Originally from Sunnyvale, California, Eren Niazi started learning how to develop programming codes when he was 12 years old. By age 18, he had a vision of a free world where all programmers worked together to unlock and develop disruptive technology, furthering technological progress as a community. He knew he could provide a low-cost, scalable enterprise solution and he was determined to make it a reality. The resulting ‘free world’ Eren created became an environment for programmers to create technology and a platform of communication where these programmers could share their technology. After its creation, a natural evolution occurred which would not only make source codes better as they exchanged hands, but it would also allow young entrepreneurs to further their own visions by freeing them from dependence on large, proprietary companies for information and resources.
Eren Niazi is the original visionary/creator who pioneered the open source storage movement, successfully branding the entire industry as we know it today. He holds several U.S. patents and patents pending, which involve disruptive technologies. One such patent was the very first patent to ever be filed having to do with artificial intelligence technology. Eren Niazi also designed Facebook’s core systems during its hyper-growth phase and was instrumental in providing support for Friendster, the US Army, NASA, Lockheed Martin, and Shutterfly.
Eren’s enterprise-level open source products and services have each contributed and resulted in world-class, industrial strength deployments, changing industry standards forever. Eren Niazi is committed to further developing a world for open source software, where free-thinking, open minds are encouraged to create and contribute, and where the ultimate outcome is a better technological environment for everyone on the planet. He is currently the chief technology officer for Open Source Evolution, although he has many exciting projects underway.
Where did the idea for Open Source Evolution come from?
I was raised in an area of California that would later be well-known for fostering many successful tech entrepreneurs. In fact, one of my childhood neighbors was Steve Jobs. I don’t exactly know how to describe where the idea for my open source programming platform came from—it just kind of occurred to me when I was 18 years old, like an epiphany or a ‘Eureka!’ moment. However, once I had the idea, I knew for certain that I could implement it, even though nobody had ever done anything like it before. So, I set to work. Although it took some time, I was eventually successful. My career stemmed from that original creation.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As the chief technology officer (CTO) for Open Source Evolution, I spend my days overseeing the company’s many practical and technical aspects. We provide industry-leading, proven open source development for various enterprises. Our services are used across many industries, including entertainment, government, and technology—everywhere from the US Defense Department to Google. It is my job to make sure our services are delivered promptly and without error. The elements involved in my workday can vary wildly depending on the company’s projects, but inevitably, there are meetings, phone calls, and above all else, lots and lots of problem solving.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life through hard work and determination, but also through consultation with my team.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I would be remiss if I didn’t answer this question by stating open source programming and storage. Simply put, open source programming and storage makes it possible for the best minds from all over the world to come together and develop technology at tremendous speed. It enables interaction and the free exchange of ideas. I believe it has already made the world a better place and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I make sure to get eight hours of sleep each and every night so that I’ll be at my sharpest in the morning. I would recommend doing this to every single person.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Aside from advising my younger self to put some money into specific startups in order to reap the benefits of my fore-knowledge of the future, I would simply tell him that he’s on the right track, and to keep following his dreams and instincts, as they will serve him well.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The Golden State Warriors led by Steph Curry are the greatest dynasty that the NBA has ever produced. Most people would say it’s either the LA Lakers led by Magic Johnson, or the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan, but I respectfully disagree.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Try to see the big picture. It’s easy to get caught up in small details, but the most successful entrepreneurs can look past them and envision a clear future of their own creation, which in turn dictates what actions must be taken in short, middle, and long term.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
To be perfectly honest, when we began this business, there was nobody else doing what we were doing. I think that fact is what prompted most, if not all of our growth in the early years. Additionally, I think word spread fast of our reputation for quality work. That’s why we retain such high-profile clients.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The first incarnation of the company went bankrupt in the middle 2000s. That was a significant, but not crippling obstacle. It was overcome by shoring up new partners and investors and relaunching the company under a slightly different name.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Without endorsing a specific business model, I will say that the future of business lies in the realm of technological development. That’s where the talent and the money is, right now. Any would-be entrepreneur would be well-advised to consider a tech startup, should they have something worthwhile to offer.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently gave $100 to a homeless person just to see them smile and make their day.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There are too many to even list. The company uses blockchain technology and self-auditing protocols to gather information. That’s pretty important to us.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. That book provides a window into what life is really like behind the scenes in Silicon Valley, as well as serving as something of a history of what would become the present-day tech industry.
What is your favorite quote?
“In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny.” — Linus Torvalds
- Open source programming and storage is the wave of the future.
- Follow your vision through to the end.
- Don’t lose track of the big picture by focusing too intently on small details.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.