I've seen plenty of projects that are rife with anti-patterns because a team was unfamiliar with a problem or technology and made a bunch of bad decisions while they were still coming up to speed.
The use-case I envision would fix this. Because it's really a travesty that when we're the least familiar with technologies is when we make some of the most important architectural decisions. And these mistakes could be avoided with questions like "What issues will we run into?" "What patterns should we follow?" "What are good resources to get started?"
For instance I recently joined a project that was built by devs coming up to speed on React. And boy did they abuse Flux, they didn't build a store for every drop-down but it's pretty damn close. However I really think a React Guru could have steered them around this mistake with just 30 minutes of his time.
Obviously the biggest problem is ensuring quality without having to hike rates too much.
Users can contact our experts through chat and video/voice calls.
Do sign up for Fliffr and try it out, we're on both iOS and Android stores, or visit https://www.fliffr.com . And if you have any feedback I'd love to hear it.
I also find it kind of amusing that you're advertising esports advice from a woman who plays on a CS:GO team which can't even compete with a mediocre ESEA-IM team... she might be an absolutely amazing teacher and amazing person to work with, but she isn't good at the game, which really undermines your marketing strategy.
I also have a lot of first-hand experience with this since I taught paid lessons in CS 1.6 way back in the day. Generally the market for lessons is full of mid-tier players who are very dedicated, but don't have the support necessary to improve (ie. a team of players as good as them or a proper coaching system). These players are almost all looking to go pro some day, and want to be able to break through to that level. Since the difference in skill between a Top 1% player and a Pro in CS:GO is so massive, any random competitive player won't be able to give good advice since they are at the same place as the client, and can't understand WHY things are done the way they are among the Pros.
It's worth noting that the Orbit Female CS:GO team isn't even all among the top 1% of players - they went 10-6 in ESEA-Open last season, which is the lowest level of competition which is even sanctioned. Any team that is dedicated and practices, even if they aren't good, will make it through Open at X-4 without much difficulty (I've coached a few teams through this).
I'm available on danielk at fliffr.com if you have any questions.
However, I am not sure how I should charge. Since you don't have enough people offering the same skills I promote and I presume very low to inexistent demand, there is no price correction at this stage, nor market to begin with :(.
It would be useful if somehow your app could suggest a recommended fee for a given skill.
It looks like a great idea though!
As you say there isn't much demand, but we are working on it. Thanks for your suggestion on recommending fees :)
Not only "instances," but that seems like a worthwhile business just by itself.
For example, idgaf their name, let alone their username on a service I dont even use yet. This screen that should tell me everything, tells me nothing.
Best of luck. Promising idea.
It's exactly how you say it is, by spending some time identifying the biggest issues and then spending an hour with the team I can get them to rally around some easy fixes that'll be valuable for the business long-term.
Developers love it as their bosses finally understand the value of refactoring, and managers love it because they get actionable tips that'll help the business.
Making this a general platform would require a lot of good curation, but nothing impossible. Now you got me thinking…
I could see 30 minutes to an hour working out for e.g. a bespoke greenfield codebase setup, but I don't think restricting it to 30 minutes makes a lot of sense.
And "visionaries". May be it's just me, but my defenses go up whenever I read a profile with visionary in it.
I run away screaming when I see this in somebody's profile.
The trouble here is that the guru or consultant who comes in needs to understand the context of the problem, which can't be done in 30 mins.
we have a lot of architecture consultant companies which provide these services already.
Am I doing anything wrong isn't happening in 30 mins. Am I doing anything wrong with React is more than 30 mins. Am I abusing Flux? That sounds doable. videoconference with a live dev plus codebase access.
In a previous career I walked hundreds of consultants thru connecting to the telco WAN and ISP network that employed me, and I can't help you with everything but in 30 minutes I can easily tell you what is wrong with your BGP configuration or your frame relay configuration or your MPLS/ATM connection. At least WRT connecting to that employer, at least WRT connecting 15 years ago. The consultants knew their client networks inside and out, I mostly told them "no do not redistribute via RIP RFC1918 address space to us" or "no you really don't want to send us a 0/0 route" or "you think we'll accept a route for a.b.c.d/27 and you're actually sending it correctly but you not having sent us a LOA means I'm filtering it right out" or "you might want to think about enabling md5 authentication because we have, as our welcome letter you obviously didn't read, clearly explained" and yeah people actually tried stuff like that. Also people with obvious peculiar ideas about how BGP works WRT priority of routes and load balancing and stuff. Could I tell these "network administrator consultants" how to set up MCSE server stuff, well, no, but I sure told a lot of them how to configure Cisco WAN interfaces and how BGP works (or doesn't work)...
You can do a lot in 30 minutes over a narrow enough specialty.
