From Public Housing to Patents & Philanthropy: Olin Lagon’s Unconventional Journey

Dive into the extraordinary life of Olin Lagon, a Native Hawaiian who turned adversity into an engine for global success. Born and raised in Hawaii’s largest low-income housing project, Olin’s challenging early life and high school struggles fueled his determination to rise above. Today, he’s a celebrated inventor holding numerous patents, a pioneering force in online crowdfunding, and a global entrepreneur. His achievements include co-founding ChipIn, the first online crowdfunding platform, and Kanu Hawaii, a civic engagement platform. As the leader of Shifted Energy, a trailblazing triple bottom line social enterprise, and co-founder of Purple Maia, a non-profit nurturing Hawaiian youth in technology and innovation, Olin embodies resilience, ingenuity, and a dedication to societal progress. Join us as we uncover this inspirational narrative of triumph against the odds.

Early Life and Family Influence

Olin recounted his early life experiences, highlighting the profound impact of his family and upbringing. He shared a poignant memory of his mother’s effort to support his baseball team, an act reflecting her dedication and love. This story, along with others about his sisters and fathers, illustrated the complexities and richness of family bonds, regardless of life’s challenges.

Professional Journey: From WorldPoint to Shifted Energy

Olin’s professional path is a testament to his innovative spirit. He discussed his tenure at WorldPoint, an experience that taught him the value of Hawaiian intellect and innovation on a global stage. His current venture, Shifted Energy, is an initiative to revolutionize the clean energy sector. Olin’s drive to solve real-world problems through technology is clear, and his approach to innovation—merging different known concepts—is a valuable lesson for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Cultural Connection and Preservation

Deeply rooted in his Hawaiian heritage, Olin shared insights into his cultural connection. He emphasized the importance of simple, continuous practices passed down through generations, like the preparation of Poi. His current project on preserving fresh Poi without refrigeration is not just a culinary endeavor but a cultural one, aimed at keeping traditions alive and accessible.

Reflections on Life Lessons

The conversation took a more introspective turn as Olin reflected on the lessons he’s learned over the years. He stressed the importance of authenticity in parenting and living. Recalling advice he would give to his younger self, Olin emphasized the power of kindness and acceptance, especially during the tumultuous time following his father’s death.

Final Thoughts: Embracing Struggle and Growth

In closing, Olin shared his perspective on the duality of life – the interplay of struggle and success. He reminded listeners that while it’s easy to showcase the highlights, real life involves continuous struggles and growth. This candid admission brings a grounded and realistic perspective to the narrative of success.

The podcast episode with Olin Lagon is not just a chronicle of an individual’s achievements; it’s a rich tapestry of experiences, emotions, and lessons that resonate with anyone navigating the complexities of life. Olin’s story serves as a reminder that behind every success is a journey marked by perseverance, learning, and an unwavering connection to one’s roots and values.

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