Dmitry Grishin is the 34-year-old chairman of the Mail.ru Group, one of Russia’s largest Internet companies. Think of it as a more-relevant Yahoo. Because his day job wasn’t keeping him busy enough, Grishin decided to set up a $25 million venture fund dedicated to robotics. You know, as a side project.
Grishin, who PandoDaily’s Erin Griffith has described as “like a Russian Elon Musk,” thinks entrepreneurs and innovators need to be thinking bigger, and that one way to get there is to build better robots. Today, most people know what a Roomba is, but within the next couple of decades robots are going to be everywhere (in cars, on your wrists, in your bedroom) and potentially more significant than the Internet, he says.
In today’s PandoWeekly, Grishin told me that robotics is in a similar stage today to which personal computers were in back in the early 1980s. It was a fun conversation, touching on the world’s best robot-makers (the US, and not Japan, who specialize in humanoids but don’t build good businesses around them), why sci-fi novels got everything right except the timing (the real world moves much slower), and why robots aren’t necessarily going to kill us all.
Indeed, climate change is going to get us first.
Enjoy the show, which, as ever, is just 30 minutes long, so you can listen to it on the walk home.