That's something I've seen getting much worse over the past decade with the proliferation of frameworks. What you call "getting up to speed" is tempting to call "playing with". People work with tools that they have no knowledge of. Learning on the job is good, but I think one should have at least an idea of how the tools are supposed to be used and how they are implemented before doing anything else than throwaways.
I don't know how to fix it really, it more of a cultural thing than a technical. Knowledge must somehow be cool and respected again. Or maybe I'm just getting old and this is really a faster way of building things. I just can't think of any other area where professionals jump to the next tool without even learning the one they use.
Great in theory but difficult in practice.
Developers rarely ever have the luxury to pick up a book as a means of getting up to speed when there exists online resources like Google and StackOverflow where you can easily find posts that answer your query string(s) verbatim.
If you don't know enough to ask high quality questions, SO and Google won't help you.
If you're lucky, G will lead you to tuts and repos with useful code.
If you're not, you'll make a ton of stupid beginner mistake and be overdrawn on the technical debt account before you even start.
In other words, the thing that makes software so unique and valuable, is the very thing that most organizations don't take advantage of. They think that if you throw it away, you are scrapping something akin to physical materials.
Problems like this tend to be consequence of team that does not tolerate dissent. E.g. either clique that stamps out dissenters as obviously stupid or dominant individual eager to bully anybody who does not conform to his favorite cool aid. Someone would say that "maybe we are going too far" otherwise.
Consultant wont be able to solve that one in 30 minutes.
We specialize in AWS and Google Cloud, and can help with simple LAMP/MEAN stacks all the way to complex multi-region microservice architectures using Terraform, containerization, Kubernetes and beyond.
I teach CS (programming, web development, distributed systems) on a local university, but have been thinking if there would be people interested in having 1:1 access to someone with development and teaching experience, for 30 minutes or 1h..
they shut it down.
Real consulting at market (or even above-market) prices exist for a reason. The kind of people who will spend hours setting up a consult, to only officially charge for 30 minutes, are exactly the kind of people you don't want working for you, for any period of time. You get what you pay for.
I can't for the life of me imagine what an apparently legitimate "micro-consulting" gig would look like, where the talent being hired isn't being asked to overperform for the amount of billing time being requested.
- Spatiotemporal analytics usually in the context of IoT. Most people currently repurpose cartographic tools for this purpose but the impedance match is poor and the tools are seriously lacking elementary functionality. There is no magic technology here, just exceptional UX/UI and an understanding of the problem domain and tooling requirements.
- IoT database platforms, no one offers a credible solution for this currently. Everyone defines this in terms of what they can do, not in terms of what is required in practice. There are many VCs currently hunting for this product but the problem is one of fundamental tech; you can't solve it using open source backends.
- Also for IoT, ad hoc clusters of compute at the edge being able to cooperate for analytical applications. The future of large-scale data analytics is planetary scale federation for many applications. Significant tech gaps here.
- Remote sensing analytics. Drones and satellites are generating spectacular volumes of this data and no one can usefully analyze data of this type at scale. Today, companies wait weeks for a single analytic output on less than a terabyte of data.
- Population-scale behavioral analytics. Many startups claim to do this but none of them can actually work with relevant data at a scale that would deliver on it despite increasing availability of the necessary data.
- AI based on algorithmic induction tech i.e. not the usual DNN and ML tech everyone calls AI. This is way more interesting if you have a novel approach.
I know it's fashionable to hate on deep learning, but algorithm induction is literally what deep learning does.
Any chance you can elaborate on what you're talking about here?
 R. J. Solomonoff. A formal theory of inductive inference: Parts 1 and 2. Information and Control, 7:1--22 and 224--254, 1964.
 R. J. Solomonoff. Complexity-based induction systems: Comparisons and convergence theorems. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, IT-24:422-432, 1978.
Such a question usually gets answers mostly comprised of work that is extremely boring at first glance. For example, create a system than halves the work to complete documentation for some sort of compliance with regulations.
Every one of these ideas just sounds incredibly interesting to work on. The type that gets a lot of really bright people together on a team (that I'd really want to be on too), yet they might not deliver a product, and possibly even less likely figure out how to monetize it.
Anyway, I'm not developing a friction-reducing product either, but worry about choosing something because it sounds like a rewarding, intellectual challenge.
I am co-founder of tensorflight.com. We do computer vision analytics of drone imagery. Interesting that you mention it, as I thought it's a somewhat obscure market. When we talk to investors in the valley 75%+ have to be educated about why what we do is a viable business.
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any ideas!
Thanks in advance.
- An exabyte-scale storage engine. Nothing too exotic here technically and a few companies have built them, but the design needs to address continuous data corruption, continuous hardware failure, geo-federation, etc.
