Chicago rebel programmer does the unthinkable; says he’s going to bring MIT into every home in America.
Meet the man who says his vision is to miniaturize MIT and bring it to every major city, every major suburb and possibly bring it to everyone’s home, around the world. Franchino, 34, is a fifteen year software autodidact with a background in user experience engineering and programming. He’s worked for Groupon, Lightbank and a dozen or so popular companies in Chicago and the Silicon Valley.
He says it will all start with a book; an ongoing graphic novel that portrays the hacker culture more vividly than ever before.
“It’s the key to awakening a real interest from with the home, early on. Franchino says this is the first step in this movement and that The Boy & the Computer is slated to sell over a million copies this year.”
The next step he says will be to create a ~$250 MIT inspired workstation for every man woman and child, with sensor cartridges for Botany, Biology, Satellites, Drones, Physics, Energy and even Neuroscience. This workstation will act as a companion to the book and it’s somewhat of an ongoing project for readers of the book.
“Gou, the main character, finds his father’s spitballed plans to build it and picks up where he left off. Ultimately, Gou not only creates it and open sources it, he builds an AI into it and hooks it up to dozens of sensors.”
Finally, he says a global platform that identifies all the worlds specific problems spaces and socially networks everyone involved will be how it all comes together and becomes sustainable.
Recently some of the top investors in the world, celebrities and industry professionals backed his bold mission, despite being somewhat of a controversial subject himself. Franchino is known to be somewhat of a rebel in the industry. He openly admits to having lashed out at some of the big names in Chicago’s tech scene.
“It all makes for some very real, very raw content in the book. This book has grit and hopefully it will intrigue kids and make the industry seem challenging.”
As a brand we want to be cool, relevant in the bit edgy, because with think that’s what kids want, and that their parents will tolerate it, just like they do certain video games and celebrities. Not too edgy but enough. “Kids are imaginative and like to dream about being professional athletes, musicians and actors, but they don’t necessarily dream a lot about being a computer scientist or programmer. Not at least where I come from, ” says Franchino.
Franchino says he has evidence his plan will work and that the direction is mostly set. “I’ve done some very thorough research and experimentation with this concept and the one thing I know for sure is that it’s going to take a borderline psychotic level of thinking to pull this off. I know these kids all too well, they need a new set of heroes and this type of project is extremely bold and experimental. But the payoff could be huge.”
Computer geeks don’t present well to younger generations. They are an elusive bunch who typically don’t brag or show off much. What would be icons in other industries, dorks like Mark Zuckerberg have zero swagger and for whatever reason, albeit superficial, that doesn’t register in most parts of the country.
“We think it would be cool if Rob Dyrdek, Tyler the Creator, TheFatJewish or Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that they were expert hackers. If we could capture that in our branding, kids might go for it. These people all represent diversity. Infact we’ve reached out to all of them.”
We already know kids all want to imitate their idols, down to the very decisions they make as human beings. Celebrities have way too much influence over our youth and consequentially, kids end up with impractical skillsets. The Boy & the Computer is our chance to set that record straight by bringing in characters that are unique, athletic and even famous who stop to preach the Tao of Programming and hacker way.
“Sorry to break it to you but the probability that your child will grow up to be a famous musician or a professional athlete is at least 1 in 500,000 and that’s after having them practice and train for 10-15 years. That’s insane!
I’m not saying don’t have your kids play sports. I’m just saying that spending some time with them on something scientific can be just as rewarding.”
There’s just too much out there, there’s too much noise and as a result millennial’s, generation z and the digital natives might be lost. We cannot expect them to find obvious rhythm in the world where information is compounding so quickly, especially inside middle class working families where there’s only so many hours in a day. It’s time for a new cast of characters that can help pave the way.
Franchino says he wants his office to be a Boy Scout like academy brick and mortar in Park Ridge so he can test the platform out on real target end users. “I want to create a place where kids, their fathers and/or mothers can come to together to invent, practice, study tinker, play, program, design and engineer some really cool stuff. I want to take everything I observe and constantly work it into the book and theme of the company.”
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