We continue our rotating Startupbootcamp blog series - our ten teams take turns sharing their thoughts and experiences on their Startupbootcamp adventure.
This entry is by Thomas Jam Pedersen of 3Djam.
Since ancient times, we humans have achieved mind blowing progress. This progress seems to follow the hockey stick curve, which is extremely difficult to grasp for us. Yet, the world around me often reminds me that there are a myriad of problems that we humans have not solved yet.
Check out this video:
To the Reader: You must
watch the first 2 videos else will miss my points.
I believe what is stated here IS TRUE: We
are on a hockey stick curve and we will solve more problems and achieve bigger
things during the coming 20 years than we did during the last 1000 years!
this blog I will tell you why and what it has to do with software, but first I
need you to watch this video: Matt
Ridley: When ideas have sex
Today I tried Google
Goggles, which is an image analysis application for Android mobile phones,
which allows you to take a picture, which it then analyses for you and helps
you find stuff on the web related to what is in the image. Today, it works best
with text and logos. You can take a picture of a book, DVD etc and find it on
the web, however Google is working on making it better, such that it can find
people on the web if you photograph their face. Or you can take a picture of
your empty product packaging before you throw it out and your phone will let
you order a new one with only 2 – 3 clicks. No need to implement scanners and
computers in your fridge, like we talked about just a few years ago. In
addition to this, Google can also help you shop cheaper and greener, more
sustainable and more healthy. At restaurants you can take photos of the menu
and of your food and give feedback and rate the food and service. This way the
web will have realtime updated statistics, menu and price-information from
every restaurant in the world. When you walk by a restaurant you can take a
picture of the restaurant and Google will show you pictures of their dishes,
ratings, pricing, etc. Google may even suggest another restaurant in the
neighbourhood in the same price range but with better ratings. And few years from
now, Google may even relate this to other restaurants and dishes you your self
have had recently. Naturally, this works not only for restaurants but really in
What it really is all about is saving time
on things you don’t care about such that you can spend more time on the things
you are passionate about. Just a few tabs on your phones touch screen and it
has helped you select, order as well as pay fpr products and services, which
with high probability is the exact product you would have selected if you have
had more time to go into details. I am not arguing that we will use this for
everything. In the beginning, only a small fraction of the population will use
it for a few types of products, however in 10 – 20 years from now, the majority
of us will use this us select and order the majority of all the products that
we buy in a typical everyday life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhgfz0zPmH4
A few months ago my wife and I spent well over 30
hours looking for a summer holiday for our family. I would gladly have paid US$
100 if someone had offered me the possibility of typing in my priorities and
budget and a system would have spit out several alternative packages for me. From experience I know that I would not be
able to come up with a significantly better list myself by researching for 30+
hours. And what if those results had had user ratings and maybe even links to people
in my network that had been there, whom I could contact to get a more personal
introduction / rating / feedback ? As an examples of how this market is
developing, four of the teams in Startupbootcamp.dk
actually work with rating of products and services…
This brings me to my next subject: Feedback
Production. Today most products are mass produced. Typically a company designs
a product or collection. They then get bids from factories and subcontractors, place
a big first order and maybe 12 – 18 months after the planning has started, the
products hit the stores at which time planning of the next product has already
started. This is very risky, because it is difficult to predict this many months
ahead what customers want, what other competitors will supply, production cost,
costs of raw material etc etc.
Due to this big risk it is very difficult and
very expensive to raise money for a new unproven product. Should a new product
become a big success it is very expensive and often impossible to scale up a
mass production and supply. It is all inherited in the way we manufacture and
invent products today. If you want to bring something new to the market, you
have to start in the small and build it up slowly. Thus it is very difficult to
make any revolution - you can really only make evolutions. Since patents do not
work for most products it makes it very risky to be first movers.
This is why progress and invention has been
so slow in the past however I believe this could very likely change
fundamentally over the coming decade.
What is different now is that IT will help
designers get very rapid and accurate feedback from customers, through channels
such as Google Goggles, Facebook and Twitter. We will see new types of
production lines, where scaling of production is much more flexible and
shipment to the store is less than a month. Thus designers can make small
series of products with a lot less risk. As soon as the first 1000 units hit
the stores they can get the feedback from customers and change the product
accordingly and adjust the production capacity accordingly. Thus we will start
to see products that change not every year but every 2 – 4 weeks. It will be
much easier for designers to order more production capacity for block buster
products in a very short time.
For us working in IT this is great news
since this requires a lot of new IT infrastructure and this is what the
majority of us will build during the next 10 years. In 20 years from now it
will involve very little risk to bring a new product to market of the sort that
do not require a huge R & D effort. Cost of those first series will be very
small and it can scale fast. If you can keep the feedback away from competitors
then you win the race for this new type of products. The winner will be the
company that can manage the shortest loop from feedback to the next generation
of adjusted products. The feedback production paradigm is coming soon and it is
going to remove the risk significantly and speed up production evolution and
revolution cycles drastically.
China Raw Material and Fast Trains
Did you know that China is the country in the world
with the fastest trains? Did you know that they acquired this technology after
working with companies like Siemens, French TGV and a Japanese company while
building a railroad for the Olympics in 2008. When the economic crisis hit in
end of 2008, the Chinese government decided to build a huge number of high
speed railroads connecting all the big cities in China. Instead of investing in help
packages in the bank sector they invested in infrastructure and jobs.
At the same time, they also invested US$30
billion in a factory to build passenger jets to compete with
Airbus and Boing. Rest assured, that within the next 10-15 years
they will be a worthy competitor to those two old giants.
