måndag, december 31, 2012

Constant change and New Years Eve

There is something funny but a bit sad with celebrating a New Year. Funny that we hold on to a cyclic calendar and try to maintain some illusion of stability by having the traditions we have. Any Sci-fi fan could see that we get rid of the calendar months and year and just keep a straight number of the day instead so that we can start using the days as a limited resource instead of thinking that the day we just spent on meaningless things will come back next year, it won't. That is just an illusion we create to grasp our losses.

That is the sad part.

This of course goes hand in hand with the mental instability of religiousness; mind you that I'm not opposing or banning any religious act, I'm just saying that it's a tiny deranged illusion of something else to hold on to when you can't handle the truth yourself.
Mentally ill people have a tendency to throw themselves into religious depths as a way to handle their thoughts and deviated minds. They find the insane stories we have built into religions very familiar but often frightening as they turn to something that can't be seen as their best way to recover. Instead of trusting the doctors and medication which would normally be the best way to actually treat the illness.

Constant change.

One of the toughest things to deal with is constant change. But change is unavoidable as the minutes tick tock  on through eternity. Everything changes always and forever and not being able to handle that can throw deep shadows into your mind and create abnormal creatures as religions, holidays and New Years. There is no NEW Year. It's just another row of days in front of us. For me personally I started a new journey in my life 552 days ago. First I didn't realize it but that day was very important for me. Not the month or that year it happened. It was that day.

The road forward from that day hasn't been easy as it's put a test to my mind and body but I haven't doubted that there was a substantial need for change plus that the results have been fantastic both on my physical recovery, professional results, monetary growth and productivity on multiple new areas as well as improving old ones.

So hereby I declare 552 to soon be ended, long live 553!

And of course I will fall into the trap of celebrating New Years Eve as well; don't break the circle ;-)

måndag, september 17, 2012

I'm not sure I approve of this

Anyone in the ICT startup industry can agree on that a Me-too startup sucks. Either your a really early into a segment/vertical/functionality or you are the best, even better if you are both. The "Me-too's" are just trying  to become valid for a) investments b) acquisitions c)exits d)mediapromotions and that is just... bad.

I've met so many startups the last couple of years that is into ride sharing. Haven't they done their homework? Can there be +3 in every country? How to stick out in a jungle of choices?

Then I got this new info that Ants is out there. Well that wouldn't be the first time my name is on the agenda but this time it's bad, really bad. Because it's a ride sharing service app provider. I don't like.
Because they are using my name on something anyone can do.
I don't like.

So let us get down on this one; what is ride sharing about?

It's about hooking up with people that needs to fill the seats in their car to cut costs of driving and that is neat.
But it's very difficult to do in a competent way. You need to mix both social with smartphone reach (ie folks need to have the app and on) and intelligent algorithms to calculate who can benefit the most from getting into a ride that might just be a fraction of a ride for the driver and then calculate the cost and bill it instantly to the passenger while riding plus that you need to have ratings on the driver (don't want to dwell on that subject as I suck as a driver..) and mix that into a seamless service. I don't think that 9 out of 10 in this niche is good at that package.

That is fouling everything and it means that the whole idea of ride share gets into problem. It's not simple to repair damage done after using a service that has stood you up, raped you or even worse...

So let's pretend that it is a perfect world.

Then this would be assured by authorities so that we have legal protection and quality assurance, insurances and lot's of examples on how good it is. Lord and behold, I'm advocating a public service!
I've been against public services since... well a long time. We even founded a political party on the matter (the June List if anyone remembers) and it's against my whole body that I admit that a public service can bring safety to this shitty industry of hooking drivers and passengers up.

The big reason to all of this is the price of fuel that is based on political incompetence and market domination by the oil industry which have created an enormous pressure on the consumers that still needs to drive to work or elsewhere because the imbalance between taxation for environment (not really) and the big shift that needs to come someday (far away).