- A real-time database kernel that supports very high throughput for mixed workloads. A production kernel of this type doesn't currently exist though several people working in closed source databases understand the necessary computer science in principle; the academic literature is far behind the state-of-the-art. The ability to gracefully shift load and transients between servers under full load with many millions of writes per second is not trivial.
- Native discrete topology operators. Necessary for geospatial analytics, sensor coverages, etc. If you can do it natively in the database kernel, it makes the second requirement easier to achieve since you don't need secondary indexing generally.
Any solution even halfway toward the general solution would be viable. The value possible if you have such a system is hard to overestimate. Companies have paid half a million dollars for the output of a single analytic query on tens of trillions of IoT records; the differentiator was that it was possible to execute such a query at all.
It is extremely high-end and polymathic computer science, but serious valuable if you can make a credible dent in it. And unlike some advanced topics in computer science, there are no epic unsolved theoretical problems you have to solve, though some relevant computer science may be unpublished.
A good example of an IoT data analytics problem is analyzing a petabyte of drone sensor data, which on a large drone amounts to a few flights worth. Typical raw sources tend to be some combination of hyper-spectral imaging/video and LIDAR. Or RF probability functions e.g. mobile. Or a combination of all of the above because you are fusing multiple sources to reduce the uncertainty for your analysis.
FWIW, the "tens of trillions" of IoT records I mentioned was a real-world example from one of the most famous financial companies. It was a spatial analytic on a polygon model, and a classic IoT data model. If KX solved that particular analysis problem, they would have used it.
There's been an explosion in raster data in just the last 5 years. Cheap satellites, cheap drones, and cheap platforms have really turned the firehose to "high". And the resolution on scientific data -- climate and weather model output, astronomy data, particle physics data, seismic data, etc. -- just keeps going up.
This is an area of massive growth for which no existing solution is quite adequate. If I had the time and/or the cash, I'd be diving in head-first.
His company provides sensor systems for civil engineering projects. A single large bridge can have sensor packs every 50m or so - per beam. The amount of sensor data coming in for a single municipality or region is already staggering. Vibration and stress analytics are required on a daily basis.
The final requirement, one which you didn't mention, is that this setup should be fairly low maintenance. If you need a team of rocket scientists to operate and just keep it from falling over, the cost structure will be unsustainable.
A service that provided all this in a platform with sane APIs and good BI integration should be making tons of money.
During development or if you want to store the raw data you can split the stream. eg: collect | tee >(store) >(anotherAnalyzer) | analyze | report
ain't that the truth
One of the points I've tried to make at various companies (we've worked at the same one before) is that streaming solutions and batch solutions need to be fused into a single execution engine.
A streaming system on its own (operating on temporal windows) is not nearly as useful as on that can be joined to a storage engine with data at rest. It also needs to be disk based, so windows can be large, which most people do not want to take on. It also needs to be extremely parallel, and efficient.
Thousands of requests a second per server is not even in the right ball-park (which is lots of current execution engines now). Operating at line rate is generally table stakes IMO. The operations on the stream should be parallelized automatically, up to petabytes a day of input. Humans don't have the necessary context to do the partitioning up front, especially with streams that change.
The issue is (and I've tried to come up with designs to address this, though not in practice), is that co-locating the data at rest, with data that is moving through the system is a tricky problem, especially with complicated joins.
They can be the same engine (and should), but traditional database engines tend to have a problem with streaming queries, since they are just repeatedly executing a query against every new record. They are expressible, just not efficient. There is room to innovate in this space, but most people building these engines either solve the parallelism problem naively, or not at all.
There's also the problem of driving this computation to the edge, which is also something I have a solution for in a way that no one is doing, but have not yet met a company willing to take this level of effort on.
All the points you make about the kernel are apt, as are the points about the distribution algorithms. Also, the protocols used aren't nash safe, so at scale most of these systems become an operational juggling act under pressure.
All streaming systems that I know of do not know enough about the underlying data to gracefully rebalance and co-locate, since they all tend to embody the map/reduce paradigm, which is oblivious to underlying data distribution, at least in current practice.
There is available computer science to solve all these issues, I think some of the spatial algorithms out there can also be applied to the streaming space, especially in join evaluation.
> something I have a solution for in a way that no one is doing
Is the general direction for this something you can share? 30 years of database literature accumulated a lot of knowledge. It's be a bold claim to say there's something powerful yet non-obvious.
It's not necessarily new computer science, just a clever (if I can be so bold) way to tackle edge computing in the context of a streaming engine.
I'm just speculating, of course. I was sort of entertaining your idea and going back and forth between "a sounds-good fantasy" and "No, that would be awesome, why does this not exist?"
The data processing could become a commodity but the architecture won't be -- its highly tied to your specific industry.
