Today we are somewhere here, heading south west from Mauritius making our way south around Madagascar and towards Africa coast, through the Indian Ocean.
Their boats reminded me of a small robot boat I made (and taught guys to make at a workshop at the Science Gallery, Dublin, Trinity College) :
Also I published this on Instructables
We had a meeting with Rehan Hasan, the resident attorney on board.
We of course have many IP and legal questions, especially considering that we are in the midst of completing a Protei-specific Open Hardware Licence with Andrew Katz.
Open Hardware: build business to fail, build technology for the environment
We do not want anyone to put us out of business : as in, steal our tech and patent it so we cannot any longer make flexible hull sailboats with segmented bodies. We DO want people to copy and produce and distribute our technology. How do we protect ourselves for this. can we do it with a license
–>License : what does this protect – i.e. cern open source hardware license to protect documentation ownership and distribution of the “electronic / hardware” product
–is a license just a social framework / agreement or is this actually protecting you for the technology
–What are the implications of publishing documentation about the technology ?
–>does this make it impossible for others to NOT patent… does this protect us in any way?
Some IP questions from the past:
2 what are the implications of a patent on electronics? if it is open source
3 can we / should we file for provisional patents?
4 What does a patent do: protect against anyone else that tries to do what we’re doing? from taking our tech and putting us out of business?
5 How do we ensure we can monetize this technology before anyone else?
6 Shall we find a specific IP lawyer?
7 how do we stay true to open source, perhaps we cannot get a patent because then it is just free, but not open?
8 can you patent just one part of the technology and the rest is open source? will this help with funding?
9 if we publish our paper in a journal, does this suffice for protecting us against others who try to patent our technology?
4 types of protection: copyright, patent, trademark and tradesecret. Tradesecret is the only type of protection that you don’t apply for. For example, the recipe for coca cola, which is TRADESECRET, confidential. As soon as information is public info, it ceases to be proprietary because it’s in the public general knowledge. Open source means that it is published in general public knowledge, so that someone else cannot claim it as their own. So therefore, protection might come from publishing it, and making it accessible.
A LICENSE? what does it do?
It sets up general guidelines, but doesn’t force someone because we dont own it if the community makes it, it is their IP.
It sets up guidelines about : Liability issues and protections – how to get paid, warranty, limit damages, limit liability,
you can have a royalty or a license fee
Segmenting companies with different industries, geographies, assets, IP, and missions insulates liability and risk. For example, an investor can invest in one or many, or a holding company. Segmenting earlier is better. And you build in culture: control your branding strategically and thoughtfully.
workshop: intros and legal discussion
Chris from Microsoft;
Kamron – angry birds, ~5000 out of 29M users; only created technologies that brought humans closer. Now interested in : god 2.0 and self organized mesh networks using 2d technology, non regulated hi bandwidth networks, resolve power way from government pass it onto the masses.
Reyan Hassan – attorney in Denver; Entrepreneur himself, involved with venture community
Caroline from Nike.
George gives the brief of what we should prepare for the global design entrepreneurship class, but Protei opts not to be involved with the next brainstorming design challenge.
A simple framework to design good design challenges : usually people think we’re designing a thing (a lamp, a wallet) but what about service, policy etc… Try to just add the word “experience”.
REDEISTIGN BLANK experience BLANK.
Here are a couple of examples: redesign the solar cooking experience while camping. Redesign the school experience for a new students.
Redesign the investors experience for learning about prakti stoves.
IP MEETING / Workshop:
usually the answer is: it all depends.
The roadmap: the lifecylce of a business: with every company the timing changes – but by and large, it starts with:
1. the formation of the company, entry point (c corp, llc etc)
2. Doing business: form as an entity, start doing business: do contracts so you get paid through service you do, and widgets you sell
3. constructing the business – get IC and employees
5. incentivising and keeping the employees
4. scale up, take outside investment, bring it to the next level – funding from friends, family, private equity, consumer, bank loans
6. your exit: sales to third party, pass down to family, sell to employees…
There’s no such thing as a wasted experience if you learned.
We spent the rest of the day and night working a grant proposal for Think Beyond Plastic and developed our slide deck:
In the morning we had a “deep dive” with the mentors and learning partners about Protei short term next steps, but we dove deep into some tough questions about the business models, long term goals, funding strategies etc.
Some topics: how to increase durability of platform; focus our efforts so it has social value; What apps do customers go after so we can support those businesses? What does it mean that Protei is technologically superior? Self righting, communication system doesn’t break, weather resistant / water proof. Lateral lift , act like a wing in the water
Where is the payload? sensors above water, sensors below water, sensors that need to be reeled in / pulled up
-application attributes: ie, surveillance: 6 m boat, line of sight, 2 tons of payload; 1m boat, sensors in a shoebox, sensors below water
-do you want to put your foot on the gas now or not? no. why wait? not for leverage but for conviction. And by the way, you can never take out the gamble.
-how to get to a robust product, how to target 1st user base; so that that first user base can help us lead to the next customer base, so that they eventually lead to the next customer, so that our involvement with those people help get to the next platform, to get to a more robust platform. And where do we get capital? around step three – leading to the next customer. If we undercapitalize too long, we might never get to where you are going. How can you be fastest to iterate? And then, how do you manage capital to make sure you have the greatest impact? Look internally for core tech, and Incentivize community: but how?
IE: mozilla – non profit significantly profitable organization, delivers a product that works to scale. It sounds open source : for poetry and pragmatic sake: The phoilosphy is open but everything important comes in house
how does this open strategy help you to : maintain focus, advance the product, get customers to lead to other customers? The business dev/ loop: helps ID applications and advance the technology. How does this help you do this better?