But it feels like the only way to do it because now it's a jungle and jungles tend to kill people. Which I find unnecessary for traveling from A to B.

So kill the Ants;) and the other sucky ones by making the best of the breed the EU approved service for ride sharing and make it fast otherwise it will be proven by death statistics that this wasn't a good industry segment.

Btw, my favorite team is Flinc:-

måndag, september 03, 2012

I might be wrong but...

I've recently started to map up what I've seen in the last two years as a limbo of technology. Not in general stupid, mobile and software based technology.

You know, five years ago the world entered into mobility for real by Jobs launching the iPhone, that was remarkable and as yet to be seen; impossible to repeat. So we now live with mobile devices that all look the same, carry eithe one or two or the bad third kind of OS but all got apps, more or less (sorry Lina, you won't get a smartphone until you are 12) so the world fragmented and then kind of joined up in one kind of playground again.
Which is kind of what ecosystems do.
I could go on and on about the similarities between the ecosystems and how they work and how we as so-called humans work. Anyway.
The thing is that stuff that we just need to work in our life, the pyramid you know, Ma Ma Maslow's; works on the stuff that is constantly getting huge amounts of useless venture capital thrown at it. Software back in the days, my teens; the golden 80-ies, then we rapidly woke up mid 90-ies with the Web, that is as dead as a Dodo today; it's now all in the protocols.
Shazaam enter the 00-ies with add-ons for the Web similar to aids for the elderly; like e-commerce platforms, CMS and ERPs that sooner or later will die like a fly. Some still hang on but they are hung out to dry. Btw don't let me guide you on stock promises, I suck at stock exchange analytics as there are still millions of idiots out there and they can't be analyzed. I think.

Ok The decade of 2010 came with promises of mobility for everything but we are still struggling, hell even Facebook are hanging like a dry duck because of the lack of mobile smartness (pssst, I know how to fix it but I don't know if I want to...)  and we see even pretty smart people struggling with how they can transform their rigid backbones to something that could be embracing mobiles at least to a point of 10% and that would be counted in as a success; hey they don't know what they are doing and that's fine, it keeps the economy going even if it could be something much better.

I'm talking about all the companies that just got supergazillions of financing to extend, sell and stupify the audience with their databases, analytics tools, big data stuff, semantic search, image/face/social/graph recognition platforms/systems/tech; well they are all in for the bleedin' kill. That was yesterday when stupid managers were looking for stuff to fix their stupid systems for stupid ecommerce/communications, now anyone can do it with free tools. So all proprietary sales is going ape; let me say this once again:

Single, walled garden, freemium licenced still standard server based shit is dead.

Go find yourselves a new tech, life, economy and future; the current one is killed. This is a list that I will update as soon as I can of dead stuff:

Oracle, Sun, WMware, HP, Apple, Blackberry, MySql, Neo Technology, everything CMS, semantic web and search, face and finger recognition, search optimization and meta currency.


torsdag, augusti 23, 2012

Indoor positioning and navigation in the balance

Today the effort called In-Location was launched; a 22 partner strong(?) alliance to get going "with the goal of driving and unifying industry innovation in mobile indoor positioning" which all sounds fantastic until I dive into the list of partners:

Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.

It's a mix of startups, consulting companies, hardware, software and mobile producers, the strong one being CSR and Qualcomm that both have reasonably ok chipsets that supports indoor positioning though not navigation. Next level bellow have Nokia, Samsung and Sony Mobile listed, none of them have a working and launched indoor positioning service even if Nokia have indoor maps. But maps are just crap unless combined with positioning technology. Let me show why.

Scalable details
First, the indoor maps provided today are suffering from the outdoor map development as they lack the indoor scale details that we as humans observe while being in the location. We easily spot the faults that all the existing providers Micello, Google, Nokia, Bing, etc present on our mobile screens. We need vectorized, hyperdetailed indoor drawings, not maps that looks like a somewhat improved version of outdoor maps. You don't believe me? Trust me, I've worked with architectural drawings for 25 years and the interpretation of a presented indoor environment correlates to the detail level unless you want confusion and need to add explanations.