Three big missing features off the top of my head:
- Insufficiently correct and high precision computational geometry, which compounds with the iterative/recursive nature of many complex sensor analytics. Many people don't notice unless they ground truth their analytic process; I learned this the hard way. For many industries, 1% cumulative computational error is a catastrophic bug for analytics and the reality can be much worse in many common systems.
- Lack of first class tessellation types and operators. Once your data scientists have them, they'll wonder how they lived without them. Such things are completely useless for cartography and therefore don't exist in those platforms.
- High-performance computational geometry. This is particularly noticeable if you work with sensor coverages (like drone data). Your typical cartographic system has serious difficulty joining a few terabytes of complex polygons, but these are tiny data sets for many remote sensing sources. It literally takes weeks or months to run these types of queries. You can optimize this to be much faster but there was no pressing market need in cartography and cartographic systems aren't designed for scale-out generally.
On that last point, you can execute an effective denial of service attack on most GIS databases with a well-crafted set of polygons and polygon intersection queries. It doesn't even require malicious intent. (Yet another thing I learned the hard way.)
For example, the intersection of n polygons could have exponentially many segments. To prevent denial of service, accuracy has to be sacrificed, but "one part per trillion error" sounds hard.
As another example, representing the intersection between two line segments without error requires a data type that has three times as many bits as the x/y components of their endpoints, so rounding has to happen here, too.
The only solution I can come up with that would not have those problems would be to subdivide a plane into grid cells of size one trillionth of whichever unit, rasterize all polygons into it do the Boolean operations at pixel-level, but that would require huge amounts of memory and processing power. And additionally it would be vulnerable to a DOS attack where the attacker sends many very large overlapping rectangles.
Lastly, huge amounts of data would require many computers to be able to work on this problem in parallel, but if an attacker sends only overlapping polygons, parallelization would be very tricky if not impossible.
Making Asimov's Psychohistory from Foundation a reality!
Predicting mid to long-term trends and demographic shifts far enough ahead of time to make investments.
> There are many VCs currently hunting for this product
Implies a difficult problem.
> algorithmic induction tech
Do you mean inference?
I heard someone from U of Chicago School of Economics make the case that Payday lenders should not exist. If you go to U of C you'd know they do exist and they're about 1/4 of a mile off campus if you just left and looked around.
EDIT: FYI, not all pro-Free Market economists believe in EMH, Austrians for instance, have criticized Chicago school for this ridiculous theory.
If a company in California has ample opportunities to sell in Florida (>2000 miles away), why then is it significantly more difficult for a company in Greece to sell in Denmark, which is a much shorter distance.
There is a notable lack of an open European marketplace along the lines of Alibaba. There are many challenges in making that model work for the EU, especially ~24 languages and big cultural differences, but the tech industry is in a good position to overcome such boundaries.
The US has a federal "interstate commerce clause" which means that individual states cannot regulate trade with other states. The federal government has all the control, which would be like the European Union having control.
Incidentally, Amazon is one such example. If I buy something on the German amazon.de the contract is formed with Amazon EU S.à r.l. in Luxemburg and the goods are often shipped from a Polish warehouse.
The difficulties companies face within the EU are largely language and culture related rather than legal.
And this seems to work for FBA articles as well. But they can handle that due to their own logistic network. Parcels within Europe are still rather expensive, compared to a domestic Parcel. I can still send articles much cheaper from London to Inverness (Scotland) than to Brussels, even though Brussels is closer.
But that's probably just a function of the low B2C trade across borders, which leads to a sparse delivery network.
But the EU has their own version of the Commerce Clause, the Common Market.
One aspect of the problem is taxes and regulations, which for the most part has to be addressed politically. The different jurisdictions are a cause for friction, too.
The even more significant barrier however is the linguistic and cultural one. It's not sufficient to just translate a say English language website to French in order to start selling in France (and providing proper idiomatic translations for each of the main EU languages is difficult enough). There are cultural differences right down to which website designs are popular in any given EU country at a time. You often can tell where a website is 'located' just by looking at its design.
I think that, in the quest for a cheaper laptop, people won't care much that the product description isn't a grammatically perfect rendering of their local Norwegian subdialect. In fact, I bet a site that mandated English (I know, shudder all you want, but it's true) as the language for sellers would mop up here. Everybody 40 and younger (AKA "your target market") speaks/reads English flawlessly.
Taxes and regulations? Big problem. Totally agree with you. This is probably what's kept Amazon such a bit player in Europe.
Cultural and linguistic differences? Not a major issue.
Most people in Europe use Gmail, right? So they must already have figured out this stuff.
The implication of a consultancy company is that their work is done ad-hoc and in a one-off fashion, requiring lots of work from the company which stupidly only scales with the number of employees.
Software that successfully automated away the most toilsome parts of the job, allowing a handful of people to support intra-EU between any of the 28 member countries would do quite well.
Actually, I think that this is the chink in Amazon's armor, the bare patch on Smaug's underside.