Also here is Daniel Epstein’s cool photo from Cesar and I getting on the ship in India and later getting rejected from bring our glue, epoxy, and resin on board.
We had a 1 hour deep dive with the learning partners and mentors on the Protei financials. We brought them our projected inputs / outputs for the next years of Protei. We showed them our projected models of financial input and outputs. We got a lot of input and questions about transforming from scrappy moving forwards to putting the “gas pedal” down in order to raise capital to get big quick. It is interesting to hone in on which customers will help move our technology along the fastest for the next set of customers. For example, we must focus most on our core technology, then use the applications of the technology platform as the ASSETS of Protei Inc, and therefore, we will prosper from the community and must have a robust community website. Besides equity, what companies would be willing to be a corporate donor for big ocean data… Google? Shell? BP? We do not necessarily need a pilot because this will immediately put a limit around our technology. At first, most of the feedback was: more money, better team, make the market, create demand, focus, get 75% of your time back-have someone commercially out there creating demand / BD person; understand the market; give market feedback; commercially savvy expert; can create demand; give product feedback. So we got urged to change the customer: drop the hobbyist, recognize what you are doing is outside the value; push to do other markets for data and operations, and place value over advantages. the margin is HUGE because you’ve solved it at a big scale so the price point should come after (the price is MORE than the parts)
so for now:
everything is focused on small grants (scrappy), not big equity investors.
1. income statements; profit and loss;
2. balance sheet – shows your assets, specific point in time how much asset you have
3. cash flow statement – what cash do you have in the bank today and what’s it going to look like
Then we had a meeting with the ship captain about not disagreeing about bring stuff for building on the ship. How can SAS (semester at sea) and UAS (unreasonable at sea) work together?
ALso I am happy that Modi gave me some mango treats, thanks Abishek! I’m obsessed with salty Indian pickles. and I ate some fish from Heather, Thanks Heather!
In the afternoon, we had a meeting with Tom Clayton, and it was really helpful. One thing he said is that: if her were to do what we are, he’d think big, think fast: raise big capital, form a big team, move fast. If we want to change the world, you have to build it up big and move fast. It is ok to prioritize for a few years, and be scrappy and run a lower cost startup. Also, beware of “cultural attrition issues” with one person who might bring the entire team down.
Tom’s five rules to running business, especially in Singapore:
1. Be Positive
2. hire the ABSOLUTE BEST, always smarter than yourself
3. Be Scrappy – think of creative ways to do things.
4. Maniacal focus on the end user
5. take initiative, move fast, fail fast
Today was the day that the MV explorer crossed the equator. There is a festival that happens at 8 AM in the morning as we are crossing from the northern to the southern hemisphere. This is what happens:
Many people : 1 shaved their head, and 2. jumped into a pool of fish guts then kissed the fish. I dont know the history behind the tradition but I decided to do work during that time. So I caught up on some work while there were brown waters of fish guts floating around the seventh deck of the ship.
Desmond Tutu and George Kembel getting a haircut:
The rest of the day I spent in room 5021 doing work, did some deck of cards in the evening, and that’s about all I remember. In the evening I hung out with the Badgers in Jesse’s room.
We arrived into Mauritius Port, Port Louis, in the morning around 8. Cesar and I stayed on the ship working in the morning until around 12:30, then head off with Daniel for a run, straight up the mountain.
At first we got urged to take a cab to the base ($50 USD!!, super expensive here), but it turns out the base of the hill was about a 7 minute jog. So we jogged to the base then bushwacked our way directly uphill.
The brush was as high as me, and I was swimming through the grass to carve the path. I got nearly 1000 mosquito bites and later noticed some scratches on my shoulder that I hadn’t much noticed, but waiting online for reentering the ship, the students definitely noticed because they assumed it was an encounter with a coral reef (as mostly everyone from the MV Explorer / Semester at Sea fled to the beaches for our 8 hours in Mauritius.
Finally, we made it to the electric lines / satellite tower on the top, and sure enough, there was a paved road that leads directly up to the top. We had started to doubt that there was even a road up there.
It is quite a colorful city, and we could see our ship in the distance.
An interesting phenomena is all the “snail” shells that we were seeing as we walked upwards. We assumed they were from the ocean years prior, but as there were so many intact “seashells” it just made sense that actually, there are lots of giant land snails.
We head down the paved road, Daniel ran back to make it back to the ship on time, and Cesar and I walked through the town, passing through the “old city” along the way. I call it old city because it had many old stone buildings and churches.
It’s quite a colorful city.
And we passed by a radioactivity testing center, so we went inside to ask for more information, and it turns out that: xrays are a new technology for Mauritius Island, so they have just been open for 6 years, mostly aimed at hospitals and dentist offices. Not exactly the type of radioactivity from nuclear power plants that Protei is aimed at tackling with the Safecast Geiger counters, but perhaps something to consider in the future…
We grabbed a whole lot of fruit (apples, peaches, plums) as well as salt / pepper covered star fruit. This was so good. I saw some ripened starfruits on some trees in the town and in people’s backyards. Lucky.
Mauritius seems like a really interesting mix of Indian, Asian, African, and French / Caucasian. It seems quite touristy, like a resort town. I still do not know much about it, but I had a great few hours.
On the way back to the ship, we stopped at the “duty free center” thinking that hopefully we’d be able to grab some last minute alcohol and use up our Mauritius rupees, but instead, it was an extremely fancy, expensive shop selling rugs, precious stone jewelry, tapestries, and cashmere scarves for thousands of Euros. One of the sales guys was both looking at me questioningly – sweaty all over, mosquito-bitten, and bloody shoulder from brush scratches – yet he still kept persisting “don’t you want to try on some jewelry?”. As if I was ready to spend 10K Euros on some precious stone adornments.