Positioning technology and accuracy
So far the accuracy is platform dependent and often bad as with Google's Android indoor project. Nokia have the BT4 thingy going but it sucks as no one can implement it, yet, even if the accuracy is what we need to aim for ~0,30,5 m. Why? Because of the indoor scale ans size of objects that needs to be found by consumers and professionals; everything in retail to maintenance.

Bragging about 4500, 7500 or +10000 indoor locations with (lousy) maps is... ridiculous. When one player can show 500 locations in a medium sized city of 300-500.000 people, then we are talking about coverage and that means way beyond 1.000.000 indoor maps and they need to be, yes, great.

All of these areas needs to be fixed before the market for indoor positioning and navigation becomes mainstream and build some kind of super value to marketers and consumers. At this point in time we are veeeery far away from that.
Btw, did I mention platform independence? ;-)
Well that is an absolute necessity, everything else is just a kids game so shape up or be extinct. The In-Location partner project? Dead as a Dodo.


tisdag, maj 29, 2012

Konka - the new Apple of China?

I'm so happy and amazed to be living in these times; they are the truly most amazing times ever!

Remember back, way way way way back, in 2007 when Apple launched the revolutionizing iPhone? Yeah!
Now five years later we are so bored with the new versions of iPhones and Android based shitphones that we don't even have the time to read all the reviews. Of course it's still a novelty with a new version but it's not revolutionizing to hold a new iPhone or iPad, for goodness sake my daughters and their friends have these "killer machines". Duh.

I won't go into my rant on how old Android is as OS (blah blah Java mobile, Savaje, J2me blah blah), how nothing new have really come into iOS since 2010 and the lack of any kind of exciting apps released lately. If you say Instagram I'll push my Kiev 60 down your throat.
I'll be talking about Chinese smartphones and the fantastic market they are creating as we sleep.

Konka (is that really a good brand name??? it means bankruptcy in Swedish slang...) just launched their smartphone initiative by investing €50M into a new factory that will build approx 7 million smartphones the first year; you're saying "that's not much, even a loser like Sony /SonyEricsson sold +32 millions last year" and I'm saying: -"You've seen nothing yet!"
Btw, I get this Nokia feeling looking at the logo... you too?

Anyway, they are starting to build smartphones in their own factory this year and what a coincidence they got a contract with China Mobile too...
China Mobile Announces TD-SCDMA Handset Tender Winners

Remember, Apple started with computers, went on to laptops, then mp3-players, smartphones, pads and now TV. Konka started with TVs (which I believe is stoooone dead) and goes into smartphones; will we see laptops and computers from Konka? Wouldn't be surprised and they wiill be....

Cheap. And Good.

Yes, that is the main difference but it's like my grandmother said 15 years ago "quality and price has no connection anymore".

You're thinking "well China is China and that market takes care of itself" but I would put it "China is China.
And they will take care of you.

I wouldn't be surprised if my kids and their friends would be surfing on a Konka device in 2-3 years.

But I'm 100% sure it will be rebranded. In Scandinavia at least.

Clash of the location patents

I subscribe to a patent service that sends regular updates on patents from interesting companies and areas of interest. Even if it's not the most joyful reading of the week I tend to be inspired by the pure energy that is put into the applications; lot's of fantasy and words put together to try to outpace time and competition. Almost like an immortality game.

I've followed the patent troll discussion for years and I agree its a menace to society though I have a hard time seeing another system taking its place; what would we do if there wasn't a patent system?

The long time problem is the competence of patent lawyers, they are the real problem both on the applicant side and the patent system approval side. Even if the approval side is supposed to be "objective" they let stuff slip through that shouldn't even reach the wastepaper basket.

What are those people thinking and are they not part of everyday life?
Well well.

