June 22, 2016
Here are my recap notes from tonight’s #LowerGOCC meetup at Mudsmith sponsored by NoD Coworking.
We had a few new faces this time and we skipped the Open Coffee Club 101 stuff and moved straight into various discussion topics. In addition to tech startup founders, we also had a flight attendant and a technology consultant join in the fun. I tried to tag everyone in this tweet.
Book Recommendation: Do Less by Rachel Jonat
We discussed several aspects of minimalism and found that minimalism has different meanings to different people. We talked about the parallels between clutter in real life and clutter in the internet. We also discussed various methods that we have developed for maintaining our relationships online, such as when to friend (or de-friend) people, when to accept or reject a LinkedIn request, etc.
Growth Hacking Discussion
We threw around names of some new cool tools for growth hacking online:
Hello List: http://HelloList.com
Maitre App: https://maitreapp.co/
Vincent Dignan’s Guide: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/secret-sauce-a-step-by-step-growth-hacking-guide–2#/
Book Recommendation: Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
Local startup that helps with e-mail list verification: https://kickbox.io/
We had a similar discussion last month about whether or not technology startup founders need to know how to code in order to be successful. This time it seemed like the conclusion was generally that “You don’t need to code everything yourself, but you do need to know how to code.”
Tools that were discussed:
Active Admin for Ruby on Rails: http://activeadmin.info/
Investment Funds Discussion
We talked a little bit about local investment funds, angel networks, and private investors that are looking to invest in startups:
Dating Apps Discussion
Video Chat Dating App: InstAmour
Startup Weekend Winner: Take Us Out
How startups are creeping in to mainstream media: Shark Tank, Silicon Valley
“Digital Employees” http://www.ipsoft.com/amelia/
Conversable is a new startup making AI chatbots to replace customer service agents.
Translation Discussion – we talked for a while about different scenarios where it might be useful to have artificial intelligence assisting us with translations in real time. In airports, for example, it would be nice for the basic safety and gate information to instantly be translated into the listener’s native tongue. Figuring out what language a patient speaks in ER is a big pain point for doctors and could mean the difference between life and death. Also, in the service industry, it might help a server/waiter build rapport with their customer if the customer can speak in his/her native tongue. This might also get really weird. A universal truth is that people want to feel understood. Communicating to people in their mother tongue leaves a distinct impression, builds trust, and (in theory) would them feel understood.
Travel Tech Discussion
We had a flight attendant in our group, so we asked her about new technologies she is required to use on board these days. Mainly she mentioned the electronic hand held tablets that they use now to process payments for food and drinks. We also agreed that there are generally more screens showing up in planes to enable passengers to interact with content and receive flight communications.
There might be an opportunity to innovate and come up with new customs forms for international travel. Currently it is a pain to deal with the paper forms when traveling international because it is still an old school paper process and each country has their own way of handling the information.
Regarding operational systems for airlines and airports, one startup in Seattle called Aerostrat is attempting to streamline the airplane maintenance process with a niche project management tool.
Lastly we talked about IoT sensors coming into play on trains and planes. We had a little debate about which is more technologically advanced: Planes or Trains? Interestingly there are solid cases for both. Trains have been using sensors and smart technology for years to track locations and to communicate ahead of time and automatically reroute when train tracks are damaged. Planes perform the incredibly awesome task of transporting hundreds of humans at 30,000 ft. See Louis CK’s bit about planes. The plane’s “brain” has to make an insane amount of calculations in real time in order to function on auto-pilot. All in all, we think the two industries may be able to learn a lot from each other and fuel innovation by adapting proven technology solutions from each side.