A little about about me and this website

I remember being intrigued by “computers” as a high school student in the late 70’s. Personal Computers (PC’s) were not yet available, but I bought a Sinclair ZX80 at Radio Shack in 1980 and tried to teach myself how to program it. I was awed by the potential, and fascinated by the details, and wrote a few simple bits of code.

In college I took some basic “business” computing (FORTRAN and COBOL) but wasn’t particularly drawn to programming and those languages were kludgy and certainly were not user friendly (I remember spending hours searching for missing punctuation marks…but I digress).

During my senior year in college I convinced my father to get me my first computer so I could write my senior thesis, which was a great tool for basic text editing, but couldn’t readily do much more. By the time I was graduating from college (1985), PC’s were beginning to become more accessible , although were still not very user-friendly. This was before GUI (graphical user interface) or WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) functionality, so lots of trial and error just to print out a page. Neither my Apple IIC nor my computer at my first job (investment banking in 1987) even had a hard drive. At that first job, I put the 5 1/4″ Lotus123 version 1.0 disc in the A-drive and a blank disc in the B-drive, where the spreadsheet files were saved.

Fast forward just a few years, and there were AOL discs available EVERYWHERE. I was an early adopter of email and general on-line access (over a 1,200 baud modem for much of the early period), so was actively participating in the computing revolution, although generally passively.

However, despite being an “investment professional” I missed the opportunities to buy Microsoft or Google or Facebook. I have often regretted not doing more with my Sinclair ZX80 or my Apple IIc or my first few “IBM clones” so that I could appreciate the potential of personal computing and the Internet, which presumably would’ve helped me become an early investor. Too bad because if I had invested $5,000 into Microsoft in 1986, it would be worth $10.5m today and would be yielding $150,000 per year in dividends!

In addition to that general proximity to the computer/Internet wave, I have always been fascinated by theoretical physics. I was intrigued by relativity and quantum theory and read dozens of books on those subjects. (It helped that when in graduate school at the University of Chicago, the student across the hall from my dorm room was getting his doctorate in theoretical physics and indulged me on countless evenings, explaining yet again how length and time shrank as speed increased…) I read nearly everything written by Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene, fascinated by astrophysics, string theory and quantum dynamics.

As I began to see my theoretical physics and computing science interests merging…and started to learn about Quantum Computing, I pledged to myself not to miss out on the investment opportunities this time. So I have been on a personal journey to satisfy my cravings for learning about quantum theory and its applications to computing, while at the same time focusing on where the commercial opportunities may be.

Website Rules of Engagement

I intend to start out with some broad posts about the details underlying Quantum Computers, the immense potential they hold and some advances being made. Eventually I aim to focus more on current events, companies and breakthroughs, with an aim to helping find investment opportunities. I welcome constructive feedback and engagement. Understanding quantum theory or how Quantum Computers work is immensely difficult and challenging, so if you have evolved some proficiency and aptitude, it’s okay to pound your chest a bit. But everyone starts from the beginning, and it is generally a long, non-linear journey, so I ask anyone reading or reacting to posts to do so with some humility. There are no dumb questions and no taboo topics, so please be respectful and constructive in commenting. If I, or someone responding, make a mistake, it’s okay to point that out if it helps the broader analysis, but it’s less helpful if it’s just to prove a point or convey superior knowledge for the sake of it. My general hope is that most concepts described in this blog are readily understood by laymen and deep practitioners alike and that we can all engage in spirited discussions that help expand our collective understanding and learnings in this rapidly evolving field.

This website and these blog posts reflect some of these learnings. I’ve had success in my career in synthesizing very difficult topics into “layman” terms, so I aim to do that with Quantum via these posts. I hope they are helpful and informative and welcome feedback and discussions. Thanks for visiting and I look forward to taking this exciting “quantum leap” together.

Russ Fein, August 2021

https://www.linkedin.com/in/russfein/

@russfein

https://corporatefuel.com/community-fuel/team/russ-s-fein

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