The update today was especially interesting for location of mobiles and any context of that you can imagine. First I want to cite Ebay and their patent Application 20120129553 on "Location-based services":

"Provided herein are methods and systems relating to location-based services such as providing a geofencing, outputting location-based information on a mobile device, varying transmissions to and from a mobile device, and providing location-based alerts. More specifically, a method can include receiving a selected location on a mobile device, monitoring a current location of the mobile device, determining when the current location of the mobile device is within the geofence, and initiating an action on the mobile device associated with the geofence and the selected location."

Which got me to think about the patent that Where got in Dece 2010:

"Provided herein are methods and systems relating to location-based services such as social networking, providing demographic information, tracking mobile devices, providing business information, providing an adaptable user interface, remotely effecting a change on a portable electronic device, providing a geofence, outputting location-based information on a mobile device, varying transmissions to and from a mobile device, providing location-based alerts, verifying transactions and tailoring information to the behavior of a user."

Of course this is only the abstracts and there are thousands and thousands of words more, but as an amateur reading this I get a sense that we are talking about the same thing right? The words location-based services, geofence and mobile device kind of lead the way.

Then using terms like "initiating action on the mobile device" is similar to what is described by Where as alerts, transactions, information and effecting a change on a portable electronic device (which I assume can be covering a mobile phone:-)) seems like the same?

Well well.
Both are approved so the good thing is that anyone that wants to get into this mess can be sure that any law suit on any party would take years to settle and wouldn't be possible to solve as there are most likely no living creature that can separate who owns what which is a sure sign for All Square.

They got some good ones this week. Look at this patent approved:

"Location information is used to build a database of locations having associated audio, video, image or text data. In some implementations, a device includes a touch-sensitive display and collects data associated with a geographic location of interest. The geographic location of interest can be displayed on a map using an indicator. A touch selection of the indicator provides access to the data through an interface displayed on the touch-sensitive display. One or more locations of interest can be displayed and grouped together by an attribute."

Hmm, feels pretty solid but I imagine there are +5 that carries the same things? Even in the same email update I get this from RIM that seems to be still doing some heavy patenting...:

"Shared image database with geographic navigation"

"There is disclosed a method and device for operating an image database shared by a plurality of users. In an embodiment, each image captured by a user and stored in a shared image database is associating with the geographic coordinates of the location at which the image was captured. A search engine for the image database is configured to accept geographic coordinates as a search criterion for locating at least one captured image stored in the shared image database. The images having location coordinates within a predefined range of geographic coordinates is displayed to the user."

Crossover? Looks like it.
So the story of patent clashes goes on, and on, and on.

onsdag, maj 23, 2012

Privacy in private

The 3rd Location business summit Europe in Amsterdam has come to an end today; very few would argue that there has been groundbreaking news and intellectual talks on privacy concerns with new ways to position smartphones and their users.
The problem is not really that positioning technologies are used in smartphones, the problem is that I as a user can't control it, what to share and store as the manufacturers are eager to bundle the mobile OS with the data collection of where I'm using the smartphone.

They all do it, Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia even if Google keeps the data for the Android users away from the manufacturers that exchanged their need for a cheap OS with the users privacy and Nokia has no control over WP7 and a shrunken number of Symbian users still alive. But the fact is that they all do it. Fuck up our privacy.

This is all we can accept as there are no alternatives unless you want to use a feature phone without apps or build your own smartphone (which I believe is just a year or two away).

But this is not the worst part of it. The real problem begins when you are getting sick or old and needs safety.
Then the booming market of healthcare apps and services steps in and wants to use smartphones to connect 
their devices to, monitoring through the apps with sometimes superaccurate positioning in place (what room, 
floor, etc) and this is when it becomes creepy for real.

