There are some people who thrive off of success and Evan Luthra is one of them. A tech guru and something of a Don of apps, Evan Luthra is a serial entrepreneur who firmly believes in making the most of any and all opportunities that fall his way.
BB : What was the catalyst for your entrée into the world of technology ?
When I was 12 years old I saw an opportunity. One of the businesses my father set up was a call centre that, due to mismanagement, failed to take off. This left hundreds of unused computer devices just lying around. I took the initiative to utilise a failure to my advantage. This allowed me to experiment with technology and I learnt how to deconstruct and re-construct various computer models.
Following this, I learnt how to code and started creating my own apps which became very popular. I then went on to set up my first platform for developing apps which I later sold.
BB: What are you working on now?
Technology is a billion dollar industry with exponential growth. I’m an opportunist. I’ve created an incubator platform for start ups. I don’t code myself anymore but I delegate; I have a large team of developers writing code for me, which enables me to cherry-pick app pitches that I think will be viable or have potential. I receive hundreds of pitches a day. I believe that you have to take risks in order to be successful. I am an angel investor so I will either directly invest in the app or ask for equity in exchange for mentorship.
The tech industry is an extremely volatile market – about 9 out of 10 of your investments will fail. However, commensurate with the inherent risk is the ROI (return on investment), a yield that can be, in the short term, far greater than that of real estate, for example.
I utilise something called ‘lifestyle marketing’ whereby I harness the power of networks, especially social networks. We are more connected than ever and by using these tools of connectivity, the possibilities are infinite.
BB: What do you think will be the greatest new invention or product in technology?
I recently attended the WEF at Davos and the world of robotics was in full swing. They had live robots there which gave us a glimpse into the future. Virtual reality is another rising star in the world of technology. There are also other developments such as the ‘hyperloop’ which will, in theory, transport you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in only a fraction of the time a plane would. It’s an innovation that will totally disrupt the traditional model and the aviation industry. There are several inventions that will be in vogue in the near future. Ultimately, if you don’t catch up with technology you will get left behind.
BB: Outside of tech what are your interests?
I believe that knowledge is the extent of your experiences, so I like to try everything . I love sky diving!
I travel extensively and have been invited to both give and attend talks and do so avidly.
I am interested in art – I really like artists who engage with societal and urban topics such as ‘Plastic Jesus’ and ‘The Most Famous Artist’. I’ve also been given self-portraits which I collect.
One project I am actively involved in (still in the world of technology!) is a platform I set up called ‘Givrr’. It’s a platform that supports not-for-profits through incentivized watching or sharing. It allows any brand to promote themselves via an internet campaign and, based upon the time engagement of any individual, a percentage of that is donated to a choice charity. I believe strongly in giving back so it’s a platform that I am keen to raise awareness for.