Did you also know that the Chinese Government
has announced that they will build a high speed
railroad from Beijing to London before 2020. Upon
hearing this my first reaction was “why ??” My next reaction was “can they
really do that?” Then I wondered who actually would be the customers and
finally how they could possibly make agreement with the countries which this
railroad will pass through. It is planned to run average 320 Km / hour and
cross 17 countries.
After some research
on the topic and thinking a little more about it, I realized that this railroad
is not for passengers. It is for shipping products from China to Europe
very fast for the feedback production era. To get raw materials like oil, iron,
steel, cobber, lithium, etc into China fast. The Chinese government
realized that what is most important to sustain their growth over the next 10 –
20 years is to get the raw materials they need and do so a very predictable
rate and price. Most of the countries that have these raw materials are
actually some of the 17 countries on the planned line between Europe and China. None of
these countries has the technical, economical or political strength to build
the world fastest railroad and connect their respective countries with 2 or 3
of the most powerful regions in the world. So China figured that if they offer to
build such a railroad through these poor countries at no initial cost, they
could probably get a good long term deal on raw materials. Thus over the next
10 years China are going to send a million railroad workers out to build this
link. Basically the do what the Europeans did ruthlessly 200 years ago to
conquer the world. Exchange technological advantages for world dominance. China
wants to be READY for the feedback production era.
Staying on the topic
another thing that strikes me as very important is the mindset among successful
young Chinese. Throughout their entire life they have experienced very rapid
growth. In the west we have a mindset that everything changes very slowly. The
only industry where we really expect rapid growth is in the silicon industry,
where we have learned to expect doubling of processing power and storage
capacity every 18 month. This is a fundamental part of our mindset and most of
our actions and inventions are tightly coupled with this relation. In China the young
generation has a mindset that they can expect enormous changes in almost all
areas of the society within a decade. What is even more important - contrary to
the Western world – is that it is less
likely that new ideas get rejected because peers and investors don’t believe in
them. In China
there is an atmosphere where everyone believes in big changes within the next
decade and they admire those who push these changes forward. I think this
atmosphere will drive many other industries into rapid growth similar to what
we know in the silicon industry and consequently China will become the leader in
most of these industries!!
About 5 years ago I started to realize some
of those things I have described above and what enormous progress we humans can
make when everything get connected. I decided that I wanted to use my skills
and my life to do what I can to contribute to this venture. I am a software
engineer and I fully believe that software is the most important tool we humans
have to build such complex systems and solve complex problems.
Having decided that I wanted to contribute,
I asked myself where I should start and realised it should be
a) Today the majority of hours
spend on software development are spent on stuff that could be solved or
reduced by more than 50% if
we had better tools.
b) The consumers of software could also save more
than 50% of their time if it was easier to discover and consume software. And
if that software was faster in general, so that we could reduce all the million
of seconds each year end users wait for the computer to respond.
I Have Dreams
1.) In my dreams,
consuming software should be like watching a video on YouTube:
- Easy to find what you are looking for.
(shows ratings and number of views)
- When you click on a link, it starts to play
after a few seconds of download
- It is easy to find other videos about the
- I can give feedback and have a discussion
with other viewers and the author.
2.) In my dreams,
publishing software on the Internet should as easy as publishing articles on
Wikipedia. The initial creator put it online and others help correct it and
review it to make it more perfect. Having this open review creates trust for
those that only consume it.
3.) In my dreams, most
errors in software can be automatically fixed, if the end user tells the system
where the error occurred and how the application should have reacted, to give
the correct result.
4.) In my dreams, end
users would be able to rent games and applications by the hour or day and the
license agreements of most software should be standardized.
5.) In my dreams, I am
thinking how great it would be if someone could create a platform that would do
all of the above and which would not require software applications to be
rewritten to run on that platform. Would it not be great if the majority of
software could just be converted to run on such a platform without changing the
source code at all and without taking any performance hit at all?
6.) In my dreams, I wish that
this dream platform would also have strong built-in copyright protection and
make it safe for the end users to run software.
When I Wake Up
When I wake up, I wander the streets of Copenhagen thinking that
it would be much easier to discover and consume software if my dream platform
existed, and how much easier it would be for software developers to make money
and create new and better software in super fast loops.
Enough said: It is time to stop dreaming
and instead support a small start-up team of 3 who are part of the Startupbootcamp, and actually
creating a platform that will allow all of the above to happen. It is the Roozz platform, which makes it possible to run
applications directly in the webpage very similar to the way you view a video
in the webpage today.
Of course it also supports cross platform
software development and allow full hardware access including high speed 3D
What is the really great thing about the
Roozz Technology is that it actually doesn’t force software developers to use a
specific programming language. They can use the programming language and tools
that they already know well and there is no learning curve to get your application
on the Roozz platform.
We have a humble hope that the Roozz Platform
will help scale software development and consumption to the trillions notes as
we saw in the first video, simply by making it much easier and less time
consuming to find and use software and to help you reach your personal goals –
whether those are buying a customized product or inventing the next “computer
We strongly believe that the types of changes
that we have talked about in this blog will come. We also believe that the key
technology, which will drive these change, is software. This is why making it
easier to develop, discover and consume software is very essential to the speed
of evolution towards making the world a better place. We hope that the Roozz
Plaform will help bring better software tools to you such that you can excel in
the things that you are passionate about. We believe that is the best way to contribute
to a better world.
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