Team Interviews: Harsh, Aragon’s Product Engineer
Harsh talks about how he came to work on a Ethereum project and where he sees Aragon going in the future
As a continuation on our team interview series (Luis’ Interview | Jorge’s Interview | Tatu’s interview), I interviewed Harsh — Aragon’s Product Engineer— to learn more about him, his past ventures, how he came to work on Aragon, and his future vision for Aragon.
Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I am the Product Engineer at Aragon, currently working on app refactoring, contribution guidelines, and new features.
When I was in 6th grade, I used to dismantle electronic gadgets just to see “how it works” and then try to create something out of it. Although most of the time I created expensive paper weights out of working gizmos. Until I got my first computer — an Intel Pentium P4. I browsed SourceForge and was surprised by the idea and possibilities behind FOSS.
Write, share, let others contribute, and make it better together.
I was fascinated with P2P tech from the beginning. It has the power to connect two parties without any intermediaries. In 2014, I founded Dopplr (eventually I shut it down, but re-purposed the name for other tech projects). Dopplr was a P2P content sharing and distribution network. In 2016, I learned about Ethereum through one of my colleagues and I was intrigued by the idea of decentralized unstoppable applications. I read more about it and got on board. It was around October last year when a DDoS attack on DNS took over the internet and at that time I co-founded Nebulis — DNS over Blockchain. A few months later, in February, I founded Etherbit — an India-based Blockchain-centric company where I’m still serving as Strategic Advisor.
What was it that got you interested in Ethereum?
Decentralized, peer-to-peer, fault-tolerant, always-evolving programmable blockchain with EVM and a turing-complete language.
The smart contract in Ethereum blockchain works precisely as it is programmed. Trusting a smart contract is the same as trusting a mathematical equation and a piece of code. It is very much possible to exploit a well written EULA but theoretically impossible to cheat a well-tested piece of code.
Yea, because the code doesn’t lie.
Which Ethereum projects do you find most interesting?
Apart from Aragon, I am very much excited about these projects:
Golem: The idea of renting computing power — Airbnb for computers — is something that’s very exciting for me. Golem can be an alternative to AWS EC2 for cheap on-demand computing.
Polkadot: With the exponential growth in Blockchain space, communication between blockchains will bring a new era of internet — the internet of Blockchains. I’m looking forward to this project.
What use cases do you see that Ethereum could have in the future?
Privacy is a myth these days. For example, here in India, Aadhar card is one of the most controversial steps taken by the government, and since its inception, loads of private information has already been leaked. Aadhar was supposed to be a citizen-governed ID that can be used by citizens to verify identities online (KYC process), but due to improper implementation the privacy of thousands of residents has been compromised. I believe a streamlined privacy and user-centric KYC process is one of the prominent use cases of Ethereum in existing fields.
What about Aragon, how do you think it will be able to help the people?
Through my personal experience, I know the pain, the expenses, and the time it requires to incorporate a company through a dated incorporation process rooted in the 90s. And that’s just not over yet. Operations, share allocation/transfer, legal compliance — this is just the beginning of what businesses need to do to incorporate. This means that the first few months of my project I had to work just to recover the initial cost of incorporation. Well, that’s bad. But now, if I look at Aragon, I can see how easy this process can be for future entrepreneurs.
Create a company. Invite potential co-founder(s). Set vesting schedules. Start operations.
It is a boon for people who are desperately wanting to bring their ideas to the commercial world in a straightforward, decentralized, and trust-less manner.
I like the way Luis and Jorge are managing Aragon as a fully decentralized company, thus being an example of an unstoppable decentralized company itself. And looking at the development plan, I believe that people will adopt the decluttered, transparent, and trust-less way of managing an organization that Aragon will provide. Although making Aragon a de facto option for the corporate world is a long journey, meticulous planning and initial adoption can bring many possibilities to the table.
What do you think are the key tips to get products and tech built very quickly?
A solid use case.
I believe that a solid use case can bring many possible ways to interact with the product, and that unveils the product’s skeleton. Making the right frame is like half of the work.
What do you do outside of your work, what are your hobbies and interests?
I love to experiment with electronics and music. For instance, FreakBoard— a Morphable Musical Touch Surface — is something I really enjoy. You can play Keyboard, Drum Kit, and any real musical instrument on it. When I am back in my hometown, I spend most of the time with my tech-savvy friends. We experiment and make stuff like a holographic car demonstration pod, an AR-headset, and touch-enabled furniture (that’s the one we are currently tinkering with in our free time).
In addition, I am in love with music. Pop, dance/electronic, R&B/soul, hip-hop/rap, tropical house, and dark psytrance. And yeah, I am a die hard fan of KYGO and Adam Levine.
Oh yeah, and how can I forget. I love sweets (especially mangoes and donuts) and hate soft-drinks.
This was Harsh, Product Engineer at Aragon, you can also follow Harsh on Twitter.
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