George Louthan's Supercomputer

George Louthan's Supercomputer

Would you volunteer some of your time for 6 years if at the end of it you could have your dream job?

It sounds like something out of a Back To The Future film. It it faster than a million normal laptops combined. I had the pleasure of touring a new supercomputer in the Midwest USA recently. My mind was blown with the computing speed and possibilities of what you could do with such a machine.

I met with George Louthan, who runs the supercomputer and the department that manages it. I asked him for a tangible example to fathom the computing speed of the supercomputer. “So we have a weather data company who used to take 24 hours to process all their data and make weather predictions. Now they can do it in under 30 minutes just using a small part of our core computing power.”

Jaw dropping speeds.

I was curious though, how did a young guy in his 20’s be the one to build and manage a Supercomputer, the first of its kind in this area of the world?

“I got excited about the project, so I volunteered to do all the research. By doing all the research, I knew more about what we were trying to build than anyone else. So the heads of all the nonprofits and companies wanting to build it asked me to come present my research. After volunteering from time to time for 6 years while I was in college, they needed someone to run and manage it. So they hired the guy who knew the most about the project. And that just happened to be me. Lucky, I guess.” [my paraphrase]

Entrepreneurs aren’t just lucky, they create their own luck. George’s dream job didn’t exist when he graduated from university. So he created it. Now he runs the fastest computer in the entire region, gets access to the coolest startups and tech projects, and gets paid to do what he loves.

If he ever wanted to move on, he has the mobile numbers of all the top CEOs of new and innovative startups who would hire him in a heartbeat.

Stop waiting for the perfect job. Do the work and create your dream job. We need you to change the world through your entrepreneurial ways. That might happen to come by volunteering your time to a project you’re passionate about for 6 years. Then serendipitously, “Oh, wow! Here’s my dream job…”

When in all actuality, you created it.

P.S. George mentioned Wikipedia’s program where they donate decommissioned servers every few year to social causes that promote education. I know nothing about servers and building a supercomputer, but some Zimbabwean entrepreneur needs to create a social venture and build the first supercomputer in southern Africa. An idea…run with it. Read more here.

(photo via esoastronomy)