Interview with John Wise, CEO of Loci


John Wise

Loci, a company of 23 employees serving around 500 existing clients, invented, patented and launched the platform that is revolutionizing R&D. Loci's first patent, “System and Method for Fuzzy Concept Mapping, Voting Ontology Crowd Sourcing, and Technology Prediction," accessible from (US9461876 B2), reconstructs the mechanisms by which ideas are discovered and attributed to owners. Loci's user platform, InnVenn, is a data aggregation source for search queries that allows users to recognize the location of novel inventions and ideas. This visualizes results in an interactive, user-modifiable, and a visually appealing Venn diagram of technologies, inventions, patents, and ideas. Loci's backend uses the data aggregated from InnVenn searches and refinements while maintaining complete confidentiality and security. The process is a patented system built upon a unique combination of contextual searching, predictive analytics, machine learning, heuristics, Bayesian statistics, and user input. Under the current legal system, the idea discovery and patent process takes years. Loci can reduce that process to minutes. Using the blockchain, this system acts as immutable proof of intellectual property rights on a global scale. Once every past and present invention is on the blockchain, Loci will predict the interactions between every idea that exists or could exist in an effort to create a transparent valuation metric for IP. The gap between current technology and undiscovered connections is what Loci calls“whitespace." Loci helps inventors discover this “whitespace" and make the next big discovery.

John Wise, CEO
John brings a very diverse background to the Loci team. For more than 15 years he worked as a mechanic, crew chief, data engineer, and team manager for some of the top teams in American racing. He witnessed hundreds of racing innovations and saw how difficult the patent process was first hand. He won several championships during his tenure. John has extensive experience working with some of the largest patent holders in the industry as well as expertise in aerodynamic engineering and data analysis.

EDWIN WARFIELD: Tell us about the company and its mission.

JOHN WISE: In a nutshell, Loci was founded to improve the efficiency and the ease of inventing. People have amazing inventions from all over the world, all the time. The issue is that it’s actually not very expensive to invent; it’s just very expensive and difficult to patent and turn it into value. Then, even once you go through all of the money, and the complicated process and everything else, and you go through all the attorneys and the paperwork and the signing and the contracts, it could all be taken away from you. You could not know the market well enough, maybe nobody will buy the product, maybe it has no use at all, maybe there is some fundamental flaw. All of that is unknown until after you spent the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We wanted to change that. We wanted to make it easy. We wanted to make it cheap. We wanted to make it efficient, effective, and transparent. We wanted to make it so that you would know any business that was working on the same technology, any other inventor that you could collaborate with, any other co-founder that may have had a similar idea, so that you could find other technologies to partner with, to add-on, build a platform, build greater things, have different variations—it’s endless.

Intellectual property, ideas, or inventions within the Loci system are directly licensable or salable to any corporation, company, investor or other inventor anywhere in the world. An important distinction to make here though is that it’s not a patent that we’re selling. It’s not a product that we’re selling. It’s not even just an invention. What we’re selling is the right to patent it. It’s the right to follow through. Apple could come to us and say, “Hey, we’re looking to build this HomePod,”—their new home speaker technology. What we could do is that Apple would say, “Hey, we are looking for this technology—can you find us all of the inventions or the inventors that are working in this space?” We look at the community of inventions—we have timestamps for exactly when things were looked up—we recognize the location of multiple inventions, we group them into a category that we call an “investment pool,” and we can license that entire investment pool. They could spend a billion dollars—it would be a substantially lower cost for them, but they would have all of this IP and the ability to go in any direction that they want and really shape the market for themselves.

The catch is that they can spend a billion dollars, but they have to do it in Loci Coins. And because we’re only offering a fixed amount of these, they must first acquire from somebody who has previously purchased them. Any token holder can say, “Yes, we’ll sell you are tokens, but we’re going to sell them at $250,” not the $2.50 that we’re offering them at now.

We’re in the midst of doing a token sale. Right now, our basic tool InnVenn is on sale for $249 for a monthly subscription. What we’re doing is the $249 equivalent in Ethereum for 100 tokens. We have been mapping and planning this out since 2008. We’re not jumping on the bandwagon at all.

On top of that, we’re venture-backed. We’ve gone through all the litmus tests. We’ve gone through due diligence. We’ve been checked and we are a secure investment for investment purposes—not just the fringe community, but actual VCs. We’re selling 30 million tokens of the 100 million being created. The value is going to be largely driven by the number of uses and ways to spend a token within our system. The tokens are substantiated by the price of the tool: a one-month subscription of the product to begin with.

From there, we’re going to continue to build out other options and other ways to spend it, like the investing in other investment pools; buying or selling of intellectual property—ideas, the prior art itself; and effectively being able to invest in a product itself.

Q. Why have companies pay in cryptocurrency rather than through traditional means?

A. The fundamental difference between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies is that, in cryptocurrencies, there is a fixed number or a fixed amount of them that are created. It has no regulatory body that is inflating or deflating the price of it. A US dollar—a fiat currency—is regulated by the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve can inflate or deflate, thus adding or reducing the number of US dollars in circulation in order to smooth and control the market a little bit. This is terrible for knowing exactly how much the value of your dollar or your money is going to be worth. With a cryptocurrency, there is a fixed amount and, again, no regulatory body. Even Loci coins, being created only for use within Loci, cannot be inflated, deflated, or adjusted in market price by Loci. What we do offer is more outlets or uses to spend the currency.

Q. How has your legal counsel helped in terms of guiding the business, creating contracts, and so forth?

A. Smart contracts are akin to property deeds or the titling process where money goes into an escrow account. The deed needs to get into the escrow or needs to get unlocked in the title process in order for money to change hands and title to change hands—or deed to change hands. A smart contract is not a legal contract. It is a programmatic contract.

It’s always been important to us to operate in an ethical manner for this, so I wanted to make sure to get very good counsel to help us through this process. One of the best aspects of having Cooley represent us is, now with this token sale, they’ve got this vehicle called SAFT. Cooley is the first, for sure, to have a way of selling tokens legally to US-accredited investors. And we are able to offer it through this SAFT product.

Q. What kind of growth do you stand to achieve from this token sale, and what communities do you stand to disrupt?

A. We would be quite disruptive to the venture community. More specifically than that, though, we would be disruptive to the seed and angel community. A lot of those investors are sort of high risk, high reward-type of investor anyway. They’re lot less risk-averse than the series A and growth stage investors. Ironically enough, we’re disruptive to the venture community because the venture community is jumping ship and going to the token sale community. That’s really the biggest disruption. It’s not that Loci is doing this; it’s more the token community in general. The token sale side is really, really, really changing the venture-backing and investment community. If we succeed at this token sale, we’ll go from a $10 million company to $1.25 billion company in a period of about a month.

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