Nonpareil and confined to Earth.
Disclaimer: This website is my personal site and does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the companies I am invested in or associated with.
I’m David Leach. I joined the ARMY at 17 to get off the streets and out of trouble, after serving, the GI bill paid for my Bachelors and Masters (Comp Sci). I created an Internet Technology company in 2002 which I sold in 2003. We provided network security services. I was young and the success wasn’t easy for a parentless youth like myself to process maturely. I spent a significant amount of time enjoying the little things in life that I wasn’t fortunate enough to experience in my childhood, like taking myself to the zoo for the first time, scuba diving, driving nice (new) automobiles, trying fancy food. I was young and a completely different person.
My prowess for technology led me to accept a position at a finance company and by 2007 I was working as the Chief Marketing Officer at one of the top 10 financial institutions in the US. I was in my early 20’s and managing an annual advertising budget of 120m. I looked like an underaged teen in a shitty baggy suit from the Men’s Warehouse. I was brash and quick tempered. Confidence had turned to arrogance and I had forgotten humbling lessons of my past. At that time I was known to say “the only way to stop me is to topple the global economy“. And topple it sure as shit did…that happened with the 2007 market crash. I lost everything. I lost homes, cars, my (then) fiance. I took a bank offer on my last remaining home and moved to Huntington Beach where I spent most of my time surfing, diving, drinking “Sunday Fundays”, and roadtrips on my motorcycle. Knowing I couldn’t live my life off my rapidly dwindling savings I stopped licking my wounds and started pushing forward again. I poured my time and money into my childhood passion, film and photography. I invested in cinema equipment and created an Advertising & Production company, Consultoria Inc. I figured if I purchased the film equipment outright, then I could forgo having to charge clients for rental fees of equipment , undercutting traditional production pricing by significant margins. I’d be pretty appalled if a mechanic fixing my car charged me to rent the damn tools needed for him to do his job. That is just my philosophy. It worked and subsequently I grew Consultoria from a tiny office to 60 employees in a relatively short period of time.
Over the years Consultoria filmed dozens of nationally recognized commercials for global brands and created hundreds of digital online campaigns, well before online advertising was “a thing” to most savvy marketing companies or ad agencies. At that point in time some agencies still thought traditional media was going to have a revival. Almost every single major company in the US today still continues to select some “shiny on paper” Chief Marketing Officer (usually someone with more time in education than in actual career success) and expect great things. Don’t expect anything. However… if you’re a CEO that loves excel spreadsheets and pretty graphs and charts, you’ve most likely made the correct choice. CMO’s these days are better labeled as “vendor vetters” possessing a ridiculous vocabulary of marketing acronyms commonly utilized in over abundance to mask their lack of creativity and talent. They schedule appointments and an abudance of lunches with vendors who will offer various marketing services, watch the presentations and browse pretty PDF’s and select from a buffet of marketing options. Where is your originality and creativity? Too few these days put their neck on the line for inspirational, innovative ideas, instead…they protect their paychecks.
With the success of Consultoria came the freedom of time, with that time came reflection. With that reflection I simply realized that in order to accomplish the objectives I desired, I had to utilize time more effectively. I had to be more strategic. “I felt like life was calling me in other directions.” That bullshit. I hired an executive staff to run Consultoria and began pursuing other goals in life.
I ended up at Google. I ran a team of engineers, and I will always love data, equations, and learning more about people’s extrapolated search habits. I learned to understand people intimately through data. Over the years that data has evolved tremendously as more devices came online globally. Data has become truly insightful to human behavior. I reflect often on the impact that has had on my perspectives on life and society. I’ve learned that all humans are best understood by their patterns, not by their words. I eventually left Google for an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I ended up working as the Chief Marketing Officer at several Fortune 500’s and was directly responsible for assisting those companies in achieving (multi)billion dollar levels of success. I’ve created dozens of companies, some successful, some not. I utilized my careers savings (riskily) to invest into startups very early (Series A, Seed) on which proved to be successful (notables include: Oculus, AirBnb, Uber, Netflix, Hulu, BitCoin) I’ve created products, technologies, and digital processes that are used in billions of consumer products/transactions today. I like to make things better. To the point where competition is absolutely futile. Unless you’ve worked directly with me or one of my companies, you most likely haven’t heard of me. That’s intentional. I prefer a paycheck over publication/press and I loathe any type of publicity. I prefer to be behind a camera, not in front of one.
