Leon de Beer: Navigating the Bleeding Edge of Technology with Innovation

 Leon de Beer: Navigating the Bleeding Edge of Technology with Innovation

Leon de Beer:

CEO at FIO Energy

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In the realm of mechanical engineering and entrepreneurship, Leon de Beer stands out as a visionary who thrives on challenges that would deter the faint-hearted. His philosophy is encapsulated in the statement, “We didn’t know it couldn’t be done, so we made it. Maybe if we knew it couldn’t have been done, we wouldn’t have made it.” 

For Leon, the routine of everyday work is a dull prospect, and the idea of a leisurely beach holiday fails to invigorate him. “There has to be something new – something interesting that gets me out of bed,” he declares. As a driving force behind sustainable energy solutions, Leon embodies the mantra of ‘something new – something better,’ aspiring to craft innovations that “stand the test of time.”

While Leon may appear to wander on the edges, far away from security’s borders, he clarifies that he doesn’t see most situations as “risky”. But there is one type of risk that Leon steers clear of; the unknown unknowns. “Identify what you don’t know – that’s the problem. If you don’t know that you don’t know; that’s the risk. If you know that you don’t know, that’s an opportunity.”

Leon’s adventurous spirit propels him to seek new heights in technology. Acknowledging the challenges of being at the forefront, he notes, “It’s great to be on the leading edge of technology… although you are very close to the bleeding edge of technology. So you are the guy who thinks up all the new things, but also makes all the first mistakes.”

Reflecting on the entrepreneurial journey, Leon emphasizes the importance of relationships. “They say nobody’s last words [were], ‘If I’d only spent an extra hour at the office’. But if every hour at the office was about the relationships around you, and the people around you, then you can have the best of all worlds.”

Leon’s role models are not distant figures but the people around him, each contributing something aspirational. “We should stop looking at these ‘halo people’ and recognize what’s great about the people around us,” he suggests.

As an engineer himself, Leon sees engineering as an inherently creative field, one that requires thinking beyond standard recipes, and finding innovative solutions when the conventional ones fall short. “Engineering is extremely creative. You don’t always look at it that way – thinking of technical people as not creative.”

This barrier-breaking creative’s advice to start up entrepreneurs is simple and to the point; “Just do it.” 

Teagan Cloete

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1 Comment

  • Very proud of you

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