Here is the hill we just ran up, and here are some guys fishing right at the drainage. I think.
We walked back to the ship, got into a slight encounter with a drunk guy right outside the port, walked through the restricted gates, waited online with the students to get on board. People were worried because, as the line was so long but the 6 o’clock deadline was approaching, they might both arrive late on board and get dock time, and miss the burgers being served on the 7th deck BBQ that ended at 6PM. It’s a nice ploy to get students on board by the deadline. Apparently, so many students returned to the ship drunk that they were overflowing the drunk tank (with 26 patients!).
In the evening, we had a Town Hall meeting, and most significantly, introduced many new folks:Julie: a global traveller, waiting to hear about being a fulbright scholar
Kamron: adventurer, charity, former VC
Reyan: IP lawyer
Caroline: from nike foundation; branding, GM , lived / worked in europe , s. america , canada, sailing enthusiast
Sean – creative director microsoft
Debrief about the 1 hour “deep dive” sessions with the mentors and the individual companies: people generally like the 1 hour sessions with the entrepreneurs. Colman mentioned that the guys who showed up with something on paper were able to get far help, so do your homework. So we will continue to work in these 1 hour sessions as they are: intense, get everyone together, effective, and allow for good feedback. Perhaps 90 minutes will be ideal.
We continued to head West through the Arabian Sea, along the coast of Somalia.
Here is our schedule for the rest of the voyage.
Deep Dive with Damascus Fortune
Cesar and I caught up : I filled him in on Bangalore and he filled me in on Kochi and showed me the equipment he bought. In the evening, we spent a bit of time trying to catch up on our budget / business model (money in, money out) for the short, medium and long term based on different financial scenarios.
Then we had another nice sunset:
Photo Credit to Pedro.
Here is some press that has come out about Protei at Startup Center Design Thinking workshop with Unreasonable Kochi:
Business Model Protei
We had a 1 hour “deep dive” session on the Protei Business Model.
Design Entrepreneurship class final
We got the final projects from each of the three groups working with Protei.
Recap of the stories:
* joe is a college student on stumbleUpon reviewing the hot topics and sees a new post of Protei.org. He thinks, “how can this contribute to my marine biology skills? i know science and marine bio, it’s cool but i’m hesitant” So he watches the intro video. The whole point of the video is empowerment : failure doesn’t exist, even an avg joe can do it and use the technology. The problem for protei is that people are scared to buy it, it is a significant $ burden for students; everyone is capable but we want them to be inspired enough to actually purchase it.
* Jerry is passionate about enviro issues ; he is smart and curious individual; jerry learned about protei; and loved the idea about open source tech; it felt daunting that he couldn’t use it but then he learned through the website by clicking on “scientist” that you do not have to be a protei expert to use a protei boat; jerry gains knowledge and success.
The idea is that we can empower and approach someone by taking a different approach for each demographic – get students and scientists to design boats themselves and have easy to use tutorials to get students to buy a boat.
* [This seems quite lonely to me and I love tech the most when I work socially]
* A lonely fisherman, Carter, buys Protei for him and his grand-daughter; play and share: both old and young, parent and child – work together. What people invest in and what people enjoy. Together in a social collaborative activity they feel that they can change the world – build data add ons mapp the ocean. The intersection between the old and the new, with the feeling that they’re making the wold a little bit better – a combination of both – like freeRice.com.
And we had another nice sunset again
Photo credit to Ben Gallagher
I worked out with Daniel and Evan pretty late, and we delved into the zip code system…a confidential game.
The next 6 days we are on the water from India to Mauritius: we will spend the next few days gaining clarity on our business model, financials, etc. The next three mornings mentors & learning partners will spent 1 hour with each company going over:
Day 1. Business model
Day 2. Off day
Day 3. Basic Financials
Day 4. Timeline:where aer you now, where are you pushing towards?
Deep Dive with Aquaphytex
Then we had a deep dive into Aquaphytex in the morning, 9:30-12:30. It was really interesting. Pedro discussed some of his issues and long term visions, and the biggest challenge is that they seem to differ with his partner’s long term visions. Profit versus worldwide impact, social benefit, and keeping his core team of employees. So we spent the first 1.5 hours understanding the issues, then spent the next 1.5 hours putting ourselves in Pedro’s position and trying to brainstorm together in three groups of 4 people, how to move ahead with Pedro’s company if we were him.
It is nice to have Tom Clayton back on board because he is super helpful, piercing at times, and asks amazing questions.
Design Thinking Class, student review
In the afternoon, we had the design thinking class session with George, and the students had prepared more work on Protei and our broad, open-ended question about engaging the open hardware community through a website and gamification platform.
The interesting things I took out of it:
Group 1: most people didn’t understand at first what Protei is, what the technology is, and a quicker way of explaining it to people will be beneficial. Most people do not feel comfortable with technology and therefore feel fearful to get one so an “empowerment video” would be the best next step in order to engage people to take the next step : from interest to actually purchasing one.
Group 2. They prototyped a game. Making a website as a hub for activity using gamified methods of technology to incentivize people to change the world is what will be useful. People didn’t necessarily love the game aspect but what is most important is the SOCIAL aspect.
That afternoon and evening I spent trying to catch up with work and documentation.
Finally I got the package from Heather from that had travelled from Brooklyn to LA (Laura’s house) to Bangalore (from Laura’s hotel to Taylor’s room in the service center) to Kerala Kochi with Taylore onto the MV explorer. I finally got it from Taylor’s room. The weird thing is it was opened completely, but I still ate the swedish gummi shoes, despite being mysteriously opened.
