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A Manifesto to Build the first RICH House

A Manifesto to Build the first RICH House

The first hacker house for young founders in the UK

Welcome to the first hacker house in Oxford.

From HBO: Silicon Valley

We write this manifesto to publicly announce that we have started a co-living house for aspiring Rebellious Intellectually Curious Hustlers (RICH).

It is the first hacker house in Oxford and the first hacker house for young founders in the United Kingdom.


  1. We should all become RICH
  2. RICH as counter-culture to Oxford
  3. Meet the RICH-in-Residence
  4. Events we host and how you can join

We should all become RICH

We believe that:

  • Ambitious young talents globally are consistently undervalued by the credentialist system
  • Outlier talents (right-tailed) score highly on the Rebellious Intellectually Curious Hustlers (RICH) metric

1 - Rebellious

A rebel is a contrarian. A rebel is an upstarter. A rebel is a usurper.

Gen-Zers are especially observant of the failings of the status quo. Our eyes are sharp lasers that cut through the vulnerabilities in the remnants of traditional institutions.

2 - Intellectually Curious

Intellectually curious is not generalist thinking. Intellectual curiosity is intellectual honesty. You are curious about what is right, not who is right.

Sadly, an Oxford education undermines intellectual curiosity. The ego is the enemy. Anyone with the prestige of Oxford (or Harvard, or Stanford) will likely care about who is right, not what is right.

University education is meant to preach the radical pursuit of truth. It failed its purpose and now is at the risk of being unbundled.

We want to be formidable by radically pursuing truth.

3 - Hustlers

Intuitively, we think that hustlers work hard. On the contrary, hustlers work smart.

Hustlers allocate their precious time wisely. While some hustlers are hardcore utilitarians who maximize the utility of every single action, others are merely not wasting time.

The type of hustlers I admire the most are the ones that seek out launchpads and take shortcuts.

Are you a hustler? Be honest with yourself. In your own opinion, are you wasting your time? Have you spent your time doing things you enjoy?

Hustlers own their work. Hustlers hustle for a greater purpose. If you hustle for the sake of hustling, you are a hawker.

RICH as counter-culture to Oxford

The Zeitgeist of Oxford is thinking from the ivory tower.

Oxford is all about thinking and talking with no doing. So Oxford produces ideas that no one gives a shit about.

Oxford, London, Hong Kong, and arguably New York (the East Coast) are part of the Old Economy where:

Introductions are transactional

Where professional services dominate, leads are valuable. If I introduce you to my friend who then becomes your client, I should charge a brokerage fee. However, gatekeepers suck value out of a network.

Ageism before meritocracy

Young talents globally face gatekeepers who think that 'in order to talk to me, do A, B, C and follow this path.'

This is frustrating for prodigies and talents in general. A culture of credentialism and market signals kills innovation.  

RICH house is the counter-culture

RICH house's front 

Our house brings the culture from Silicon Valley, a part of the New Economy to Oxford, the Old Economy.

Spontaneity & Serendipity

We build a vibrant community with open-minded people. We host dinner parties (Jeffersonian dinners with Chatham house rules) with guests ranging from biotech spinout founders to robotics researchers to social scientists of the Internet.

Introductions kickstart relationships

If you meet any one of us in a coffee chat and hit it off within five minutes, you will be offered to be introduced to other people with similar interests

Talent before ageism

We work with investors and members of the communities who appreciate and respect young talents as much as experienced boomers.

If you are only a fresher but already working on cool projects, you are as respected as a spinout researcher-CEO.

RICH counter-culture as network effects in Oxford

New Economy is a network where the network effects are 2^n.

Spontaneity & Serendipity + Introductions kickstart relationships + Talent before ageism = Network effects

A RICH culture in Oxford means that more connections are made between the nodes in this network. The more connections are made, the more weak ties there are. Weak ties are all that matters.