After the Facebook purchase of Oculus I created a Virtual Reality research company, Cinovus. We developed input devices for virtual reality and AR applications, virtual reality experiences, educational lessons in virtual reality, 360 VR camera systems, sensor technologies, a lot of autonomous prototypes, but in the end predictive volumetric analytics for virtual reality was the core focus. The reasoning behind this is because organized user data and the subsequent marketing personas data is the most valuable asset in large acquisitions. I did this well before most had heard or read about “virtual reality”. Having invested early in Oculus gave me a massive advantage. I knew exactly what was to come.
Understanding where VR originated from, witnessing the incremental strategic growth, and seeing the direction (currently) transpired, I am truly disappointed in the Virtual Reality industry. The most frustrating aspect is seeing shitty companies grow because they slap “Virtual Reality” on their cause or because of loose associations with Oculus or Samsung. But I’m just some bloke behind a keyboard these days.
Cinovus demonstrated Virtual Reality experiences at the 2015 Oscar’s party in cooperation with Treats! Magazine. We used our photogrammetric prototype equipment and 360 cameras to capture a stunning mansion in Hollywood Hills (where the Oscars party was hosted), and within a short period of time, were able to walkthrough the home in virtual reality, complete with special effects etc.
Steve Shaw, (CEO of Treats! Magazine) is a close friend of mine and has always been supportive in my crazy endeavors. He’s also a brilliant photographer. Steve introduced me to another acquaintance and influence in my film/photo work, Jarred Land (CEO of RED Digital Cinema).
At that point in time Cinovus was developing with beta Unity and beta Unreal software with really (bug ridden) partial VR support, attempting to port our VR experience to both Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR’s… additionally, Samsung promised several Gear VR’s days before the awards to test on, however we ended up 3d printing our own to make the deadline. Although Samsung came through, literally in the last hour …it was a logistical nightmare.
I sold the Intellectual Property of Cinovus in February of 2016. Oculus CV1 units were already shipping, Uber and Didi were wrapping up negotiations, AirBnB continues to expand rapidly, Netflix launched 4k and a slew of new “netflix and chill” worthy original content, I should have felt on top of the world… however it didn’t feel like success. During this time I had a young friend that I had mentored for years, Sameer Joudeh Nevarez, pass away. At the same time (but unrelated) I had to shut down one of my companies close to heart, a company I created and started… my creative agency madhouse: Soap Creative Group.
Truncated: it was nasty business partner dispute. Regardless, closing a company is never an easy thing to do. There are friendships and families affected. Employees moved all over the country after Soap Creative closed, seeking jobs or chasing other dreams.
Closing a company is never an easy thing to do. There are friendships and families affected. Employees moved all over the country after Soap Creative closed, seeking jobs or chasing other dreams.
At the same untimely moment I had a handful of the smaller companies that I invested in pull some sleazy moves. Sleazy is the appropriate term. They say when it rains it pours. It’s true. However, I haven’t made it this far in life by dwelling on the unchangeable. More importantly…I had distanced myself from my wife and children, lost close employees and coworkers who I believed were lifelong friends. Teams/talent amongst offices were divided. Secret projects were halted.
Simultaneously… some of those projects were…
A couple of years ago I had conceptualized and developed solar powered surveillance sensor prototypes that communicated on mobile and satellite networks, I called them SEEDs & PODS. I combined several sets of sensors with the ability to translate the data into usable assumptions and predictions. My intent for them was to eliminate the possibility of kidnappings or child abductions, or alternatively if deployed on the battleground, the most reliable source of intel. I designed the SEEDs & PODs to blend in with the natural environment and to prevent tampering. I incorporated “root” systems that held the sensors and I personally created a P.C.C. (patterns, collisions, correlations) set of “rules” for the sensors to learn by [OpenAI, neural network fundamentals, genetic algos, etc].
I had employees write, email, and call appropriate U.S. government agencies to properly receive legal permission to test our sensors in numerous locations throughout the US. Some remote, some smack dab in the middle of major cities. Many denials later (you have to pay for each bullshit “application”)…myself and a team of employees attempted a different tactic and began planting the sensors with private landowner’s permission. A few weeks later we turned the network on. We called it “Econet”. Thanks to the foundational work done by Stephen Weber. I have to give Alan Yu credit as well for helping me tie everything together in the end. Each SEED relayed it’s data on a network to the POD which contained the satellite communications ability. The POD sent the data to the satellite therefore we were able to read the data from anywhere…even our iphones sitting in a cafe in Marina Del Rey. If a SEED could not successfully relay the data, it would log it to an internal SD and re-attempt the relay at random intervals. The data transmitted is sent in encrypted packets, some containing factual data and thousands containing in-factual but sensible data, slightly similar to magnetic links and crypto-currency exchanges. I learned how expensive satellite data and independent GSM contract costs from this project. After several months of running Econet successfully, I turned it off and was forced to remove all sensors deployed.
