One of the toughest things to do as a startup entrepreneur is coming up with your company’s “elevator pitch”. How do you condense the essence of what you do and its value into a sound bite? It is about as tough as writing Japanese Haiku.
You can read our “About” paragraph in this blog, but I like to step back and provide context and a little forward vision. That can help frame the excitement our team felt when we started seriously working on CargoSense last year.
There is a major technological shift going on. Some have called it the next industrial revolution. Others refer to it as the next big economic driver.
If you follow technology blogs you’ll recognize this movement under various names: the Internet of Things (abbreviated as “IoT”) or Machine-to-Machine (M2M) or the “Internet of Everything”, which is a marketing term adopted by some vendors.
Basically it is the intersection of Cloud computing, Big Data analytics and Sensor technology. With the latest sensor technology, particularly that provided by Bluetooth Low Energy which extends battery life, sensors are to become far more commonplace than they are today, measuring everything and feeding that data via the Internet to data farms. Platforms and applications will analyze the data yielding insights that will in turn optimize processes and disrupt entire business sectors.
All this leads to tremendous economic activity and growth particularly when trillions of these sensors are in place – and that is the high end of some of the projections – all to take place in as little as 10 years.
Most of the CargoSense team worked together before, building other people’s technology in a company called InfoEther, which we sold to a well known startup some years ago called LivingSocial. We know how to work with customers to develop powerful and easy-to-use solutions, taking advantage of the best technologies available and combining them in imaginative ways.
We have some of the best known people in software development around the open-source language called Ruby and related framework for building database-backed e-commerce sites called Ruby-on-Rails, or simply “Rails”. These twin technologies are behind a vast number of software-backed startups because you can move quickly using what is known as “agile” processes – a technique that allows a company to continually adapt to both business and technological changes.
We are bringing that expertise to logistics, and in particular the shipping processes behind pharmaceuticals, food, medical devices and other products that are affected by environmental conditions – heat, cold, room temperature, tilt, pressure, humidity, etc. All the food you eat, the drugs you take and the flowers you put in your window have environmental constraints.
Companies that spend a billion dollars and more than a decade to bring a wonder drug to market in the 21st century are being shortchanged by an 18th century shipping industry costing them billions of dollars in loss annually.
As a result, governments are stepping up their regulation and oversight, tracking food from field to fork and drugs from their component level and manufacturing to delivery to end consumers around the world.
We are focused on bringing software and sensor technologies to bear to provide insight into those archaic logistics processes to solve very real business problems, increase the chain of custody, save money and help companies meet the ever increasing compliance demands by authorities.
We are solving very real business problems starting with an overlooked market. And, we are doing it with a disruptive business model that changes the way the many small vendors in the field currently do things. More on that in a later post.
It is exciting riding a wave that will change so much in daily life. Sensors are going to be everywhere. You are going to be wearing them. They are going do be in things throughout your home. They will be embedded in streets, built into cars, trucks and trailers, parking meters, pipelines, shipping containers, pets, livestock – literally everywhere. Entirely new companies and businesses will emerge to take advantage of all the data they produce.
Interesting times – Stay tuned.