At the end of our recent RADlabs launch event, our Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Eastgate said, “how fitting that we are launching RADlabs and using one of mankind’s earliest technological inventions.” He was referring to the cake knife in his hand and RADLabs being a team of researchers and developers building innovative technologies aimed at improving the field service industry.
I’m sure the first lazy caveman who clubbed a kill somewhere and crafted the first knife to prepare his meal didn’t expect his invention to one day be used in civilized cake cutting ceremonies. I believe a lot of innovation comes out of laziness - a drive to find an easier and better way to do things that are just too hard, that often just won’t get done.
How many inventions that have stood the test of time were truly envisioned as becoming as important and world changing as they are now. It’s not just the invention, it's also how we use it…different tradesmen can use the same tools and create very different outcomes both in a finished product and in the quality of the workmanship.
When I think about the internet I sometimes think about cryptography, one of the earliest innovations of something that is widely used on the internet today, and its thousands of years old.
Cryptography has a few different forms. The oldest one is what we now refer to as “private key” cryptography. It began as a form of secretive communication between a small group of people which required a key to decipher. The nature of this form of cryptography meant that a message seen as plain English could end up with an entirely different meaning once deciphered with a key.
The mathematics of cryptography is based on the notion that the outcome of an equation is easier to reach but much harder to undo - i.e. getting the sum of an equation is much easier than figuring out what the equation was from the final sum.
I believe this holds true for all technologies, the obvious and closest one to my heart being simPRO. When we first started, we had too many friends running their companies by working a hundred hours a week and going broke at the end of it. That’s no one’s dream, but a common outcome for those of us bitten with the urge to build something ourselves.
We saw a better way for our friends, our customers and for the 90,000 people using simPRO on a daily basis. We believe we have made an impact and given those people a better way to do things. simPRO has thus been able to give them back the reason for going into business in the first place.
It still astounds me to see the different way in which two businesses from the outside may look identical, but their outcomes from their tools, technology such as simPRO, can be completely different depending on their approach, attitudes and how simPRO is used within the company.
Human ingenuity always flourishes and finds new and exciting ways to jump forward. Technology enables us to do more, to do it more effectively, but it’s that drive, that ingenuity that seems to be the deciding factor for fantastic success.