Michael Akilian


I’m a technologist based in San Francisco, interested in stimulating independent thinking and welfare-generating technological progress. Consequently, I’m also interested in intelligent systems, collective intelligence, organizations, and economics; hopefully this site gives you the gist.

  • I co-founded Clara Labs with Maran Nelson. We built one of the earliest well-loved conversational UX products, and lead inventive work on human-in-the-loop NLP systems. Twitter acquired the R&D team and licensed IP to work on content moderation, while the Clara brand, product and operations are now part of TopFunnel.
  • Before that, I was an early hardware engineer (11th employee) at Misfit Wearables, where I helped stand up an assembly and test factory in Korea and ship the Shine’s v1 firmware preceding its acquisition by Fossil Group.
  • While an engineering student at UT Austin, I started HackTX, spent multiple summers interning at Apple, and worked part-time for Gilman Louie and Stewart Alsop’s venture fund for three years.
  • I am proud to have grown up in Texas, where I got started in computing by programming iOS games for the early app store.

If you’re working on a new technology company, operating a complex human/machine service, or just want to connect - feel free to DM me on Twitter. I also make investments, especially if it can make a difference to the project’s trajectory.

Around the internet