I went to Jaaga first thing in the morning and met Yashas who runs Hackteria.
I also met Ron who is an artist in residence at Shrishti funded by the goethe-institut, from Berlin.
Then I went to lunch at a Korean restaurant, tried to go to SP road but most of the electronics shops were closed, so I returned to Jaaga to meet up with Archana. Meanwhile, a start up festival / meetup was occurring at Jaaga, where there were a lot of guys who I had met at the start up festival.
Later on the way back to the hotel I passed by FABINDIA and then met Min and Minh at the hotel and together made our way to Punjabi by Nature where the rest of the Unreasonable team was meeting, and already eating.
After eating, we went back to the Service Center and caught a night bus headed to Kochi, at 10:30. We arrived at 7:30 in the morning back in Kochi, at the port. That day in Kochi I ate breakfast and then we went around Kochi by bike.
First we picked up the package of sweatshirts and tee shirts, sitting at the JM BAXI Post Center from ALMA MATER that we had ordered, then we went “shopping” in Fort Cochin, where we met Modi, Kashe, Shira and Taylor. We went back to Fabindia then another store. Then we ate a delicious lunch.
Then we took the ferry to the mainland and went to the store where Cesar had visited the first day in Kochi, where Cesar had later purchased resin and epoxy, catalyst and accelerator. But he was disallowed to bring it on board the MV explorer without proper documentation so we returned and got paper documentation of each chemical. It took a LONG while while to get print outs of the test reports from each chemical. Probably around 2 hours. We were getting angry and a bit impatient.
Then we head to purchase the remaining items, aluminum rods for the mast, tupperware containers for holding the nano-filler beads that were just packed in a cardboard box and would fly everywhere, etc.
We realized that we were running late and SPED across Kochi to the bike rental place, then head back in a TUkTUk to the port. We arrived in time but unfortunately, when we returned to the MV explorer, we were not allowed to bring ANY of these items on board, so the entire afternoon’s worth of equipment gathering was fruit-less.
We had dinner then had a town hall meeting, welcoming returning folks : tom clayton, ben from Nike Foundation, Laura Edwards back from TED LA, Modi from Damascus Fortune… and one new learning partner from Microsoft. Then we did some work and before sleeping, we tried on our sweatshirts and tee shirts.
We had a meeting via Skype with Scott from Dragon Innovations, and learned that they actually act as what represents the “manufacturing intermediary company” for us, and they work with companies from all over the world who are manufacturing, in China. They also provide a design review process, which I am specifically curious about learning more about what this entails for Protei.
And here are a few more photos from the Kerala start up village event from Cesar’s photo stream:
Here is a video that Matt and Oli made of Protei in Vietnam
And here is Bangalore’s famous SP ROAD ELECTRONICS MARKET:. This is a great post from Ron, who I met at Jaaga about the cool spots to get electronics in Bangalore, and here is a follow up post with some more info.
Here is SP Road:
In the morning, first thing, I went to Jaaga while the rest of the Unreasonable team went to a panel with about 200 Entrepreneurs in the audience, with Daniel, Catlin, Abbie, Ken.
Jaaga is a shared workspace / incubator / artist creative hack space, founded by Archana and Freeman, and it is made out of one of Freeman’s modular ikea-like structures. It is super cool to hang out, work, meet people, and drink a coffee or lime soda.
I met Anders Sandell, who graduated in 2002 from ITP, and has since moved to Bangalore, runs Tank and Bear, a creative design company in Bangalore, and he just released to the app store JORGITS.
“The Jörgit’s home planet, Jöerg, is becoming too cold for them. Fortunately, they’ve discovered a planet nearby which is rapidly heating up. They plan a mission to Earth and set out for the balmy Hawaiian Islands. During the expedition there is a mishap and they crash into the sea outside of Helsinki in themiddle of winter.”
This is the trailer for our upcoming children’s app: Jörgits and the End of Winter.
And here are some of the Jorgits characters:
Then I went to meet the rest of Unreasonable at the Start up Festival, Bangalore:
Later that evening we went to UB City for drinks and dinner.
We arrived in Bangalore in the morning, at the Service Center where we were staying. Many of us had our own rooms, and it was nice there. We grabbed some breakfast there as provided to us then I spent some time preparing for the next day’s pitch event, Bangalore start up festival.
We learned quickly that “Indian time” means generally 1.5 hours late, so instead of leaving the service center at 11:30 we left at 1:15, and by the time we arrived at 1:45 to the INKTalk offices where we were invited to lunch, I had to leave immediately for Srishti.
I had lots of cell phones and wifi hubs but I was not able to use any sim Card. In India it takes 24 hours before you can activate a sim card, then it takes a few hours after that, but additionally, you cannot activate a sim card from another state than the one you bought it in. So that was going to be problematic for me as I purchased it in Kerala and now was in Bangalore.
And you have to get a passport photo in order to get a sim card. Wow regulations. So I unexpectedly didnt have really a way to get in contact with anyone or the google maps I expected, nor were offline maps working but it was fine. Taking the rickshaw auto’s seems good enough. It is interesting that there are just areas of the city, but no real addresses – Karnataka, Koramangala, etc. So it took about 1 hour to get to Srishti from the inkTalk offices, in a dusty Auto ride.
