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Watch Evernote’s founder, age 14, share his unlikely dream

Watch Evernote’s founder, age 14, share his unlikely dream

Here’s a video that didn’t quite make sense as part of my new feature on Evernote, but is far too fascinating not to share.

Stepan Pachikov, the company’s founder, grew up in the Soviet Union, where he was an award-winning math and science prodigy. In 1964, when he was 14, he gave a speech at Siberia’s Novosibirsk State University to an audience of fellow kids. In it, he told them about his ambitious plan to move the Earth closer to the Sun, thereby warming the planet. Though it sounds like something a James Bond villain would come up with, Pachikov’s intentions were only virtuous: He wanted people who lived above the Arctic Circle to be able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables from their own gardens.

Fortunately for us, a snippet of the young scientist’s presentation made its way into a documentary that interspersed science-related clips with . . . Soviet-era pop music. Here’s a portion of that film; the Pachikov portion begins 50 seconds in, but I really advise you to watch the whole thing.

The rest of the story: Pachikov didn’t convince the world that global warming was a good idea, but it happened even without his help. Once he grew up, he did pioneering work in technologies such as handwriting recognition and VR, relocated to the U.S. in the process, and gave us Evernote, a product he initially devised mostly to please himself. You can read more about him in my story.

And hey, this charming video leaves me wishing that we had similar footage of other tech-industry notables at the age of 14. What’s the earliest video we have of, say, Elon Musk?

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