Only a few European countries have Amazon stores and the brand loyalty for them isn't strong. A single EU store would become quickly popular and has the potential to be bigger than Amazon, given that the EU is larger than the US in market size.
I want amazon.eu, where I can filter by products, that can actually be shipped to my EU country - one stop shopping. I would probably stop buying online from local shops in my country entirely.
100 hundred times this! I avoid using Amazon just for their shipping information stupidity - I have to use checkout to be able to see if selected item can be shipped to my country. I find it funny and bizarre that it's easier to order online from China (which is half the World away) than from neighboring countries that belong to the same free trade zone. Ebay has an "EU only" search option, but it's useless as Ebay itself has become smaller Aliexpress cousin with same items and higher prices.
The store segmentation is created by amazon themselves and doesn't really make sense.
Still, the language of commerce in a country for the most part is the official language of that country. I'm not sure as to what can be done about that.
I've traveled to EU a lot and even in a country like France I had zero problems getting by.
Only if you travel along established tourist routes. Go to a local marketplace or try to ask for directions in a smaller town and you will find it hard in many EU countries. Yes, in Northern countries even most elders speak English fluently, but in South I have had many situations where finding a single English speaking person was a challenge (notably in Greece and Italy).
You probably didn't struggle to find an English-speaking person. You struggled to find a person willing to speak English with you. That's a subtle, but important, difference.
Most of my neighbors pretend not to understand English around tourists because it saves them enormous hassle. At first, I was appalled when I realized this. Now, I confess to doing it myself. It gets exhausting answering the same questions from unresourceful tourists over and over again.
Locals don't want to be your tour guide. They just want to enjoy their coffee in peace.
Look at what happened to facebook when they started offering localized versions, their growth suddenly exploded over here.
I believe this will take a long time, and it certainly is a major barrier.
And in addition to that, even though most young people can communicate well in English doesn't mean they want to shop in an English store. You need to have a very good proficiency (probably C2) to know the English words for all articles you have in your household.
But translating a website shouldn't be a big deal anyway.
Let me tell you an old story. I'm spanish. We had in the late 90's a mail list about the Delphi programming environment. Delphi was made by Borland, a private company that had translated the IDE to French and German.
At a certain moment there was a vocal group in the list that very insistently demanded that everybody made a petition to Borland to create a Spanish translation of the IDE (the manuals had already been translated). I didn't care, not only because I had already read every manual when Delphi was released, before they were translated, but also because I believed that any pro should know enough English to move around, instead of depending on the ones that had already done the job.
I tried to stay away from the discusion until a friend tried to force my hand very publicly with the argument that Spanish was no less important than English in culture or number of speakers or quality programmers... the political problem!
So I had to answer the obvious: English was not only important to communicate with English speakers. I can talk with people from Sweden, Russia, Poland, Greece... instead of learning a dozen languages. It's not a matter of what should be, it's a matter of what is!
And that was twenty years ago. Today my teen son has no problem chatting in Minecraft with people all around the world.
About shopping in an English store, they do. Google Translate works great if there's a problem. There is that musical instruments shop that everybody uses and another of bikes, both in Germany. People are used to the English words for that stuff anyway. The difficult thing, even in local shops is hearing many terms translated. What is a "flanger" called in Spanish? No idea. Or a "chorus", etc. We just used that as is. Household stuff are in local stores, no need to shop them online.
Anyway, if you look a little above, you'll see my comment that I think it would be a good idea to create a company that help other companies to operate in a multinational space. I was thinking more on taxes and regulations, but of course decent translations would be nice to have.
For graphics, everyone still use Adobe products which are not that bad but still few had changed in Photoshop and Illustrator from 1991.
For music, DAWs are not that bad and there's no single monopolist like Adobe, but VST system is stinky and stuck in times of Windows 95. People are buying hardware synths (which are just computers running software) only because software on these embedded computers runs reliably, but VSTs crash, freeze every time and require hardware license keys plugged into parallel port. Also, everything inside is complete black magic and every supplier of software pretends that there are super secret algorithms everywhere. Every oscillator and filter is super-secret and super-unique and there's no articles in the open how to design "decent" oscillator and filter. Medival times everywhere.
And these tools should be designed for users, not Entertainment Content Production Corporations.
Creative Suite has evolved leaps and bounds since 1991. It has even evolved leaps and bounds in the last 10 years alone. It's strange to me that someone who really uses Adobe's products would say such a thing. Creative Suite is the only one in the game because it's SO good that there isn't a chance for a competitor to step in. They are also constantly adding new tools to the suite at no additional cost.