Then there’s my Non-profits..
They make adult toys that are of better quality and more intelligent than most prosthetics out there. The entire prosthetic industry should be embarrassed of itself.
During this same period I had created and self-funded 3 separate 503c Non-Profits that provided free prosthetics…One for Veterans, HelpaVet.Today, another for Children who were victims of War, HelpaKid.Today, and one for animals in need of a prosthetics, HelpaPet.Today. I opened them and operated it for absolutely no cost to the patients. They make adult toys that are of better quality and more intelligent than most prosthetics out there. The entire prosthetic industry should be embarrassed of itself. I could go on and on about how horrible healthcare is in America but it would be a waste of focus. I saw a problem and created a solution.
The (human) prosthetics endeavor actually evolved from my Virtual Reality input device prototyping. I was trying to understand where and how kinetic forces are redistributed on the human body when using some of our prototype hand input devices for the Oculus or Samsung Gear. For long periods of usage, this is extremely important to understand. Looking to duplicate micro hand movements over and over in a precise method (to witness/address drifting and positioning) I originally searched to buy a robotic prosthetic arm. When I learned of the price and saw it’s limited “crab claw” shit functionality. I decided to create my own prosthetics. Months later, here I was. I established the appropriate relationships with hospitals, associations, and organizations and began meeting with potential prosthetic recipients, human and animal. Yes animals. I was sizing cats, dogs, and once almost a dolphin for my prosthetic prototypes. I personally designed and created multiple prosthetic prototypes, with the assistance of two other individuals, my close friend and rockstar MIT 4.0 GPA dropout and CTO at Cinovus Trey Duffy, who is now CEO of Womp and my aspiring developer David Herrera (now at Netflix) who would assemble prototypes simply to contribute.
Over the last few years in order to facilitate rapid prototyping and keep costs down on numerous projects, I had purchased a fleet of various 3d printers, from consumer to professional models. I educated myself on stereolithography, gcode, and 3d model design in netfabb, blender and sketchup. This eventually led into extensive materials testing as well, since it is particularly important to know and understand variances and tolerances of the prosthetics under numerous environmental conditions. When I say 3d printed prosthetics, I’m not referring to the 3d printed novelties you see teens and makers printing these days, but myo-electric, electrocardiograph controlled, sensor tracked, Unity mapped (yes Unity) prosthetic replacements. We demonstrated our prototypes to numerous hospitals and their staff, typically lacking a warm welcome (*except for Shriner’s Children Hospital in Los Angeles, who was receptive and overall simply amazing in what they do). Trey and I were able to go from napkin concept to a working prototype in a few weeks… however to be fair, I had existing channels and contacts to quickly facilitate all departments of programming, development and manufacturing…plus it took us weeks simply because we were waiting on micro-controllers and an IMU from Shenzhen. As well as 3d printers are not exactly fast. I created several working prototypes, built the relationships, planned for recipients to receive the prosthetics which were ready for placement… and then things just grinded to a halt.
I could say that overwhelming bureaucratic restrictions and financial pressures caused the demise of my Non-profits and trust me, that statement could be entirely true… but in reflection and meditation I believe that ultimately it was the continuous decline of faith, belief, and lack of support from my peers surrounding me, professionally, socially, and personally. Seeing the groundwork success of my investments, companies, and non-profits, I started focusing on solving larger issues that had bothered me for some time. I wanted to solve global problems, today. Not in some promised tomorrow. To others I simply seemed delusional.
I wanted to solve global problems, today. Not in some promised tomorrow. To others I simply seemed delusional.
I had started designing concepts for global energy solutions, economical desalinization solutions, remote irrigation methods, cost effective portable spectrometers, autonomous methods to clean plastic from our oceans, viable and effective replacements for pesticides, intelligent sensors for US highways and roadways, autonomous drones, autonomous agricultural equipment, robotic cinema/film equipment, and every now and then I’d express interests in space and aviation.
While I scoffed at first, it became increasingly annoying to be called crazy for simply being articulately passionate about something beyond myself…the planet, the future of human species. I could understand if the ideas and inventions were unattainable or impossible…but the prototypes worked, the conceptual ones formulated and articulate in detail, sound in the science. This wasn’t some sham-wow marketed hyped up bullshit with some lame ass powerpoint that the rest of Silicon Valley and Wall Street investors continue to still fund.
