How to prevent working on a product that nobody actually wants? Get out of the Ivory Tower and get the problem defined, preferably with actual (paying) customers.Read More
Waiting sucks, but patience pays.Read More
Overlooked? What is your exit strategy?Read More
IBM and Maersk have managed to bring 2 big players onboard their Tradelens blockchain application. Tradelens has been around for about a year since the first announcement, but one of the main points of criticism has been that it only involved Maersk and none of the competitors. I have seen quite a lot of people giving IBM crap for this reason, which I believe is unjustified.
“The fact that IBM was able to onboard Maersk’s biggest competitors shows that they’ve managed to make a lot of progress since last year when the platform experienced difficulties attracting new carriers.
TradeLens now has more than 100 organizations signed up. Customs clearance is an area that many in the logistics sector believe is a natural blockchain use case. TradeLens boasts several customs members including the US Customs and Border Protection, Canada Border Services Agency and the Customs Administration of the Netherlands. Last week Saudi Customs announced its first pilot shipment on the platform.” - IBM and Maersk Announced 2 New Partners For Shipping Blockchain
It takes a lot of effort and guts to set up such a new ecosystem and there are various ways to go about it, none of them ideal. The two main flavours are:
- Getting everybody on board from the start, having many, lengthy discussions on the rules and specifics. Imagine trying to build a new country from scratch and having to decide on every code and regulation with the entire population. This is a route that will take time.
- Setting up a product with one or a few strategic players in the proposed ecosystem, taking out a lot of the lengthy discussions, and being able to come to market a lot sooner. The hard part here is how do you entice others to join the game you have set up once it is in operation.
Going one way or the other can depend on the preference of the parties involved, or what feels more natural to the industry. Choose your battles, but don’t criticise others because for the choice they have made.
Space. The Final Frontier. Inspiring me forever. While initially the domain of countries, space travel is now also becoming home to private companies. The article below on NASA’s proposed budget cuts to me signals that countries, the initial powers that made things happen, might withdraw even more, which is a shame really.
”And that budget keeps NASA's astrophysics funding so low over the coming years that the agency won't be able to develop another ambitious, big-ticket "flagship" observatory for the foreseeable future, experts say.” - Era of Big NASA Space Telescopes May Be Ending
Some thoughts on the article:
- While exploration and going to other planets has an attractive proposition for private companies, mapping out and looking at the universe has a less concrete profit looming. The countries that explored our earth, claimed territory and pillaged the riches from their ‘new found lands’ gathered quite a fortune from that. Entities making similar claims to the territories out there in space, could be driven by a similar motive which propels their business.
- Large scale telescopes and related technology can greatly increase our understanding of the universe and help us get our bearings out there. A profitable business model around that could be the ‘Google Maps for Space’, but since actual use by large masses is still far off, I doubt any private entity is willing to make such a long-term investment yet.
- The article provides some details from a US perspective and how in the past they ‘lost’ the race for ‘their’ SSC to the EU LHC. While I appreciate this perspective to be still present, ultimately we as a species would benefit more by working more together. I know, looking at how the UN or the EU sometimes work/function, we as a species are far from that utopian point. For space we managed to work together with so many countries, I think because the stakes and investments are so high, but also because we can achieve so much more working together than working apart, something that I see being pitched in the Gateway concept.
I really hope NASA is getting the proper funding it aims to secure, as it would also be a shame if so much experience and knowledge would go to waste.