I arrived at Srishti, first to the wrong campus (because there are three venues within a few kilometers from each other), but then arrived at the correct campus and met Shika. She introduced me to some folks then I gave a short talk to about 50 people, and people showed extreme interest in water-related issues, open source DIY hardware kits / sensors (for example, a bio sensor measuring arsenic in the waters), and community mapping projects. I got some suggestions about meeting people at NCBS and other environmental groups. I met Sharath from Hackteria / Dorkbot etc, who eventually gave me a ride to where Jaaga is. From there, I tried to find a store where they could help me with my sim card, and I actually ended up getting a ride from a nice girl on her motorcycle to the cell phone store, but unfortunately it was closed. So I went back to the main road to try to catch a bus to Shiva’s house for the party in Karnataka.
At that time, it was dark, and many auto’s wouldn’t take me, but then some guy helped me get an auto and gave Shiva a call. Although crazy traffic, I ended up getting there alright, although it took me about 1/2 hour to find the right place. I entered during the performances.
So there were performances for a few hours then eventually we ate a delicious feast dinner on a big plate with bread and lots of delicious yellow and green sauces and rice that was super sour and delicious and spiced.
We woke up, met Matt and Oli, took a rickshaw to rent a motor bike, went shopping, got lunch, found electronics, plastics, etc.
First we tried to rent a bicycle but could not find a decent one. Then we found a motorbike.
And we drove around and went to the markets; It is insanely colorful in the streets and in the markets and I love it.
We followed Matt and Oli in the Tuk Tuk, stopped to see an elephant, walked around in the market area to look for plastics and toys, and then went to get lunch.
We walked around in a food market a bit and saw so so much trash everywhere. My feeling was that it is just in the culture to discard waste in the waters and the streets. we also passed by a giant banana market. It smelled so putrid.
Then back to the ship, and I took the night bus from Kerala to Bangalore, leaving at 9 PM and arriving at around 9 AM.
Arrival to Kochi, Kerala
We arrived in the morning, went through customs, then finally got off the ship in Kochi, Kerala, and head via bus to Start up Village, on the outskirts of Kochi, in Kerala. We arrived to Startup Village and got a huge welcome, with delicious lunch with delicious coconuts cut open to drink out of straws.
We each gave a pitch but it was really informal, unlike the Pecha Kucha we expected because the slides were hard to see. So it was relaxed and quite comfortable, and we talked about our companies to the rest of the group.
Then Carly led the Design Thinking session.
And we broke into workshop groups, and then there were talks that continued the following few hours. We met some really cool people at Startup Village and saw the entire space and the structure that Freeman built of modular elements.
Afterwards, we went to the after party at the Dream Hotel for the afterparty:
Afterwards, Jessie and I ate some cup – of – noodles and met Loosy Goosy, the new lifelong learner who is a practicing clown who arrived on board. She talked to us for quite a long time, but unfortunately I haven’t seen her since.
Talk 2 with Abby
We talked again with Abby about some amazing resources in HK and getting involved with some Universities there.
Deep Dive with GURUGI
brainstorming for a name
Here’s some press about Protei, japan: Protei on wired japan.
Notes on Visual Thinking
I sat in on a meeting with Cesar, George and Daniel and this is what I took away from it:
1. How can we use that engine [creative design thinking and empathy, I think] to create the biggest impact?
2. how do you define change? change = change people’s lives for the better, or advance your practice; for lasting transformation
3. the unreasonable institute seems to be working as an experiment, but what if took a more portfolio approach to think about an evolution than trajectory
INSTITUTION – parallel to what VIRGIN has done, But think of: inc, fast co, CNN: They haven’t built anything they just have become powerful off of other’s work
4. Every question is around impact; But the first time we filmed the institute it was only about impact ; there was no bigger picture – but it got bigger if we realized that the BRAND was the asset
-is impact your greatest goal?
5. entrepreneurship is the force for change
6. nurturing the potential in the innovator
7. entrepreneurship: that word is bad because it leaves out teacher, politician; but if you can nurture creative potential of all of the people then you can unlock much more potential. Not everyone is a designer from a professional perspective – but other people can think like designers. Everone has the responsibility to be innovative. We try to identify the need.
8. Here we try to : nurture the creative potential of innovators who nurture the creative potential in innovators, so you can collaborate as a team. learning is the curve to be on.
[INTERRUPTED FOR A EMERGENCY DRILL]
Brainstorming with Abby on Protei in Hong Kong, and Philanthropic investment
Protei in Hong Kong as a foreign company, as a HK based co., or as a subsidiary. We can get help, as a”social business”, such as a company secretary, to set up the company and taxes for a few thousand HK dollars per year.
How do we find the right partner for manufacturing? finding the right partner can be challenging; Ideally you have someone who speaks chinese to go with you.
On the Funding side:
-HK government grants are starting to change the requirements so we don’t have to be set up as a HK charity. Protei is eligible for HK government funding and it is open to foreign entrepreneurs. You can set up a HK company without staff right away but you have to say that you plan to create jobs and map out the next year and financials.
More on visas and work permits…
Big suggestion: Don’t set up as a for profit if you aren’t looking for investors – if you plan to reinvest the profits into R&D, then set up as a company limited by guarantee. You can’t have shareholders, or take investors, and you apply for tax free status. This tax exempt status will make you eligible for lots of diff types of funding.
Protei is a good fit for venture philanthropy.
Brainstorming with Catlin
We talked for a long while on HK, loans from the government, HK Science and Tech park, structuring the companies and HK for profit / not for profit setups; We learned about how Catlin structures OED and all of the companies within, in US and HK. It was extremely interesting and informative and I really look forward to learning more from her. It was super useful to learn from her how she structures OED.