As for DAWs, I happen to produce music and have used most of the major DAWs over the last 15 years, though I've settled on Ableton Live. I have zero problems with VSTs crashing, and I often run projects with 50+ VSTs running simultaneously. Stolen VSTs can have stability issues, of course. Hardware dongles are also fairly rare. Only a handful of companies use them, and they aren't really a problem at all as long as you aren't in the habit of stealing software. They typically install in the USB port, not the parallel port. Parallel port dongles were used by Steinberg and were phased out long ago.
I'm curious - what DAWs in particular have you used, and which VSTs are you having problems with?
As a designer I can tell you Serif is doing great things already. Affinity Designer is a solid Illustrator replacement, most of my printed work for clients comes out of that. People are excited about Affinity Photo and Publisher, which are Photoshop and InDesign replacements.
Not to mention UI/UX which is pretty much dominated by Sketch, with very few people using the Adobe equivalent (Xperience Design or whatever it's called).
The biggest issue is compatibility though: the vast majority of teams exchange files in .psd, .ai, .indd which are proprietary formats, so there's lots of reluctance to change and difficulties collaborating if someone uses a different thing. It's a bit like Microsoft Office versus all the other formats, open or not.
I only know about guitar pedals, but aren't a good portion of these analog through and through?
A fun true-analog synth which is pretty fun for a reasonable price is the MicroBrute: https://www.arturia.com/products/hardware-synths/microbrute
(If anyone's interested, hit the second link in my profile.)
1) From interviewing a lot of producers and plugin developers, our findings show that there's a bit of a vicious cycle with pricing: most hobbyist producers aren't willing to shell out the money for plugins, so they opt to pirate them instead. The plugin developers lose out on a ton of sales, so they hike the prices up to make up for lost revenue. The hobbyist producers continue to see high prices and therefore continue to pirate plugins, and the cycle starts all over again. :)
2) Most paid plugins don't offer trial versions, and when they do, they're always crippled and DRMed in some form or another. When there's no trial, users don't want to make the leap of faith and buy the plugin, and when there is, the aforementioned crippling/DRM can be quite the hindrance.
We're shooting to make the user experience better on both of these fronts by offering a more modern marketplace - you still get a nice store to browse through and read about plugins, but one of EQIP's value adds is the ability to instantly demo the full version of any plugin on the spot right within your session (and our technology's secret sauce prevents anyone from getting their hands on either the plugin or the audio).
The next step in our gameplan is to offer bundled subscriptions for plugins; you might think of Splice's rent-to-own, which is a great offering, but the pricing model is on a per-plugin basis - we're looking at various tiers of affordable pricing for access to X number of plugins depending on the tier. This way, a producer can have unlimited access to several plugins they like for one low cost (and rent-to-own can easily be added to this, we're still working on the pricing for the time being).
I hope that was a helpful brief rundown! There's a lot more to it - if you'd like to chat, you're more than welcome to email me, my email's available at my personal website (also in my profile). :)
Crytpo Currency: There is room for more disruption here. I suspect a currency that is both trackable and backed by a pool of commodities/currencies could be quite popular. Traceable would make theft risk reduced as money could effectively be returned if it is stolen and being backed/hedged by currencies/commodities would help with confidence.
Cargo: I'm surprised we haven't seen electric cargo ships. Even combine solar with sail as winds are favorable. This combined with auto-navigation (at least between ports) seems more easily achievable than cars yet technology is further behind.
Dockable Phone to PC (physical or even better if wireless dock): Surprised no-one has done this well yet. I can image whoever does this with really take ownership of the OS space. I always felt this could be the best route for Microsoft to re-enter the mobile space with force.
I'm on a "Startup break", and started a Service Firm. While working with clients, we realized the need to serve a rather underserved section of projects, which are high enough for individual freelancers or even a small team but too low for established agencies - the $100,000 to $1M projects.
We're experimenting with some of our clients and their connections, to work with our service/marketplace where we manage the project end-to-end to make sure it is done, with other vetted teams of designers and developers. It is not 'cheap' but much more economical than traditional Agencies.
We're Beta Testing it with a small set of clients for now. For those curious, we have a sign-up page at http://www.worksigma.com/
Our clients know that they can go on a vacation while we work on their projects. They wanted that same experience while working with the partners that we introduced. So, we end up handling the client's project and make sure it gets done via these partners.
Work Sigma is borne out of this patterns, and process that we followed. We want to grow this, formalize it, and be able to provide a good service to clients and make them happy. One of the marketing taglines that we tossed around our team is, "Agency in the Cloud".
btw, A friend told me there is something similar at UpWork - https://www.upwork.com/pro/. This is nice - the market is tested and proven.
Why do you think this is possible?
That's pretty much exactly what Toptal or other premium shops like Gigster do: vet remote developers to ensure high quality.
The idea that you can get great developers from India for rock-bottom rates is mostly a fallacy.