I say let us be private and control our privacy. Of course this cannot be trusted to the ongoing masters of reality,
so we need personal positioning devices, very much like the old GPS with Bluetooth that you had to buy some
6-8 years ago if you wanted positioning with your mobile, but this time it should be able to position you indoor or
outdoor, accurate down to a meter and You should be in control of what services You share your positioning

måndag, maj 21, 2012

The need for superb location while making innovation

Sitting in Nässjö waiting for a connecting train. I've never been here before so I looked it up on google maps to see how the urban landscape looked and it looks really good.
It fits into my vision of that the great innovations are made in great environment for innovation, I stretch it to that the superb location for innovation is setting the height of innovation.

A couple of days ago Fred Wilson wrote a short piece on the Evolution of startup hubs, a good summary of How to Look at Location as the core of monetizing innovation and innovative startups; to make some reference to the pure geographical input based on my empirical studies (yeah I'm scientific:-):

- One hear a lot of complaints on the weather from startup people in Boston but rarely from people in startups or visiting startups in SF area, ergo the Cali is a leading location over MA.
- To increase innovation companies like Microsoft, HP, Intel, Google, Apple and now Facebook build designed campuses to get the mojo working; and it works (unless some mid level management steps in and destroys the good vibes as they did at HP etc etc); ergo a campus looking like an enchanted forrest, a white castle or a Battlestar Galactica resource center brings big points to the awesomeness to the innovation height.

SO looking at the Swedish hubs just makes me cry.

Stockholm/KTH - I wouldn't even call it a hub. What is the latest innovation that came out of that place?
Chalmers - better but where is the vibe, the campus looks like something a deranged architect came up with while trying to design a nightmare.
Lund/Ideon - don't make me laugh, the Spaceship goes Ikea design sucks and the lack of any kind of nice vibe was lost or never found; it's fragmented, hostile and worst of all there is nothing else than a commuter bus every 20 min if you don't drive a car (and you shouldn't, it's 2012)

I will continue to comment on this matter very soon, stay tuned!

fredag, april 20, 2012

Startups, Speed and Sustainability

Those who know me would say I'm a focused idiot. Probably right. When I get a focus I keep going at it like a Japanese warlord from the 17th century and my new battleground is Startup Speed and Sustainability.

This SSS is built on the belief that incubators are missing either one of these two big ones. The European ones mostly miss the Speed thing and the US ones can't grasp Sustainability. Btw few people do grasp sustainability as it's pretty tough to be consistent and follow up so you see if you are sustainable or not. Often it's not even cool to know that you missed the target with 5000 miles. I see that.

Most of you think this is about Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc but every day there are thousands of startups that actually is started and creates the jobs which is the foundation of the economy. Jobs. Not Steve. The real Jobs. Comes from startups but from startups in "normal" industries (I carry the belief that Internet and mobility startups are not normal, ask me about why) Normal industries keep their focus on the basic needs, this is all about Maslow.
A real startup is growing in a pale white space someone left open in a market where the business is already ongoing but they use the wrong methods, tools (IT or not), people or vision. The REAL startup actually has customers. PAYING customers. Duh.

Most of you thing Instagram speed is ridiculous but I believe it was unnecessary, slow and stupid. Unnecessary because if the idiots at Facebook or similar would be thinking about their thing (sitting on gazillions of photos and such) instead of wanking of to Forbes articles they would have adopted their own mobile apps fast and accurate so actually the price tag on Instagram is a tag on how bad the employees are at Facebook doing what they were supposed to be doing.
The stupid thing is that this behavior is opening up massive new areas where these idiots can't do their job (LBS, positioning tech, UI/UX, testing, real interactive services etc) and it means that the flanks are open, if Napoleon was alive he would have a field day with the troglodytes at Facebook. Mark please clean out the garbage.