1. r&d, grants from govt or competitions, ie in HK serap – 2 years, 1.2 million : [most companies die here at the end]
2. then manufacturing – they’ll pay 50% up front, revenue and loans; loans from hsbc and local banks: [most companies then die at the end here]
3. third stage – growth and payback; profit or investment leads to growth (this is where investors make good partners)
DEEP DIVE with SOLAR EAR and TENDEKAYI
HOW DO I CHANGE THE WORLD?
KEN: Maybe we cannot change the world. Maybe that is too broad of an idea. It’s easier to do BAD stuff and change the world, but trying to fix education across africa is beyond the UN, us, etc. Let’s frame it for more achievable goals that we can actually do.
TUTU disagrees – Slavery was a fairly universal practice and abraham lincoln succeeded: for reason, justice and oppression in south africa, reflected almost everywhere in the world; rosa parks, mother teresa
KEN: do you think they’ve changed the world for EVERYbody?
TUTU: YES i actually believe yes but I did cover my back by saying.. [i missed it]. one of the reason i came on this voyage was meeting you [addressing the students], knowing you are fantastic. Students help get rid of apartheid, young people – have you heard of karl kilberger from canada…
TORI: did you think rosa parks and others went out with the INTENTION to change the world?
TUTU: do a little bit where you are, it is those little bits that overwhelm the world; that is true but i want you to be able to maintain the dream to affect the whole world; dream about that; dream about poverty as history; do it in your little corner and it will ripple ripple ripple…
TORI: there were many people in that apartheid, you were not the only one; it is important to remember there are many people.
TUTU: when you are in a crowd you have been carried on the shoulders of others; I went to west point with my wife and on my visit they gave me a cap and i tried the cap and it wouldn’t fit; a nice wife would have said it is too small but my wife said your head is too big
TORI: what is the doable stuff right now for these students?
KEN: question what i am seeing; don’t accept that it is normal; as Natural Geographic said: LIVE CURIOUS, don’t stop asking why; many people do see things, accept then and move on; famine: usually caused by dams etc; poor people don’t spend their money on healthcare; there is a lot we assume; often end up solving a different problem than they thought they saw; because the problem is a lot deeper and complex – you can try to fix the system that caused the problem in the first place; – finding where your niche might be and getting out and seeing the world will help you understand where you are best placed
TUTU: I think it is important that we affirm what is happening to you; if we are people that didn’t care, the fantastic thing is that you DO get churned up inside and then do say “what the heck is this”; I think you guys will keep affirming that the unease that you have is a fantastic testament to the kind of people you are who can actually begin to want to change the world and you can change it; our english brother is right… [tutu makes fun of ken then cackles]; he is quite right but you should DREAM and say I DREAM that this world is going to be different and THEN the reality; i’ve frequently said to the media: i’m very angry because you love nothing better than telling the story of a young person who has gone off the rails and you express it ; i have visited many countries; in accessible places you find kids like you from opulent homes;
Go dream dream dream and the realities might make you come down a little bit but dream;
KEN: when i started my journey in 1993 and was deeply affected with what i saw and the 14 people weren’t and could go back to their dayhjobs and forget what they’ve seen but i realized it was hard to make a difference; I used to get out to african countries, be an observer, not ever thinking i’d make a contribution, but making observations I never thought I’d make a different one; I must still keep the spirit going to drop and travel; keep free and nimble – then I am more able to take opportunities – you’ll find things you aren’t slooking for – if you go look for a gf or bf you won’t find one?
[TUTU: HOW DO YOU KNOW? , laughter cackling]
KEN: most people i know running non profits were found by the problem
TUTU: learn how to express your compassion, caring-ness. I want to be a little more like those i want to help; How about if all of us said to ISE: i don’t want to eat a particular meal and the cost of it should be incorporated into donations from all of us
KEN: all sorts of things I would NEVER have imagined phones were used for because i didn’t dictate what it would be used for ; you can teach how to fish or you can send the spades so they can learn on their own; go out with an open mind; look to try to understand and experience; dont go and think we can fix things; local people and knowledge is usually more efficient than what we [i imagine he is talking about white middle class people] can ever do.
TUTU: UBUNTU – a person is a person to other persons: i am because we are; i need you to be all you can be; so that I can be all I can be; I keep reminding you that we are all africans. its’ not a figure of speech to say “we’re family”. if you deny this truth then we are in the problem we are in today; you spend billions on instruments on death and destruction and you see children dying who don’t have clean water; we have enough resources for our world for be the paradise god wanted it to be;we have enough money to ensure that we site here and a billion people are hungry. there are people who go to bed hungry and get up in the morning and have no food and their children have to go to school and haven’t eaten. Because we forgot that they are family; in family, the law is: you don’t get what you invest; you don’t say “baby what is your contribution to the family budget; baby contributes nothing but a few smells; but have you seen how much love is poured out on this one; you don’t say to granny “money talks”. in the health of family you know that it is from each according to their ability; to each according to their need; until that gets through into our numskulls we are constantly going to be wondering how much is the US spending on nuclear stuff; russia, iran
KEN: the system is broken ; most people benefit from the infrastructure on the planet
TORI: we have to keep “that heart” and sometimes our desire to change the world does more harm than good. what i’ve learned is that we need to really understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end; 1 key question : WHAT DO YOU WANT? a lot of assumption about what the world needs but that needs to be the first question that gets asked. You never know when you’ve changed someone’s life – sometimes you do but most of the time you don’t –
KEN: everyone wants scale, big numbers – but quite often if you’ve helped only one family you have given them opportunities that others haven’t had; Humility is really in these people. the characteristic that is on the ground with people, brave or other
TUTU: on closing: i have seen young people – and the most touching thing is that they care ; and i just want to be sure that they care, and they do
TORI: it is heartwarming, realize you’ll all be part of thee solution in little and big ways, and you can at least make a difference even if it isn’t on the entire world
Cynthia’s diction on Gabriella inspiring confidence
Cynthia informed me that she is leaving the ship, in India. Before she left she gave some words of wisdom on inspiring confidence in myself:
1. look people in the eyes when they talk to me
2. don’t say “um” ; as in don’t say anything when you aren’t saying words; compose your thoughts first and then speak
3. trust your gut feeling
I miss you on the MV Explorer.
