Ideas on paper

Thoughts by José Luis Agell

Check your body as often as your email

Today I had a very interesting chat with Misha Chellam, co-founder and COO of Scanadu, a fascinating health tech startup that I’m sure it’s going to change the medical world.

I know it might sound futuristic but they’re building a personal, mobile, auto-diagnostics product-they refer to it as a Medical Tricorder. I believe that their video (co-produced by IDEO) captures very well their vision and spirit.

All the best guys!

Technology to improve our lives

I was fortunate to attend part of the GigaOm Roadmap today. The conference gathered 20 tech leaders to analyze “what’s next”.  Tech pros and founders from companies like Square, Twitter, Dropbox, WordPress, DreamWorks… went on stage to talk about what they’re working on and where do the see they future of technology going.

Speakers came from very different backgrounds and industries but there was a common denominator: technology is going to become more human-centered, enhancing new user experiences, better communications and healthier life-styles.

These are some of my notes:

Humanization

“Both [Twitter and Square] are great at encouraging more face-to-face human interactions… I believe strongly that this information and these tools help us be better, but we need to be sure as builders of tools that it’s not overwhelming, that it’s meaningful, and that it’s not distracting. That it’s not something that puts technology first; it puts humans first. And the humans’ use of the technology first.” (Jack Dorsey)

Personalization

Ian Blaine, CEO of The Platform, said that content can’t be pushed homogeneously to everybody. The access to the cloud has to be personalized, adapted to everyone’s preferences. This is what they’re doing at Xfinity, creating a customized way to watch media content and movies, making it more personalized, social and more user-friendly.”There will also be a bunch of extra meta-data around the program, making it possible for end users to find new content by actor or even through personal recommendations. Another neat feature: TV viewers will have a history of the nine most recent items viewed across VOD, live TV and online content.”

Connectedness

Mobile internet is connecting us all, bringing up great capabilities and opportunities in various industries: health, communications, sports… It might sound a bit futuristic, but Jawbone Founder and CEO Hosain Rahman says we’re headed to an era where our bodies can be connected to everything in the world, including our remote doctor, coach or heating system. I’m still impressed by the new wristband that his company has recently launched: UP. This system (wristband+ iPhone app) tracks your daily and sleeping activity and helps you live a healthier live.

Openness and interoperability

With lots of data about ourselves in the cloud, interoperability becomes crucial. Data has to be accessible from a variety of devices.

This is just a taste of what the future will be. It was a day full of valuable insights and excitement to make us smarter, more connected and healthier through technology.

Ctrl+Alt+Compete, a movie about startups

I can’t wait to see this movie that gets into the journey of 5 startups to show what it takes to be successful and what are the main risks.

I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded

Last Monday, the FailCon took place in San Francisco. As its website preaches: FaiCon is a one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success. Wow! 🙂

I love the idea to share our failing experiences to prepare for success. Because the entrepreneurial life is made of ups and downs. We need to have both to succeed.

I have the feeling that entrepreneurship is becoming a popular trend nowadays (especially in Spain). This is great on one hand: we need to change the way traditional companies work. However I believe that most people have a romantic concept of starting a company. It is actually an exciting adventure but it’s not sexy at all. Start-ups take long-hour workdays, economic efforts, tons of creativity, persistence and, of course, failures. So, we all need to embrace failure and, when things are not going as expected, find the way to pivot, reformulate the value proposition or restructure the team without being discouraged.

In this sense, I’d like to share the wise words of Vinod Khosla at FailCon 2011:

We better stop being afraid of failure and get used to talk about it with the pride that we talk about our successes! 🙂