I am writing this weekly posts to share some of the news and some of the ideas that I get when I read those pieces of news. Hopefully it will help spark some thoughts and result in some innovation somewhere.
- Building a business is all about the act of value creation. Often times we see certain activities as acts of value creation simply by the virtue of the fact that we are able to make money from the activity. Building a software product is seen as a value creating activity. But we do not see preserving forests or improving the health of the poor as value creating activities. We let the government take care of it because it is harder to get paid doing that. Does it not create value in the long run? I found this article interesting and it made me think weather it might be possible for us to build business around such activities. There is hope! Look at this startup, planting trees is worth millions!
- One of the biggest strengths of the architecture of the internet is that no single node is more powerful than the other. Each server is only as powerful as the quantum of data and traffic that gets routed through it. And if that server were to fail, the rest of the system will continue to function without a hitch! Because power generation takes place out of power plants, we have a hub and spoke model for power distribution. In a world where every house might have a solar panel, producing electricity, this model is not at all efficient. When the sun shines bright, many houses produce more electricity than they consume. This makes it possible for many of them to sell this excess power, and this happens in many European countries. Industries and offices consume a lot of power during this point of time and they become buyers. In order for a system to work in this manner, it is important to have a grid that is functions like the internet. A startup is working on making this happen.
- This problem is not unique to western economies alone. Right here in India, we can see the problem of excess power. Our distribution companies do not reach the remote villages (actually not even the not so remote villages) well. It is important to distribute this power well. Not doing so just adds more carbon emissions (since we are predominantly coal based) while not adding any value to the economy. There is an opportunity to create a startup that looks at the lower end of the electricity value chain and it is best to do that because it would allow the startup to begin with the lowest levels of complexity. There is a startup right here in India, out of Uttaranchal that is working on this.
- Not everyone has the ability to understand what is profound. Hence what is profound rarely tends to be popular. Killer insight if you want to learn.