Workshop with Cheryl, from Microsoft, on Marketing
- who’s is our MARKETING audience?
- for cereals we often think the mom, but NO, the kids bug the mom for the cereal so they are the audience.
- who does Protei have as our target audience for marketing?–>tech college crowd, scientists
- What are the key emotional drivers that you are going to use for your campaign? and how can you gather customer data? what are the emotional reasons that people have connected to Protei? engage lots of people?
- There are ways to get Data (Facebook, survey monkey)
- what are you trying to do with your product? change perceptions? drive awareness? Then figure out what are your tactics – use coupons , use online etc, and figure out the END ACTION
- advertising with social media is more effective and cheap compared to banners and stuff
- how are you going to measure to prove to investors?
ABBY from SYNERGY on Sources of Funding, within Asia
- what is the best source of funding for your company? What is possible and what is the goal? and what stage of development are you?
- A lot of people are interested in giving money but very few deals actually being made. For seed stage when you still need money for r&d: awards , competitions, r and d grants, initial money from corporate competitions; [ie SOE]
- Sometimes it is worse to get a social investor than a regular investor – they might have high unreasonable expectations – they want you to save the world and make a ton of money. if you don’t need investor funding now, don’t go for it – they might have expectations that will change what you are going to do – they think they know better and will come in and try to shape the corporation
- The smile program – business advisor for 2 days / week
- ANDE, GSBI, SEA, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, SOCAP
- Synergy: virtual incubator; philanthropic investment to fill the gap before the commercial impact investors are willing to come in
- Investors are often concerned about exit strategy if it isn’t debt so there is a gap between helping one investment get to the next level: quasi equity, rev share, debt is good and clean
- To help us find funding – get a good advisory board & board of directors.
Design Thinking Class with George and critique for the students empathy research
- Clarification between : intellectual knowledge and embodied knowledge
- Nurture the fact that you are your own independent thinkers; going to university was a path on which maybe you didn’t have to blaze so many trails, but now you do have to be your own trailblazer
- Ideation2.0: techniques to get ideas out
- goal: come up with ideas
- 1. tom chi: rapid ideation – work visually to get 4 starting points out; quiet time to draw out ideas
- 2. braindstorm
- defer judgement
- wild ideas
- build on ideas
- lots of ideas
- be visual
- headline ideas
- one person speaks at a time
- 3. NEW : BODY STORMING:
- put yourself at a vantage point you have never been at before
- idea: to design the luggage compartments: let’s BE the luggage – at IDEO: mock up an airplane, put chairs out, laid on the floor as if they’re luggage to see what it’s like for the luggage to experience the flight
- Prototyping 2.0: create quick prototypes; manifest ideas in an experiential way
- 1. low res Experiments- quick and dirty – create a new website using post it notes; try it out; test quickly what the interface / experience should be like before you code anything;
- 2. LOTS of them: every night, do it on the fly
- 3. NEW: ENACT THE SCENARIO” more like a skit / scenario – enact the scenario – by enacting it you will discover new insights you wouldn’t do otherwise
- TEST THE IDEAS & get feedback
- John Hockenberry from the Takeaway WNYC – trying to launch a whole new morning show to take on morning edition
- The Takeaway – things were unfolding so quickly that there was inaccurate stuff on air
- enact the scenario in the studio – he got his entire crew in a conference room, explained the experiment, got three signals from AP wire from News ON AIR
- through this enactment john noticed that the reporters are standing doing nothing : why not?!? because they are out in the field so have no idea what’s going on
- so they do cross checking and within a week there is a news situation and the reporters know what to do as they did from enacting the scenario in the newsroom
- So when you enact the experiment so you see things you wouldn’t, just by thinking about it
- 1. set the scene, create props, create roles, and run the scenarios –
- 2. to test: leave a told empty for the USER to then participate with you
We were now told to be teacher / coach, rather than client – we would like to push the students to go a bit more profoundly into the user / need / insight; The students’ work was awesome; we got some nice wireframes and insights: We are working with three different groups of students, each with three members working on Protei. They each had very different set of insights.
My insights from the students’ insights:
1. Group 1; Emily Kathe talked mostly; The biggest insight is that people need to feel comfort inspired onto them that they would be able to use this boat well and wouldn’t be too “novice” because they don’t know “technology” supra well. So have layers or stacks that are easy to peel away, but also allow people to still know that they are buying a working product, and allow them to understand what it can do, not only how to modify it.
2. Asa mostly talked, as well as Romaine: It’s even more important to get people to RETURN to a website and to do this it requires rapidly evolving site; so then there will be newly generated content, user generated content that is organized programmatically
3. GF talked mostlyPeople return to a social website for two reasons : 1. to build a repertoire of comments on their OWN wall; to build their own ego; personal comments towards them 2. to have tags / customizable information flowing their way based on their interests;
After that, Cesar and I brainstormed about a name some more, I worked out (deck of cards) with Daniel and Coleman, brainstormed some more about the name, then went to the “dance party”.
I did some work in the glazier lounge, then went for a 1/2 hour interview with the media crew about what Cesar and I did in Vietnam. Today we didn’t have a typical workshop from 10-12:30 because we are having a “deep dive” session into the heart of the problems of Protei and Prakki.
