January 7, 2019 | Jason Van Gaal
Corporate Culture Brought to Life
Over the last eight months, the co-founding team has been working tirelessly toward the unified goal of launching what has become Soul Labs. We were brought together through a passion for business, adventure, and a trail-blazing desire to tackle complex problems. Like so many millennials, we are fueled by the adrenaline that comes from creating something meaningful and impactful.
This isn’t our team’s first startup, we know what is at stake, we understand the risks and the personal sacrifices that we will each have to make. As Elon and Andreessen Horowitz have identified, there is no way around building a non-lifestyle impactful business without challenging work weeks.
It is important to us that the perseverance required as part of establishing a strong work ethic does not become conflated with the notion of succeeding no matter what the cost. Unfortunately, in a number of cases, our global technology leaders have cast a dark shadow on critical ethical items such as corporate culture and data privacy, often sacrificing both in the name of “success.”
At Soul Labs we intend to learn from the mistakes of others. We will succeed where others have failed by focusing on delivering delightfully innovating products that truly have our clients’ best interests at heart. Why? Because we are also those clients. We have each known the bitter taste of a toxic work culture and felt the sting of breached data privacy.
We will lead by example, with the intent of inspiring others and ourselves to believe that successful businesses can be created with a conscience. That they can be created with Soul.
Artificial Intelligence and Soul Labs
We know that at some point general AI will exist, although we do not know exactly when. The evolution of A.I. will progress down one of two paths: either it will displace the human workforce with machines, or AI will enable us to become greater than we are today by enhancing our human capabilities. To us, this enhancement translates to maximized human potential and ultimately more freedom to spend our energies on whatever we love doing.
Our efforts are geared toward supporting the latter result. As creators, we play a part in shaping the AI industry, and we are uniquely positioned to positively shape AI for the good of humanity. This objective will be achieved by building an ecosystem of simple tools that improve your potential at work. We will give these simple tools away for free, in exchange for our users trusting us to apply their secure and anonymized data to train our AI systems.
We will not abuse that trust. Data will not be sold to third parties and annoying ads will never be a part of our user experience. As our systems gain intelligence, we are confident that the value in the tools we are building will become obvious, and our users will be willing to pay for enhanced versions of these tools in their personal and professional lives.
This is not a one, three or five-year journey. Our goal is to build a business model that is sustainable long term and is highly scalable. Building multiple tools in parallel, especially early on, will not be easy. To many, it will appear to be counter-intuitive. However, it is absolutely necessary in order to create the required velocity to achieve maximum impact. We will improve the probability of success through careful selection of the products that we build, and a razor-sharp focus on our vision and mission.
To achieve this ambitious vision, we are assembling a team of exceptionally talented, like-minded individuals, who are leaders in their respective disciplines. Together we will help tackle and solve some of the most complex challenges in the Personalized Common Sense Reasoning(PCSR) domain of AI.
We believe this domain is the key for injecting some much needed, human-like, common sense into AI.
We look forward to sharing the evolution of our journey with you in this blog over the coming weeks, months and years.
Jason, Camille & Mark
The Soul Labs Co-founding Team