Jacob Katzen
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Jacob Katzen

Jacob Katzen - Co-Founder & CTO of Gigawatt. I believe that technology should always be helping people achieve their goals. Especially ones they could not have achieved without it.

LinkedIn: http://lnkd.in/T9yY2f
Others: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alto50/
San Mateo, California, United States
Member since March 07, 2014
Quote
Ideally? - I'd have a laptop with an access point that would work globally and in extreme conditions with unlimited battery life (we said ideal, right?). I would also have a knapsack that carried unlimited food and water. I'd then set out on a journey to see the world and all of its environments while conquering dungeons and defeating bad guys; all the while programming for enjoyment and pay and posting photos to my flickr. Quote_down
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Education
2011 Lehigh University , BS , Electrical and Computer Engineering

I am a(n):

First-time entrepreneur

Companies I've founded or co-founded:
Companies I work or worked for:
If you're an entrepreneur or corporate innovator, why?

Because it just feels so right.

My favorite startups:

Stripe, Imgur, Pubnub, Spotify, Kickstarter, StrengthPortal, Airbnb, Snapcard, Paytagz, 7Shifts, Crowdcurity, Loopd, ListenLoop, Sifft

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Most Frustrating: Spending a lot of time figuring out you were wrong.

Most Rewarding: Seeing people love using your service/product/thing.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Geeze - I dunno. Being unprepared I suppose, but I'm pretty sure I have been unprepared at every turn so far.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Network
Program
Program some more

Full bio

Even when I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to start a business and I knew I wanted it to be related to computers and technology.  I won't re-hash another 'I started computer repair business "y"' or 'I built websites for money' since I feel that is a common story people share and have retold many times.   I mean, I did attempt these things, but I never really found as much enjoyment in it than when I just built websites together with one other of my friends.  The sense of satisfaction I felt when we threw something up that all of our friends in high school would go on and use (to play flash games with each other and compete in scores) was great.

During my years at Lehigh University, I would get even greater aspirations to start a company.  I would learn how to program more often in my free time than from assignments.  Reading my Google RSS Reader every day to see which companies were making great new things gave me even more visions for the future; sure some applications would be silly and only fad-worthy, but others were changing the way industries and our lives worked.

It may be cliche, but with how fast technology moves; where it stands between today and tomorrow gets seemingly more dramatic everyday.  This pace broadened out to years in technology has truly changed how we live our lives:
- 10 years ago I didn't seem to want or need a smartphone - now it seems like I'll never remember how it was like without one.
- No more video rental stores: Hello Netflix, Redbox, Hulu.
- Cars still come with radios?  Spotify, Pandora.
- ^-- I lied; they just connect to your smartphone now. 
- Square brought the vendors to the customer in the point of sale world.
- Electronic money is a real thing now and has tons of advantages over real money (faster, cheaper, secure transaction on insecure network): Bitcoin! Dogecoin!  To the moon~
- Amazon wants to ship things with flying drones.
- Tesla is proving electric cars aren't just a pipe-dream.

And many other things.  Now to be fair, some of these things are still in their infancy and haven't exactly change how we live, while others I would say have undoubtedly have had an impact on a lot of us.  So for me - I've always strove myself to keep creating and eventually contribute or be a part of this forever perpetual movement forward.