I ended up working pretty late, with Daniel & Cesar & Amruth, then getting a bit of sleep.
Today I woke up, did work in the Glazer Lounge, and as we pulled off tons of people were waving from our ship down to the locals below bidding us farewell.
I continued to do work and then we had town hall where we discussed our reflections and feedback on Myanmar and the past few days. The takeaways were:
1. we are not engaging with the community and making the professors on board feel quite isolated, so we should individually try to reach out and extend our own community by saying hello and engaging the others on baord
2. The dinner event worked quite well and we can try to do a dinner again (as in the Unreasonable Dinner at Bangkok Kitchen)
3. Unreasonable should have a “brand” (as in not just a hand written sign saying “unreasonable event” but more effort towards branding itself.
4. we should hand out a pamphlet with a short description on each company so that every guest can know a bit about our companies and have our contact info to take away
In the morning I did some work.
Then we got on the bus at 14:00 to head into town for the dinner event. But before doing so we stopped at the Schwedagon Pagoda:
Then we went to the Chatrion Hotel as we had the day before, to do about 1 hour of work, then we crossed the street to Bangkok Kitchen for the “Unreasonable Event”
Afterwards we went to Inya, a bar where there were lots of people who are from US / Europe living in Myanmar. The interesting thing I noticed were that at this event compared to the other events in other port cities were that most people were here in order to “spread democracy” and mostly, were going to try to remain here until 2015. It seems like a place that is changing rapidly, which is quite exciting.
On the morning of the 51st day, we went into Yangon. We took a 1.2 hour bus ride from the port into Yangon, then walked from the town center to the north side of lake Kendagyi, where Chatrion Hotel is, where Tom, Mara (from Nike Foundation) and Daniel are staying. We did work with Daniel & Cynthia.
On the way from the hotel we had a small adventure. It was about a 45 minute walk, at a slow pace. There was interesting street food of tons of meet or duck parts but unfortunately I didnt get to try this.
And we spent the day brainstorming about new names for a manufacturing company that takes into account the entire scope of what it is that we are trying to achieve, and the philosophy behind it.
At the end of the day of arrival to Myanmar day 49), I stayed on ship and did work late into the evening. I slept at night and woke up and did work the next day. Day 50 I mostly tried to catch up on documentation, some electronics, and a bit of admin catch up. It wasn’t super fun but was super necessary. That evening Cesar and Sebastian spoke about Protei and Open H2O. We eventually went out for a walk in the late evening at around midnight in order to finally get outside. We walked around the port but there wasn’t really too much to see. There are piles of wood all over and big cranes moving around the wood. There are a lot of Korean buses parked all over the port here, and a few big cargo ships with big cranes and people working all night.
was an “off day” as in, we had no workshop or any plans. I did a lot of work in the morning, I worked out (deck of cards) with Daniel, I tried to do some coding and other work in the afternoon & through the evening.
was full of meetings and work: During the workshop, we finalized our list of “people we would like to contact” because we believe here at Unreasonable at Sea we are 2-degrees of separation away from pretty much everyone in the world.
Design Thinking Class
observe for empathy
For example, redesign the diner experience – watch, see, look – usually interpretation is wrong, so we want to give you a layered way to think about what you see
DONT jump to why before what.
THESE ARE THE STEPS
INTERVIEW; OBSERVE, VISUALIZE for EMPATHY
Meeting with Daniel
We had a meeting with Daniel in the evening because he wanted to touch base with each group of founders, because Myanmar is the halfway point in the trip, where founders decide if they want to stay or leave Unreasonable at Sea.
Today we met in the morning to discuss the plan for Myanmar. We are unclear of when we can disembark the ship but we will find out more info later. I spent some time talking with Tom Chi about the electronics layout of Protei and he had some super helpful stuff to say about designing for a modular system: Mechanical stacks; hardware stacks (low level- robustness; high level – flexibility); Application stack: Software…)
I stayed on ship that afternoon and evening doing work. Cesar and I talked with Etienne in Norway about Protei / Open H2O and his work for DNV that is related & inspired by Protei. We had a few more skype calls and chatted with Cynthia later that evening.
The beginning of April there will be an event in Washington DC – It will be called Unreasonable at State. This is epic. So we will fly from Barcelona to US. Soon we will go into : how to GENERATE buzz – there is a NEW way; social media. That’s good. I’m curious to brainstorm on this.
Prototyping book of Tom Chi
SESSIONS SO FAR:
1. what he desired
2. what the user desires
3. how those overlap
4. main media, 1 is a book, 1 is a website; first version of the book which will feed into the website, share with each other, the output tells us how to improve the book; machine learning mechanism: web 4.0 -against singularity to counter human intelligence
-smartclass – html5 objects get pumped into what looks like a graphic novel
Later in the evening, we had a brainstorm session with Cynthia, diving into how we could develop our business plan.
This is the route we took for the day. First we went to the Real Food Cafe to have a meeting with Vivian Liu, founder of Philanthropy Works. Then we head to IIX, Impact Investment Exchange & Shujog, the founder of whom is Cesar’s friend.
From there we head to the WWF offices to pick up a package from David Lim, that Cesar had delivered to his house.
And then we rushed over to the mall at dhoby ghaut MRT (Although quickly stopped at the SingPost to mail packages we’d been to meet Sim Kai, from Control WOrks, a Singapore based startup developing telepresence platform. Sim Kai is a friend of Tom Clayton (CEO of Singapore based Bubble Motion, a super awesome mentor on the ship).
We ate dinner and had a “townhall”. Then I worked out and went to sleep.