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I’ve had a lifelong interest in both the arts and sciences. From this I discovered a rich, largely unexplored, territory that exists between these two fields.
At first it seemed like a curiosity, such as when I ran across engineers who felt, as I did, a strong connection between electronics and music. We were aware of how this connection helped us relate to both fields in a deeper way.
Or, when I saw photographers developing interests in technology to improve their pictures, and how this ended up influencing their art and our culture in general. Or, how a good journalist gets people to open up by talking about the things that interest them the most.
These insights gained from combining perspectives, such as the examples above, then grew into more than a diversion after I recognized a problem affecting many manufacturing companies: The gap between marketing and engineering. These two groups see the world so differently that they often find it hard to communicate fully. As a result, the products developed often fall short of their potential.
So, I began stepping in to help companies match market needs with new technologies. I translated the views between the two departments. Working together, we brought out products that generated excitement and captured the attention of customers because they had something extra.
I applied this principle successfully across a wide range of careers, including:
• Chief Technology Officer of a $1.7B division of General Electric;
• Co-founder of VideoIQ, a technology start-up that produces smart cameras using breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (recently sold to Avigilon);
• Helping grow a company from $15M to over $1B, where half growth came organically and half through acquisition.
• Inventor (with more than thirty patents and tens of millions of products sold using those inventions);
• The ability to cross disciplines also helped me learn other professions: journalism; marketing management; photography; editing; electronics engineering; and corporate business management.
However, one of my deepest interests—that has influenced all of my work—is the exploration of consciousness. I’ve been writing, lecturing, and leading classes on this subject for more than forty years.
For a while now I’ve been thinking about the gap between consciousness and science. Scientists don’t know how to deal with consciousness. I wondered if there is a way to build a bridge between our experience with awareness and the foundations of physics and biology.
It is this wild idea that led to my recent book: Lenses of Perception — A Surprising New Look at the Origin of Life, the Laws of nature, and Our Universe.