John Cook routinely offers great insights on his blog, “The Endeavor.” He was interviewed by Vincent Tan in the March 2011 issue[PDF] of Singularity Magazine
Actually applying math is hard work. It requires knowing the limits of your abstractions. It may require writing software or writing English prose. It requires skills outside of mathematics in order to connect the mathematics to the problem. It’s messy and it’s fascinating.
I think this neatly summarizes the key challenges of most technology startups, at root the need to connect the mathematics to the customer needs. I think the connection comes from listening to their stories and telling a few of our own. In particular, I think it’s very important to explain who you are and why the particular problem you have chosen to address is important for you to solve. Finally you have to make sure that the “limits of your abstraction” are close enough to representing the customer’s problem that you can address it with your technology.
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