Want a better vetting quality? Look at previous work and read code. It doesn't scale unless you put more people at that but maybe somebody can think about an AI for that.
Yes, at rock-bottom rates(< $25/hr), it is. But >$25/hr starts becoming good money for local Indian developers and you can start comparing them to the good developers in the west (>$50/hr).
That's just my opinion having worked in the industry for a while and seen both sides of that market.
There could be could add battery storage to be used during the journey. They could include wind turbines to add further power generation.
Also ships can go slower. In my limited knowledge of boats every extra knot takes significantly extra fuel. If we were bringing multiple power sources 'slow' cargo may be viable. And the has to be other ways to increase this function.
And there is always hybrid. Not all power has to be renewable sources. A solution could start with supplementing diesel driven thrust with some lower cost green power. Given diesel is 70% of shipping operating cost that seems a potential option.
No one really wants to build cargo ships right now, shipping companies are barely staying afloat right now because there is a glut of cargo capacity.
This technology would need to be cheap enough that it would make sense to retrofit a ship with it... which would probably not be the case for a very long time.
I do think it's a very thought provoking idea however.
It's a type of 'tragedy of commons' situation, where every shipping company is making the right decisions from their individual perspective, but collectively they're driving themselves into the ground.
For me this explains the rise of slow-steaming. It makes a lot of sense in this market because it lowers the cost of shipping a container (less fuel), while simultaneously reducing the market capacity (# of containers / year).
Finally, very few shipping companies make money on the major lines (e.g. China to Europe), because it's pure price competition. They're much more likely to make money in places where they have a 'monopoly' on something: e.g. being the only ship that leaves in the next 3 days, or being the only shipper going to a specific location. For example inter-Africa shipping falls in this category.
However ironically though, these mega vessels are considered with quite a bit of disdain by many in the industry. This link can provide quite the rabbit hole of information. http://www.supplychain247.com/article/state_of_ocean_contain...
Further exacerbating the problem with the glut of cargo capacity.
"When the wind conditions are favourable, Norsepower Rotor Sails allow the main engines to be throttled back, saving fuel and reducing emissions while providing the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time. Rotor sails can be used with new vessels or they can be retrofitted to existing ships."
There have been cracks at putting "sails" of one form or another on ships but they've always been heavy, relatively ineffective and basically just not worth the hassle.
The speed of a ship is actually quite easy to work out. You find the time/value curve for the cargo and the cost/time for the ship and see where they cross - essentially. The long and short of it is that the lighter and more valuable your cargo is, the faster the ship goes. This is why container ships are much faster than oil tankers.
Drone ships won't be practical any time soon because of maintenance problems. Crews spend much of their time at sea performing preventative maintenance, painting, and fixing broken equipment. With a drone ship all of that work would have to be done at the pier which would be far more expensive than paying a crew.
The problem is that safe disposal of nuclear fuel is nontrivial.
Every nuclear powered ship becomes a prime terrorist target, either to hijack it or destroy it in place and cause a radiological incident. So you also need constant armed security (also expensive).
A more practical way to have "nuclear powered" ships would be to use electric power from land based nuclear plants to manufacture synthetic hydrocarbon liquid fuels, then load that fuel on the ships. Nuclear plants on land are far more cost effective since they can be built much larger to achieve economies of scale on operations and security.
Seems like a natural fit. For almost everything in the military, IMO there should be some market in the private space that could use those skills.
See some resources:
You could probably even find some ingenious way to run the current through the containers stacked umderneath to route the power. They are made of metal.
I feel its like Palm vs. iPhone. Sure Palm was earlier to market with a reasonable solution, but someone needed to nail it.
I was thinking recently that I'd like a liberated Android, found CopperheadOS, but I'm still not sure I'd like to use it on the desktop.
Microsoft has done this already but thanks to their poor marketing and crappy Windows phones, no one even knows about it.
I lived in Taipei for a couple of years. The "third space" is super common there. People would hang out at coffee shops (loads and loads of coffee shops), get "afternoon tea" with friends, or go to a park or even a subway station lobby and socialize.
The Taipei metro even embraced it and set up specific places / spaces for shopping or socializing (that were dual purpose rather than simply being a corridor).
I feel like this is missing in the US, and genuinely miss wandering around with my backpack for a Saturday. It was a load of fun to head out for an early lunch, go find some random coffee shop to "work" (aka "surf the web and people watch"), then find a place for a beverage and maybe go see a movie or have dinner. Those days were genuinely the most fulfilling, especially when I'd run into random acquaintances.
Bringing it back, a river runs through downtown Austin with a great hike / bike trial along it. There aren't really many cafes (I can think of one) along about 10 miles of trail that are good "destinations" to wander toward while enjoying the scenery.
May be a bit early yet for this though. Would tend to displace other "hang-out" locations and businesses, so might be best to fit in with what's there (bars?), but offer something new and different (so people have an idea to anchor on rather than going entirely new concept).
