ZestFinance创始人 随心所欲多读书
本文摘要:Douglas Merrill is used to overcoming challenges. As a child growing up in Arkansas, he was deaf for three years -- the result of an auditory nerve infection -- and had to relearn how to speak. The difficulty was made more problematic by h


Douglas Merrill is used to overcoming challenges. As a child growing up in Arkansas, he was deaf for three years -- the result of an auditory nerve infection -- and had to relearn how to speak. The difficulty was made more problematic by his dyslexia, which was not diagnosed until high school. At an early age, Merrill learned that he could achieve his goals, but his path wouldnt always be the obvious one. After earning degrees in sociology and economics from the University of Tulsa, Merrill went on to receive a Ph.D. in cognitive science from Princeton and eventually became the chief information officer at Google (GOOG).道格拉斯·梅里尔早就习惯了解决各种挑战。梅里尔小时在阿肯色斯州长大,幼年由于患有听力神经病毒感染,他曾丧失听力宽约三年之幸,后来只好重新学习说出。但他人生的挫折还相比之下好比于此,高中时,梅里尔被临床出有患上阅读障碍。因此梅里尔在人生的早年就早已明白,自己的顺利要比别人代价更好的希望。

后来梅里尔从陶沙大学(University of Tulsa)取得了社会学与经济学学位,然后回国普林斯顿大学(Princeton University)进修,取得认知科学博士学位,一路闯荡,最后当上了谷歌公司(Google)的信息总监。Today, he runs ZestFinance, a 100-person company that he started in 2010. ZestFinance uses a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to help lenders assess the credit risk of potential borrowers. The companys mission is to help people who are under-banked find access to credit at lower interest rates, a particular challenge since the 2007 banking crisis.2010年,梅里尔创办了一家名为ZestFinance的公司。

这家公司有100名员工,主要利用人工智能、机器学习和大数据等技术,协助借款人分析潜在贷款者的信用风险。ZestFinance目的协助“资金不足”的人以较低的利率取得贷款,经过2007年的金融危机后,这毫无疑问是一个类似的挑战。Merrill, 43, is based in Los Angeles. He spoke with Fortune.现年43岁的梅里尔居住于在洛杉矶。

近日他拒绝接受了《财富》杂志的采访。1. Who in technology do you admire most? Why?1. 你最喜爱的科技界人士是谁?为什么?I admire a guy whos been dead a very long time. His name is Matthew Fontaine Maury. Maury was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in the 1800s, when ships had sails. He was the captain of a ship, and the routes that he tended to sail were from west coast of the U.S. towards Japan. Sometimes the routes were great, and sometimes the routes were very rough. Like almost all ship captains, he knew exactly one way to get to Tokyo, but every captains path had slight differences.我最喜爱的人早已过世很幸,他叫马休o方丹o毛利。


像差不多所有其他船长一样,他只告诉一条去东京的航线,不过每个船长的航线多多少少是不过于一样的。Sadly he was injured. Unable to be a ship captain anymore, he was looking around for something to do. He stumbled upon the fact that other captains had other routes that performed better in some times of the year and worse in some times of the year. He noticed that all captains have ways to go from same city to same city, and they all had different times of the year when they were good. He started telling captains that if they gave him their log book, then he would give it back later with the sum of their routes with everyone elses routes.后来他意外受了伤,不了再行航海了,于是他想找点别的事做到。


于是他让舰长们把他们的航海日志转交自己,由他对所有人的航线展开汇总,然后将汇总后的航线转交舰长们。What he discovered were the trade winds and the notion that weather changes throughout the year and as a result the time to travel changes over time. He basically crowdsourced routes all over the world. If you look at the data over time before Maury, the routes were kind of random between cities; they were all over the board. So the next 10 to 20 years after Maury had this idea of crowdsourcing routes, the routes got more and more defined and sensitive to seasonal weather patterns. The sea is how everything in the world works; its the backbone of trade and information. Maury provided massive change.结果他找到了信风对航线的影响,并且找到全球各地的海况不会随着气候而变化,因此两地之间的最佳航线也不会随着时间变化。



2. Which companies do you admire? Why?2. 你喜爱哪些公司?为什么?I want to go slightly off the beaten path and talk about the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation. Sandy Hook Promise is a group that was founded after the Sandy Hook tragedy a couple of years ago. It was founded by a group of parents, and a bunch of Silicon Valley VCs are in it, and they are trying to find ways to improve school security by using venture capital-ish formats. They try to let people in the world come up with interesting ideas and see if they can seed fund those ideas to find interesting potential ways to reduce school violence.我的问略为背离你的问题,我最喜爱的是桑迪胡克期望基金会(Sandy Hook Promise Foundation)。这个基金会是几年前的桑迪胡克惨案再次发生后正式成立的一个的组织。


他们期望让全世界的人想到有意思的点子,想到能否通过种子基金资助这些办法以增加校园暴力。3. Which area of technology excites you most?3. 最让你深感激动的科技领域是什么?Biotech. If you look at the incredible increase in computational power and math power, even in the past few years, there has been rapid change from having a very hard time asking the interesting medical questions to being able to start putting together some thoughts. There are companies like Celmatix, a biotech company that gives you very precise guidance on reproductive and fertility issues. For example, if you are on a particular path to have IVF, they take a couple of tests and they gather data about you, and they may say, actually youre probably a candidate for this procedure vs. that procedure. They care a lot. Theyre an example of a company that is doing something interesting in the field.生物科技。


