also be deadly for certain ideas that need a longer time to germinate.
It took a long time, from the moment of conception, to the stage of TechCrunch Disrupt 2013, for Hatem to bring his innovation into the light.
Hatem's company, Ossia, germinated slowly, quietly, and very effectively in the boneyard of innovation known as Redmond, Washington.
Although I believe things worked out just as they should for Ossia and Hatem, I'm still puzzled by a question that troubles me: How the hell did this chap go 9 months without being able to secure angel financing for Ossia?
Today, money is fast becoming the least of Ossia's problems. What Hatem demonstrated on the TechCrunch stage has drawn investor interest by the bushel.
But where were these investors two years ago when this Cota technology was just as revolutionary and just as profoundly disruptive as it is today?
Because nature abhors a vacuum, and our brains don't grok ambiguity, my brain has settled on a working hypothesis for an answer to this question.
My hypothesis: Hatem Zeine is the Jeremy Lin of Tech.