Egos, two takes

This post is not about Lance Armstrong. But it is about ego.

Remember Mike Laziridis?  The creator of the smartphone?  He is, unfortunately, probably better known these days as one half of the team that messed up Research in Motion and tanked the future of Blackberry through hubris (my opinion) and poor management (pretty much everyone’s opinion).  Anyway, he’s been quietly going about building something new out there in the Mennonite farm country of Waterloo, Ontario.  And it’s not something that will likely have a significant impact until after he’s well past the normal retirement age. It’s quantum computing and simply put, because the article in that link gets a little technical, it will allow for an exponential increase in speed at which a computer can do its thing. We’re not talking about a doubling or a tripling of speed. We’re talking about a quantum leap (sorry), of orders of magnitude faster than today’s fastest super computers. Star Trek fast, in the way that Data could deliver an answer to any question as quickly as he took a breath. That’s really, really fast. And because it has the potential to so profoundly change our lives, the fact that Mike is investing massive amounts of personal wealth and will only see the early stages of the project’s benefits speaks, to me anyway, to ego in a different way than say for Lance the Eternal Blood Doper. My impression is that Lance’s ego is about basking in glory now, as a craving for power over others, and a delusional love of oneself that (tragically) comes from the unqualified applause of those others.

I do not know Mike Laziridis, although I used to know many of his blackberries very well, but I do suspect that in the matter of his investment in something that is still decades away from bearing substantial fruit, his ego is about a lasting legacy and applause that he may not get to hear.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

4 Responses to Egos, two takes

  1. Mina says:

    Interesting comparison. I too don’t know mike Laziridis but as far as Lance Armstrong is concerned I think it has something to do with the game theory. EVERYone dopes in that sport. So if you don’t, you have no chance. Armstrong was smart enough to be just ahead of the testing agencies. But personally the real question is the sport itself. It is telling me that without enhanced drugs you can’t compete which means its not something that a normal human body should engage in. I honestly don’t have too much opinions of Armstrong. He helped cancer research. Actually feel sorry for him. What about his character that he had to lie and cheat? To inflate his ego? Why was he so insecure?

    • Peter Armaly says:

      Excellent questions, Mina. I was always skeptical of anyone being so physically superior to everyone else for so long. 7 years?! Maybe that was what did him in. He couldn’t stop his quest to conquer.

  2. Jeff says:

    Funny I was just having a conversaions last Thursday night with a parent that I met at my sons baseball hitting lesson, about how RIM just imploded on itself. The arrogance and hubrus was always evident when you interacted with just about anyone employeed by RIM, to bad long term vision was not part of thier DNA. So now Mike Laziridis is really going out on limb, or is he? I read years ago about quantum computing and mused to myself that if it did, indeed, come to pass mankind would technically and physically evolve to a new level of evolution. As I understood QC back then, for a quantum processor to work it would need to exist in multiple quantum states, or in another term, quantum realities. Which would then prove the existence of the multiverse, not the universe. This would then open the door for infinite possibilities. Because if the multiverse does exist, then so do we, in alternate realities. There is a quantum theroy that postulates that all possibilites that can happen, do happen, in a different quantum reality. So it would beg the question do we really want a person who so mismanged RIM to be at the helm of this evolutionary changing science?

    • Peter Armaly says:

      Haha…. I always appreciate the mental gyrations of our correspondence, Jeff. It’s great because the topic is always so theoretical that there can never be a right answer. As for whether Mike Laziridis is the best guy to steer the future of quantum computing, I don’t think he has the wheel (thankfully). It seems he’s managed to hire a team that’s hired a team.

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