现在有一些公司正在这个领域做到一些很有意思的事,这家公司就是一个例子。4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?4. 有些人也想要专门从事和你这一行,你对他们有什么建议?I think oftentimes people get advice to take more science classes or go do an internship at a firm, and thats all good. But what I have found useful is that I read very broadly. I read history, biography, fiction, poetry. I read about fields that I know nothing about at all, like biotech. I find that having that broad-based information allows me to stumble across things that really influence my thinking. My advice would be to go read something random. Luckily the barrier to entry for reading is very low, so I have a lot of books on my Kindle.我指出人们有可能常常不会取得比如多上一些科学课程或者在一家公司进修之类的建议,这都很好。但是我有一个很简单的经验,那就是我读书读书得很普遍,像历史、名人传记、小说、诗歌都有醉心。


幸运地的是现在读者的门槛很低,我有很多书都是在Kindle电子书上读的。5. What is the best advice you ever received?5. 你获得过的最差的建议是什么?When I was at Google, one of the things I did was help run the IPO, and one day when I was going through part of the process, I made a big mistake and messed something up that was important. I immediately flagged the thing, but I got a call from Eric Schmidt, the CEO, who wanted to meet me in a conference room. So Im running over there, and when I get there he says, Hey, I understand that you did X. And I said, Yes, I did, and Im sorry. Eric looked at me, put his hand on my shoulder said, Okay. Dont ever do it again, but I still love you. Its not terribly helpful advice, but it reminds me that people make mistakes and simultaneously you have to hold them accountable for those things and remind them that theyre people that you value and not just a mistake. That was incredibly valuable for me.我在谷歌工作的时候,曾多次老大公司运作过IPO事宜。有一天在做到一项跟IPO有关的工作时,我罪一个大错,搞砸了一件最重要的事,我立刻注意到了这个错误,但是我也收到了CEO埃里克o施密特的电话,他让我到会议室闻他。于是我立刻跑到会议室,等我到了之后,他对我说道:“嘿,我告诉你罪了个错。


这对我十分有价值。6. What challenges are facing your business right now?6. 你的公司现在面对哪些挑战?The regulatory environment for lending is very complicated. There are state laws, there are federal laws, so were continuing to find regulations role vis-à-vis other elements. Were really trying to help, but everything is inherently regulatory. Its a good challenge in that the industry will be better by increasingly strong and well-intentioned regulation.目前借贷的监管环境非常复杂。各州有各州的法律,还有联邦的法律,所以我们还在之后研究监管机构和其它因素扮演着的角色。



7. If you could have done anything differently in your career, what would it have been?7. 如果你的职业生涯中有一件事能从头来过,那不会是什么?I would have started a company earlier. I went around to a lot of other firms, and I always enjoyed it, but I didnt necessarily have enough confidence in my own ideas to start my own business. Now Im going on four years, and I love it. I learn something new every day. But its also hard because there are no B days; everything has to be an A day.我会更加早于开始创业。我曾多次在很多其他公司腊过,我也很享用这个过程,但我不一定非要等到对我的创业理念享有十足的信心了才去创办自己的公司。现在我早已创业四年了,而且我很讨厌这个过程。我每天都会教给新的东西。

但是创业也是很艰苦的,因为你无法得“B”,必需把每件事都做“A”。8. What is one goal -- either personal or professional -- that you would like to accomplish during your lifetime?8. 你这一生期望已完成的个人目标或者职业目标是什么?I want to eat dinner at the White House. I am a distant aficionado of politics. I find the political process fascinating.我想要在白宫不吃顿饭。

我是一个跟政治不沾边的政治爱好者,但我实在政治十分有意思。9. What was the last book you read?9. 你最近读过的一本书是什么?Im going to go in a very strange direction. The last book that I just finished last night was by a guy named Michael Easton. Michael is a friend of mine who is an actor but also a writer of graphic novels. He wrote one recently called Soul Stealer. He gave it to me for Christmas in a hardback cover, and I was just now getting around to reading it. Its interesting to me that, at 43, I can still read comic books. The style of how the art is produced is different from when I was younger. The physical art is different. Its much darker, and the story is grittier, more painful, and disturbing on multiple levels. Its not just pure violence, its actually hard to read; its sad and a little bit upsetting. The ability to use this two-dimensional, small frame art to capture the emotional color of a city is challenging and fascinating. What a cool application of art.就读书而言,我正在回头一条十分有所不同的路。


他最近刚刚写出了一本叫《偷魂者》(Soul Stealer)的书。他把一本软封皮的精装书当作圣诞礼物赠送给了我,我最近刚刚取出时间想读一读。我实在最有意思的是,我今年虽然早已43岁了,但还能看得入漫画书。


实质上它读书一起很艰苦,它是哀伤的,而且有点让人难过。需要用这种二维的、小格子的艺术捕猎一个城市的情绪色彩,这种能力十分有挑战性,而且十分更有人。这感叹艺术的一种很棒的应用于。10. What is one unique or quirky habit that you have?10. 你有什么独有的习惯或嗜好吗?The fingernails of my left hand are painted with black nail polish. I dont know why its one hand and not two. I dont know why its my off hand. I have no story other than I like how it looks. I used to do it myself but then I realized that I suck at it. Now I pay someone to do it. One of the benefits of our company is that we have a manicurist who comes in every week, so I have her do it.我左手的指甲涂抹了黑色的指甲油。





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