A company that makes drones for humanitarian purposes, another that makes plant-based egg substitutes and still another that wants to mine asteroids for precious minerals would not seem to have much in common. All belong to the portfolio of an unusual venture capital fund called the OS Fund.
Small changes, it’s often said, add up to huge results. But don’t tell Bryan Johnson that.
The 38-year-old technology investor has no interest in incremental improvements. His venture capital firm, the OS Fund, backs entrepreneurs who are working towards “quantum-leap discoveries” that promise to rewrite “the operating system of life”.
The metaphor is intentional. “Software allows us to do anything we want,” Johnson said over coffee in suburban Virginia. “We have this remarkable ability to create any kind of world we can imagine.”
Software can’t rewrite the rules of physics, but Johnson does have a point. “With new tools such as 3D printing, genomics, machine intelligence, software, synthetic biology and others, we can now make in days, weeks or months things that previous innovators couldn’t possibly create in a lifetime,” Johnson wrote when he unveiled the OS Fund last October. “Where DaVinci could sketch, today we can build.”
Interesting guy. Unassuming, too. We met at a Starbucks in McLean, Va., and talked for about an hour. Bryan was raised as a Mormon, and a missionary trip that he took to Ecuador seems to have sparked in him a desire to try to attack some of the world’s biggest problems. You can read the rest of the story here.