Rick Smith: The man who plans to make bullets obsolete

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Axon Enterprise CEO Rick Smith

Rick Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of Axon Enterprise, a pioneer in less-lethal weapons and a global market leader in law enforcement technology. He notes that the gun is antiquated technology, and it is responsible for tens of thousands of senseless killings every year. Humanity has accepted that killing is an unavoidable fact of life, but Smith argues that it doesn’t need to be this way and that we have the means to make the bullet obsolete in our lifetime.

Smith founded his company, formerly known as TASER, in 1993 with the mission of “protecting life.” The company has since expanded its focus from the eponymous electroshock weapon to an ecosystem of integrated hardware and software ranging from body-worn cameras used by the majority of major US police departments to a cloud-based evidence management system.

Smith is also the author of the new book, The End of Killing: How Our Newest Technologies Can Solve Humanity’s Oldest Problem. It is a manifesto on how we will be able to protect life without taking life “through technology that redefines public safety and makes our communities stronger, safer, and more connected.”

In this interview, Rick shares his entrepreneurship journey and details how Axon is pursuing the aforementioned mission.

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