I could go on for ages about this area of knowledge. Look at it, look at what is cooking in your home town. Do you see that there are less than 1% that is going to sustain change and 99% will die over the next 25 years due to either self strangulation, M&A, change of times, weather or stupidity? See it now.
It's a tough one to build for sustainability but if you look at it from an agnostic perspective (no Believers thank You), spread the risks on to many legs and keep an eye out for talent to hire then you are off to a good start. Wait. What's that to do with Sustainable??
Well the only sustainable I've seen is the one that you can hand over to your children. With good confidence and a clean mind. Agree?

onsdag, februari 29, 2012


I have seen some smart research and startups using Microsoft Kinect devices to build new innovative services based on that device. What jumps to mind is that they seem to forget a couple of things. First; what are the limitations of the device and what it can do? Second is what if you build something that smart that anyone wants to do the same, how do you protect yourself from competition?

The answers are not so simple.

Device? Sure it's built to serve a gaming platform so it's fast, short range and not possible to collect individual data. That's up to the game to build. And Microsoft to support, if they want. But their track record is devastating on that point, they might change even if I doubt it, and you might be able to continue to trust them handling your needs.

The second part about protecting your IP, forget it. Forget it.

Build your own device, go to market with a unique offer and be good at what you do; and remember that all of these three are not something that Microsoft is good at so you could be looking at an exit.

Yes. The MSFT exit.

fredag, januari 27, 2012

Radio and waves

've spent the last years discovering radio.
Not the FM shit, the real deal. The waves of radio. Radiating stuff.
It started with the problems with so-called 3G, why is the 3G data not working as good as 2G, GPRS data traffic for mobile devices and therefore not used as the primary way of transporting data for applications and services? Boy. Not simple to understand.
Then I met with many people working with the roll-out of 3G and got to understand the practical implications of working with 3G after the 2G revolution. What looked like a planned attack on the lack of capacity was nothing like it, it was purely the need to sell something new that drove the launch of WCDMA/UMTS and in the first years it was pure crap. Glitch was just the standard.
It got better. But the standard was implemented by monkeys and the services from the operators couldn't meet the consumer needs, lot's of bullshit startups that got bullshit VC money and amazing exits. Woops. Ok, let's not get too exited...
Looking back at the amount of shit that's been bought just to be safe of not missing out on the new stuff gives me yet proof of the status of human intelligence. It's lower than low and low is not even close to crap. Who came up with the idea to think that Loopt was a good idea? Why pay billions for navigation software companies? Gosh.

Everything was going mobile and mobile was going constantly online and there we are today. But all the moneeeey wasted on services that no-one is using today is stupid. Get real. It's the real world that still holds the secrets to success.

What about the real world? You know, where people actually reacts to impressions in stead of advertisement, likes to walk together with strangers and interacts with social ambitions. The mobile device, best case the smartphone, is their best friend if there is no alternative but no-one gives away their inner secrets to a device; they use it to put a layer of disguise on. Nothing else.

So I came to think about radio waves from people. Is it possible to detect their inner decisions just by observing them, like an invisible ghost following the steps of a human?
I'm still not completely convinced but I think I'm close. It should be possible if I just can combine the right radio waves with the right technical solution. And it will be powerful. Reaally powerful.
If it will work.

Follow up next month.
It was a while since the last blog post. Yes.
I've spent way too much time working, I said some years back that I was aiming at working 25% of a normal work week and if I couldn't do that I failed. Whooops.
But so that you know I kind of exited from the startup that I initiated in November 2009, Qubulus, by signing over my shares to the investors in December 2011. Didn't really feel good about it, leaving what was started as a whim and not nearly finalized. Whatever can be called finalized these days. But it did give me a break and a vacation from duties that now feels really great.
Some of you know my way of living I just felt it was time to start something new. (For the X time...) And I did, I call it Service Individuals and it's about bringing services to Individuals. Dooh. But it's not that simple, because what do we want as individuals? Very different things. Can one build a platform for that? Maybe. Most likely.
Since this week I can be found at Minc in Malmö, it's the fourth shape I'm taking at that place; probably a very difficult person for these kind people running this place. I can hear them whispering -"what is he up to now? Is he going to make trouble? Gosh."