Posted: 29 December 2016
It’s been awhile since the last post. We cleared IC, so that’s a good thing, but there’s still a lot of catching up to do. Many teams have a paying customer already, but we don’t. EF isn’t too worried about that, since what we are doing is arguably very hard. However, what we need to have is a direction. It was clear that last few weeks leading up to IC was bad. We had really rough weeks during that period and it didn’t help that I had to be away for 2 weeks on separate occassions. But all’s good now! We have a direction now and it’s clear. We won’t steer away from it.
The biggest thing I learnt over the past 3 months is “product vs technology”. The lines between these two seem to blur. iPhone is the product, but the technologies behind it are smaller cameras, smaller processors, smaller batteries, etc. This is an easy example. For us, our initial idea was to sell super resolution either for compression or image enhancement. Super resolution is the technology, but what’s the product? The product is something that solves the problem, which is either large bandwidths (hence compression) or poor image quality (hence image enhancement). The product for our case would be perhaps “a box” that is to be placed at the viewing device for super resolution. What exactly is this box (GPGPU/FPGA/ASIC), would depend on the customer. Does this constitute a product? Not really, because we aren’t focused on a very specific market. In this case, we might actually be selling 3 products. I guess this situation was really unique for us because the actual product we will do in the end will depend on the customer.
All start-ups have different experiences. There isn’t a single book that has all the answers. It’s important to extract relevant information and then apply it to our context. For what we are doing, I would say that we are going the technology route. Similar to above, the technology will be implemented in either GPGPU, FPGA, or ASIC, and this will depend on our first customer. The implementation in GPGPU/FPGA/ASIC is the product and it solves a problem.