All of this in hindsight I believe may have been premature or simply ill-timed as it seemed my co-investors (in some of my other investments/companies), my employees, and coworkers believed that I was losing focus, or be “pulled in too many directions” regardless of timely achievements. I was told by my colleagues that I shouldn’t disclose my personal battles, that it made me look “vulnerable and not befitting of executive conduct“. It’s as if some of you people are alive but plugged into some fake fucking corporate world that controls all of your priorities. Kings and queens of small castles. I was hurt and offended by the un-personal vanilla “corporate-y” responses from people I considered friends.
At times I feel like an alien that has traveled billions of light years across space and time to present intelligent plans to help Earth, only to be questioned how the engine works on the spaceship that brought me here. It would take me longer to explain the 3 million years of technological evolution, in a broken antiquated monkey language, and not to mention be a complete waste of precious time, to explain “how the engine works” when an articulated outlined plan to help humanity should be sufficient.
So in the end overwhelmed with my own defense, I shut it all down. I sold, closed, or just walked away from all of the companies I was directly involved with. I felt like an wolf being attacked by his own mutinous feral pack. It was extremely humbling and educational. I turned to look for real friends and found few. I’ve had a massive exodus of “friends” which demonstrates my initial beliefs, that they weren’t really friends. I had managers illegally using my credit cards to (what a police investigation later discovered) fund their own startups. I found myself surrounded only by people interested in their personal financial gains. For the first time in my life, having fought so long and hard for, well…fucking everything…I for once began to doubt myself.
After the sale of a few companies that I still maintained obligations/responsibilities to, I moved out of downtown Los Angeles and retired at 34. I spend most of my time trying to know my family better, traveling, a lot of meditating, or focused on my lifelong passion: photographing and filming. Every now and then I find time to sit at my antique drafting table and design new concepts and ideas that are being stored for some undetermined time and moment, but as I see it now, forever.
There are only a handful of innovative and respectable companies in the world that could entice me out of retirement at this point. Maybe I’m kidding myself with my early retirement and I should relabel it as “recharging from society”. At the moment I’m not sure if I ever want to come out of retirement . When I’m flying in the clouds or sitting on my kayak on a lake, it’s really hard to convince me that anyone needs me. Trust me when I say it is not about money. It’s solely about the reason why you do what you do.
In order to accomplish all the goals, plans, prototypes, and projects over the last few years I buried myself in work. Words do this explanation no justice. I believe in secrecy, almost to a fault. This comes with consequences. I did not spend a significant amount of time, or much time at all, publicizing accomplishments. The blog posts I will be publishing over the next few months(?) years(?) will contain all the details, images, videos, diagrams and material that outline what I was focused on and what transpired over the last several years. Since I am retired, I have to admit that it is not my highest priority to explain myself. Something I absolutely loathe doing. This explaining myself is not something I enjoy nor a pattern I intend to repeat. I get no reward from this, only a page to point people to if they ask.
I’ve discussed a fraction of the projects, concepts, ideas, and products that I have been working on in just the last few years. I believe that time on this planet is very precious and that it should be appreciated. I tried my best to make this a better place for all of us. It seems more and more of this world is working against me. I’m still dealing with the lawsuits and bullshit from it.
• I had too many DMCA issues with FailedExE, unfortunately I lost that battle as well…the site no longer exists.
• I closed and pulled down: TechSprout.org – My S.T.E.M. endeavor in Africa, SoapCreativeGroup.com – My creative agency, ConsultoriaInc.com – My film production company, FailedExE.com – My technology reviews and hacker blog,
homelessinterviews.com – My interviews with homeless folks film project, SourKimchee.com – My ghost blog, SpaceinaBox.com – My kids educational apps suite, and about a dozen other companies and websites. This has caused a significant withdrawal of backlinks that guided search engine traffic to the appropriate locations online for the keyword “David Leach”.
• ThePirateBay supported my (now defunct) tech blog “FailedExE” (“Failed executable”) for a decade. On FailedExE I had tutorials for how to hack powerbook sensors for fun , UI tricks in Linux (like fonts, I have a keen affinity for UI/UX), teach people how to wifi hack, and made (now) embarrassing cheeky computer tech reviews, even the (now) internet celebs Tay Zonday and Mike Diva appearing.
This is me:
Instagram – most active
I like to unplug more often than not these days.Ethics & Etiquette: This website is my personal site and does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the companies I am invested in or associated with.