[Editor’s notes] These are just copy&paste from Discord discussions. It is not complete and needs work.
I can tell the story of how the core team started off. Yanbo and I have worked together for 8 years in two internal startups/ventures within Nokia, the first one is mesh wifi product, while the second is 4G LTE small cell with backhaul. Both were world first at that time. I was the co-founder/product manager, while Yanbo was the tech lead and core developer.
We went on to our different career paths later: I continued with Nokia for a while and then joined Google (Project Fi), while Yanbo joined Qualcomm, a small telecom startup, and then co-founded OnChain in Beijing.
Since 2015 Yanbo and I have been brainstorming using Fintech and later Blockchain to disrupt Telecom business, which intensified in 2017 and resulted in NKN concept.
We met Yilun in beginning of 2018 in a blockchain meetup in SF Bay area, where Yanbo was making a presentation. Three of us immediately hit off nicely, and after one more dinner we sealed the deal.
Allen and I were working together in Global Partnership and Alliance team in Nokia for about 4 years. Together we have signed quite a few major partnership deals with carriers, equipment vendors, and startups. And we did scouting for potential equity investment and M&A towards over 100 small startups. That experience gave us a very extensive professional network in the communication industry.
The Cellular Automat and NKS idea is entirely by Yanbo. During his Qualcomm days (he was expat in California for a few years), he had some free time to study the entire book of NKS from cover to cover sometime between 2015-2016. He was very excited about the idea and how to apply. I was not so sure in the beginning, but I get converted eventually.
And then when Yilun joined, he immediately saw the relationship of Cellular Automata with his work on computational neuroscience where each neuron is just like one cellular automaton! In addition, he introduced Ising Model from Physics, which enabled us to mathematically prove if a particular CA rule is convergent or not. This significantly reduce the complexity of searching for the entire computation universe (as basic NKS will suggest), but instead focus on finding a small subset of rules that satisfy the physical (temperature) and mathematical conditions.