We are not only keen to share what we learn from our interviews with members of the Australian startup scene through our podcast, but we are also avid podcast listeners and hope to share things that made us think from other great podcasts out there.
What we heard this week…
Open source is once again a growing trend with services such as GitHub bringing into the mainstream, a concept that has existed for many years in the tech industry. On the a16z podcast Martin Casado, Peter Levine, and Sonal Chokshi talk about the inability historically for open source technology companies to generate revenue from the software itself. Red Hat generated revenue by providing services, Android makes money from advertising and search traffic and well BitTorrent companies are still trying to work out their model.
Build a business, not just a technology solution. Roy Bahat on the thetwentyminutevc talks about as an investor in machine learning he believes that companies that build a business leveraging the technology to solve a customer problem will succeed in the long run as opposed to companies that are “just machine learning companies”.
Good VC’s always ask ‘why now?’ Neeraj Agrawal from Battery Ventures, always ask “why now”. Ideas aren’t always brand new and are often tried in the past but what factors may drive customers to adopt it this time around.
Climate change is no longer a scientific conversation but a cultural one. Our friends at Hidden Brain think this is the problem stopping climate change from being taken seriously – with the impacts (social and economic) too far in the future, people find it hard to take it seriously, even if the science is right.
Uber’s technology could be built in a month. Roger Dickey one of the co-founders of Gigster, believes this to be true, they have not succeeded because of their technology but the demand and supply side they have built. Roger Dickey believes it will be important for companies where technology is not the true competitive advantage to not bear the burden of hiring full time staff. He has an obvious interest in recommending that, but we tend to agree this is true in the early days.
The revival of the supersonic flight. Boom Technologies is banking improved engineering capabilities to revive high-speed travel for the same cost of business class today and build a sustainable business model that Conorde never quite got to. Clearly there was some demand for the service (2.5m+ passengers flew on a Concorde in its time). Blake Scholl states although it was shut down in 2003, it was dead in the 70’s. Why? partly engineering and partly could have also just been the driven by the politics between the UK and France that added cost having to duplicate facilities and ‘arbitrarily’ pick where certain parts would be built – clearly there is room for efficiency. With pre-orders already coming in, maybe the time is right…