Jim Simons is a mathematician and cryptographer who realized that the complex math he used to break codes could help explain financial patterns – and he made billions because of it in his notoriously secretive hedge fund firm called Renaissance Technologies.
He is famous not only for the duration of his success and the size of his results … but also for the way he made his money (with much lower volatility and risk than his peers and competitors).
His background is impressive. Simons taught at Harvard and MIT and worked with the NSA. Here is a video where he shares some thoughts in a 2015 TED talk interview. It's worth a watch.
TED via Youtube
Interesting stuff … I hope you got something from it.
Despite advanced math still being a mystery to many, most rely on it more than ever … for example, look at what we're seeing with the growth of machine learning and AI.
The Heart of AI is Still in Humans
Simons built a team of mathematicians whose motivation was doing exciting mathematics and science (rather than hired guns who could be lured away by money).
That doesn't mean money wasn't a motivator, but it hits on something important.
The heart of good math and good AI will always benefit from the quality of the humans around it. You still have to champion integrity, culture, and purpose.
Better Math as a Competitive Advantage
We stayed ahead of the pack by finding other approaches and shorter-term approaches to some extent … but the real thing was to gather a tremendous amount of data – Jim Simons
If you've been to our office, or heard me speak, you know how important I believe those ideas are to continuing prosperity.
Constant innovation on a massive scope and scale create more ways to win.