Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Starting my work engine

It's been almost a year since my last post. It's time to update with news about myself. This post is long since I have lots to share and update, so bare with me.

Life's aspirations & Motivation

I have been doing some soul searching, thinking what I would like to do in life. Watching the latest Christopher Nolan's movie, Intersteller was the perfect timing for me to wonder about my life's aspirations, professionally speaking. How does a sci-fi movie relate to such a serious topic, you might wonder. Well, I have big dreams; I aspire to do good for humanity, the wider the effect, the better. A good inspiring video I came across lately (perfect timing #2) was of Jim Carrey

Now let's talk specifics, cause without a strategy no idea will propagate. I wish I could work with NASA to build things and research topics that will gain humanity on the large scale, like NASA has been doing since it was formed. Now, I am realistic on the other hand, and know that such a plan is hard to execute (never say never) and I need to do a lot of research before hand (howto, not to mention that I lack the knowledge of physics or any of the other life sciences required in NASA). Maybe I can start with smaller step like checking out the space center @Technion and check out Moona (new space center in the north), check with SpaceIL etc.

The second plan is more viable and 'easy' to execute, is to build an idea into a product (low-tech/high tech) a.k.a startup. Also, in the field the odds are not in my favor, but it really depends on the idea and the industry I am targeting to. If I take the Bitcoin world, since it's pretty new, the chances to innovate are bigger on one hand, but are more risky since it's a new world (crypto currencies).

Getting a job and being an employee at a company gaining experience in the field of my studies (Information Systems/ Industrial Engineering & Management) sound legit and reasonable, right? It sounds the only right thing to do (some might claim) but I want to do something valuable with my life, and not only gain money and to promote myself in the status chain. I must find something to do that will give me the satisfaction of helping the greater good (the more the better). That's me, that's Alex Cohen. That is my core belief and that is the guideline I choose to live my life by.

With these two plans, my main goal now is to sit down and devise a strategy. One by one small step towards fulfilling a bit larger steps and to grow from the base up. I will update when I have a more concrete strategy (back to the drawing board)

Current status 

I have moved to Tel-Aviv (center) since August (2014) due to work (read next topic)


I still work in the Bitcoin industry (what is Bitcoin?), but now more serious and more time dedicated. My job is to get things done in the IBA (Israeli Bitcoin Association) and help promote Bitcoin in Israel. I also started volunteering at the Bitcoin embassy (TLV) as an ambassador. The Bitcoin embassy is a space where people can come ask questions about it, buy Bitcoins at the ATMs located on its premises, get stickers and merchandise and so on. Soon the embassy will launch a pilot course about Bitcoin. Future projects are being planned. More to come soon.

Relating the current Bitcoin state in Israel, I have come to the conclusion that marketing and PR should be done more aggressively. I would do some research in order to come up with a viable plan in order to increase awareness in the public and using positive use-cases in order to promote Bitcoin in the eyes of the public. Real life cases of such events would have greater impact on the regulator and the government officials rather than promoting it directly in contact with them.

The IBA (Israeli Bitcoin Association) is working on a project(s) to facilitate Bitcoin usage in the academia, mainly for and by students. More details in the future.


Since I work closely within the Bitcoin eco-system, I get to expand my network and get familiar with startup guys. I participated a Bitcoin entrepreneur Meetup held in the Google complex at the Electra tower (TLV). The topic of the lecture was marketing. I have heard about the following course 'How to start a startup'. The Meetup was very productive.

On a general advice, I suggest you attend as much Meetups that interest you as you can. Both to enrich your knowledge and to expand your network.

Social Ventures (Technion course) advisor (pro bono

After meeting my professor whom I worked for as a TA (teaching assistant) in recent years, I have decided to re-join the course's teaching team. What is the course about? It's a Technion course for undergraduates and grad students that teach how to build a project from scratch in the lean startup methodology. I finished working there at May 2014. I have decided now to be part of the teaching team again in order to help students advance their projects outside the framework of the course and involve the class with more 'get out of the building' events, enriching the student's scope of the professional material taught during the semester. In the framework we will have a think tank that will be held about once a month or so, which the teaching team will find new ways to improve teaching and the course's material.I might evaluate course projects as well (I have been doing so 9 times/courses, but who's counting :P)
I have written a google document that serves as KB (knowledge base) for Startup and entrepreneur centers and events, that I have come across till now.  

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
    I'll come back for more :)

    From Japs a researcher from https://alwaysopencommerce.com/