George Berkowski (DeepAR) on Building Billion Dollar Apps

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The Guest

George Berkowski is a serial entrepreneur who has built businesses in manned space flight, online dating, transportation and mobile apps. Among those is the internationally successful taxi hailing app, Hailo, where he led the product team until September 2013.

These days he’s the co-founder of DeepAR, a company providing deep learning solutions for real-time video segmentation for face tracking, as well as emotion, gender, and age detection. These features allow apps and websites to add Snapchat-style face lenses, masks and special effects, and the technology is showing a lot of promise for e-commerce and advertising.

George studied rocket science and economics at MIT, and got his MBA from ESCP in Paris. He is also the author of the book, How to Build a Billion Dollar App.

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George Berkowski

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The Conversation

In this conversation, George shares some stories and lessons learned from his book, which incorporates interviews he conducted with the founders of Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Uber and others. There are some valuable and surprising lessons there.

We also explore his perspective on the potential of Mobile AR, particularly around e-commerce and advertising. We dig into the real-time video segmentation done by the DeepAR SDK, and how they are finding traction in the market.

We start by talking a bit about space travel.

The Request

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