Bakeries also fit this description in those neighborhoods.
I believe it's owned by a local bank, but I don't know if it makes money (or if it's intended to). Entry is free normally, sometimes there are non-free ticketed concerts and a cash bar.
I'd love to have an accessible chill out place I could go to just to get some work done, preferably with a good view of something. No music playing, just quiet and the ability to get a coffee and simple food if necessary.
Google Campus in London does this, but isn't that comfortable for long periods (plus it's absolutely packed).
This is what most closely resembles what I want! Of course, in 2017 it'd be for everyone.
We could even be like those strange upper class British clubs that don't allow people to talk to each other.
This is the problem with NYC coffee shops. They're place to go talk with a friend for a bit or for a first date. They're not really places to casually hang out all day.
Basically, the strategy should be to follow the money (the demand) and to love what you do (be above average). This, it seems, the most probable way to get noticed, to get funding (for abilities) and to succeed. The markets are stochastic.
For example, if you ask yourself, how come that such piles of Java crap as Hadoop came to be so popular, the answer would be that the biotech industry has almost unlimited hot money that time and huge demand for big data processing tools, so even such poorly designed and implemented by amateurs crap would be a good-enough tool.
Suppose, I would like to make a similar tool, order of magnitude less wasteful, based on ideas from Plan9, Erlang, based on ZFS, etc, in other works, do it the right way, would I get any funding? No, because there is no real demand for quality solution when a crappy one is OK. There are exceptions, of course, how, for example, nginx became a well-crafted improvement over apache, but this is indeed an exception.
So, go to the valley and keep looking. There, it seems, no other way. The principle is that there must be a strong demand backed by big money (Wall Street investors), so even a half-backed result could be easily sold and re-used to return investments and even make some profit.
We live in a rapidly ageing society. Retirees are a large and wealthy demographic. Despite that, tech companies are absolutely woeful at designing products for older users. We don't empathise with their needs. We don't understand how poor eyesight, arthritis or cognitive difficulties can affect UX. There's a huge amount of pent-up demand and excellent opportunities for future growth.
We should be ensuring that our increasingly ageing population is housed, fed, warm, cared for, in touch with friends and relatives, free from pain and depression, has access to medication, and can live with dignity. The elderly should be actively involved in and by their communities.
One day you'll meet your rocking-chair, because that's where we're all heading. It's galling that start-ups and investors seek to service their young selves with apparently little vision regarding the future.
Who's disrupting nursing homes, or dementia care, or care home staffing, or toileting assistance, or end of life depressiom..?
There are certain near-future technologies like self-driving cars and robotic home care that could revolutionise the lives of the old. I think that's a given, but they have a relatively high barrier to entry.
At the other end of the scale there must be pure (or almost pure) software solutions that could help older peoples' lives also.
I've been thinking of Alexa-style AIs that actually perform useful tasks such as pre-screening scam phone calls, alerting the user about important emails, or proactively helping the user perform a bank transaction. This could be useful for everyone, but when an old person can barely read emails, never mind sort important ones from the scams and junk, I think it would be a godsend.
The devil is of course in the detail. As a high-level concept it all sounds great, but how would it actually work? I've been imagining a kind of "meta-OS" that sits on top of the OS and drives it on the user's behalf. Or perhaps it should be more like a netbook, with all the actual content kept in the cloud, and the AI as a thin client dedicated solely to allowing easy access to the data. There are a lot of possible way for this to work, and a huge number of problems to solve...
Seniors probably don't think about putting all their content in the cloud, don't think about inheritance of their online account, and don't think about their OS either.
Sounds like an opportunity?
Here's an experiment you can try. Stay up for two nights in a row. Have a few drinks. Put on a pair of ear defenders, a pair of glasses with the wrong prescription and a pair of leather gardening gloves. Try to go about your daily life. You'll very quickly see plenty of industries that are ripe for disruption.
The man-made world is overwhelmingly designed by and for the not-yet-disabled. We build overly complex interfaces with too many options and too few affordances. This makes life difficult for everyone, but it can totally exclude people with impairments.
Nobody realised how awful smartphones were until the iPhone arrived. I think that most products and services are just as awful as a Windows Mobile phone circa 2005, but we have become inured to their awfulness. We're drowning in unnecessary complexity, in large part because we don't expect anything better.
Health issues begin to interfere increasingly with opportunities to make new friends--there are increasing numbers of activities that you simply can't do anymore. Isolation increasingly becomes a problem, and isolation is a serious health hazard for older people, affecting mental health and posing a hazard to physical health.
Platforms that make it easier for older people to stay in touch with one another, to meet new people safely, and to develop networks of trust and assistance could make a huge difference in the quality of people's lives.