From NFX

Meet the RICH-in-Residence

  1. Jack Chong - Chief Meme Officer

Before Oxford, Jack aspired to be a Chinese diplomat working in MENA. He learnt Arabic for a few years and lived in Amman, Jordan. However, legacy bureaucracy is not performance-driven. He re-found his scrappy self by building a K-12 game to replace classroom management software, placed 100+ Oxbridge students into tech roles within 2 months, worked in product & sales at an AI SaaS startup in Oxford, and recently shut down an organoid biotech startup. Now he runs OX1 Incubator and scouts for Remus Capital.

Jack studies PPE at Christ Church.

2. James O'Leary - the NFT guy

James is a self-taught software engineer, building the NFT football manager game Footium.

He studies E&M at Brasenose

3. Jeremy Stroud - the Water guy

A Canadian native (O Canada!), Jeremy is interested in working towards solutions at the intersection of food, water, and renewable energy. Previous to Oxford, he worked at an environmentally focused agricultural investment company in Canada.

After completing his degree in Water Resource Management at Worcester College, he is consulting and researching as he works with companies in the climate-tech space.

Jeremy's team won £10,000+ of an equity-free grant from OX1 Incubator in Demo Day 2021.

OX1 Incubator on LinkedIn: Oxford Student Start-ups win £20,000 in funding – The Oxford Student
“The Demo Day is the culmination of hard work over the past academic year. Our committee has put in many hours to plan a program of workshops for our cohort...

Jeremy studies MSc in Water Science, Policy, and Management at Worcester.

4. Kristof Lommers - the Coin guy

In the daytime, Kristof is a doctoral candidate in Finance at the University of Oxford (Saïd Business School) and an associate at the Oxford-Man Institute for Quantitative Finance. His research interests revolve around asset management, empirical asset pricing, decentralized finance (DeFi), and applied machine learning in finance.

Kristof is also the co-founder at Hessian Technologies, developing portfolio-backed stable coins.

5. Mohamed Baioumy - the Robocop guy  

Mohamed joined Oxford Robotic Institute as a DPhil student at University College. His research is on Bayesian Inference. Previously, he also participated in a broad range of projects and research activities including energy-efficiency of mechanical grippers, hydrogen fuel cells, and safety systems for autonomous vehicles.  

Mohamed's team on data-labeling solution won £3,000 of an equity-free grant from OX1 Incubator in Demo Day 2021.

OX1 Incubator on LinkedIn: Oxford Student Start-ups win £20,000 in funding – The Oxford Student
“The Demo Day is the culmination of hard work over the past academic year. Our committee has put in many hours to plan a program of workshops for our cohort...

Events we host and how you can join

Jeffersonian dinners with Chatham House rules

We host Jeffersonian dinner parties with themes from techno-humanism, bio-hacking to the rise of China.

Intro-101 series for the Intellectually Curious

We also host speaker events where we invite guests to come to our house to spread knowledge on their expertise. A few topics on our list: genetic circuit, data infrastructure in machine learning, and Gen-Z financial consumption pattern.

We deliberately select attendees who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and disciplines by training.

Reading Groups

Weekly reading groups on:

  1. GERMAN 270: Sovereignty and the Limits of Globalization and Technology (taught by Peter Thiel)
Stanford University Explore Courses

2. Organising Genius


Strategy Game Tournament

We are obsessed with the 4X strategy game, Civilization.

Good gamers, good managers? A proof-of-concept study with Sid Meier’s Civilization - Review of Managerial Science
Human resource professionals increasingly enhance their assessment tools with game elements—a process typically referred to as “gamification”—to make them more interesting and engaging for candidates, and they design and use “serious games” that can support skill assessment and development. However,…

Strategy games happen to be a useful filter for certain psychological and intellectual traits.

We are going to step up the game: a tournament where players can choose which strategy game to play, on the spot. The meta-game is to pick a game where the player knows they have got an edge. Picking the right meta-strategy has a much better risk/reward payoff than picking the right strategy in a particular game.

If you want to join, just message me