I'm just thinking about the importance of immediate gratification in meeting customer needs. This is unquestionable the key driver behind the recent disruptive technologies which upended media businesses such as music (iTunes/iPod), video (Netflix/settop boxes), and books (Kindle).
This is most definitely a key value for visual search: take a picture, do a search! What could be faster?
Any business contemplating an emerging market has to figure out how to drive adoption, and immediate gratification is a key aspect of this. Imagine you're selling washing machines to people doing their laundry by beating clothes in the river. The key value isn't that they no longer have to visit the river, it's that their clothes can be clean sooner.
I think immediate gratification is part of why 3D printers have become so popular. But it takes the whole ecosystem; without Thingiverse's 1,000s of readily downloadable and printable designs, it wouldn't have that aspect. Based on this I predict the 3Doodler will not be as successful (it takes practice and work to make something interesting).
Who knows ... perhaps immediate gratification even lies behind many social changes.
A snowy Sunday ... well, not snowy for me, although it is frigid here, but I loved watching those football games in Philly and Baltimore, wow. Nothing nicer than watching people running around in a 25 snowstorm with 6" of snow on the group while sitting inside by a nice fire. I did spend the afternoon sailing (slash, drifting), which was fun but cold. Brrr.
You will all have seen my eyesFinder presentation. Thanks for all the nice feedback. I've created an eyesFinder blog, and will be posting a lot more about it there, and will try to cross-link stuff. Stay tuned. In the meantime, starting tomorrow I have a new job - self-employed as the founder of a startup. Should be, er, great!
BTW I'm using Wordpress for this blog, my first experience with it, and so far, so good. Will have more to say after I have a little more to go on. I considered using Typepad too, which I've used before and have liked, but seems there are more people using Wordpress and more innovation taking place there.
Mickey Kaus examines President Obama's "Inequality Speech": The Great MacGuffin. I, too, can't help wondering if our President doesn't want to pass "The Paycheck Fairness Act". It would be a lot funnier if it were a lot less true.
It's the end of the year, which means it's time for end-of-the-year lists; here we have the Top 10 Innovations of 2013, from TheScientist. #1 was nVista HD, from Inscopix, a mini fluorescent microscope which enables imaging at the cellular level in vivo. So many of these innovations involve vision, which is not surprising but still cool.
Why Steve Ballmer got fired, in two photos. This one is the Microsoft store in Arlington, VA, taken last weekend. There are zero people in the store. The other is of the Apple store in the same mall. You can guess what it looks like. This is a good analysis, because it shows exactly the problem Microsoft faces; they make a bunch of stuff, but what would draw people into their store? The X-box, maybe, but surely not the Surface...
I see where Microsoft is still playing next CEO bingo. The key question for any incoming CEO should be, what will you do to get people to come into these stores?
A clear problem someone should solve: everyone wants a new cellphone every year, but cell carriers sell two-year contracts. So you have to go through this whole dance every year to get a new phone. Help!
Technolust: Samsung shrinks size of 1TB SSD. This is a 1.8" mSATA device. I can remember when getting more storage size into my laptop was a big problem, now it's making the storage faster.
Do you watch video reports? Me neither. When there's a link to a video report, I close the window and move on with my life. If I'm really interested, I'll Google for a text story. Am I weird in this way?
Reviving a lost but valuable tradition, here're today's ZooBorns of the day, baby Hutias. I love discovering new species while being overcome by cuteness :)
Brrr ... a cold and rainy Saturday, where by "cold" I mean 34o, which is *cold*. Looks like a good day for hanging out by the fire, reading, watching a little football ... and blogging!
Yes, the stone is swinging today...
I've been reading The Everything Store, about Jeff Bezos and Amazon (I like it), and it includes the story, how one bad Thanksgiving shaped Amazon. Like people, companies learn more from their disasters than their victories.
Gravity, explained and visualized. I don't know about you, but I get a lot more out of this kind of physical model than the mysterious "particle exchange" explanations.
On the value of content. "What we're witnessing here is the first wave of the second world pop-up war. Those of us who lived through the first one can only describe the horrors to our disbelieving children." Indeed. Bonus points for the Idiocracy screen grab :)
This is incredible: Cassini gets amazing views of Saturn's hexagon. There is a storm raging over Saturn's North pole which is 20,000 miles wide (twice the diameter of the Earth), featuring 300mph winds, and it's been raging for 30 years. Oh yeah, and it's shaped like a hexagon, and nobody knows why. Yikes!
You knew this had to happen: Eleven James is a startup that lets you rent your wrist wear. Now you, too, can wear an Hublot. What's interesting about this trend to me is that people are more interested in showing off stuff to other people than owning it themselves.
This is rather cool: SolarCity, using Tesla batteries, aims to bring solar power to the masses. Batteries will enable houses with solar power to store energy themselves instead of feeding it back into the grid.
Are you ready for some football? The 2013 World Cup draw has been announced! Most observers feel the US draw is pretty tough, but as US Coach Jurgen Klinsmann says, "if you want to win, you have to beat the top teams anyway". I think it's cool that the Netherlands and Spain meet in their first game, a rematch of the last World Cup finals.
Not everyone thinks this is great; Powerline's Paul Mirengoff comments how not to run a sporting competition.
I'm certainly ready for some American football; today features some great matchups, including Auburn-Missouri, Ohio State - Michigan State, and Stanford - Arizona State. Stay tuned!
Hi I'm Ole Eichhorn, here to tell you about eyesFinder
Our idea is simple: take a picture, do a search
Visual search is a massive market opportunity, and a difficult technical challenge
I'd like to tell you more about both
So, who is the customer?
You and me!
We are all carrying around Internet-connected cameras in our pocket, but to search,
we have to type on a tiny keyboard
How great will it be when we can just take a picture to do a search?
eyesFinder makes this possible!
But there are many other applications too...
For retailers like Ralph Lauren, visual search will let their customers take a picture of a handbag or a pair of shoes, and match it against their fall collection
eyesFinder will power many mobile Apps to make this possible
For manufacturers like Toyota, visual search enables their customers and employees to search their huge parts database, just by taking a picture
eyesFinder will be integrated into many databases to make this possible
For medical imaging companies like Aperio, visual search enables their pathologists to search a library of unusual cancer cases with pictures, to make accurate diagnoses
eyesFinder will drive amazing new decision support applications to make this possible
So how big is this market? It's hard to say exactly, but the text search market is over $25B a year, led by Google, Bing, Ask, and many others
eyesFinder plans to start in Medical Imaging, a $15M/year market in which we already have customers in Pathology, Radiology, and Cytology
From there we'll move into other market segments, such as retail and databases.
We've identified over 70 different segments in which visual search has value,
and estimate this opportunity to be over $100M/year
And then we'll tackle creating a visual search engine ... for everyone!
The size of this market could exceed the size of text search,
as the majority of Internet access already comes from mobile devices
eyesFinder's precise Visual Search is based on a patented technique called Vector Quantization, which enables images to be broken into regions using statistical methods
Ou technology delivers uniquely precise visual search results. Please see the VQ white paper posted on our website for more information
eyesFinder's visual search is the next step in search technology
Our business model is simple
For medical imaging and other partners we'll deliver Visual Search via a web-based API, charging on a per image, per-search basis. Customers pay as they go, and as their usage of Visual Search increases, so does the revenue we earn from them
Our general Visual Search engine will be free to end users, and will earn revenue from advertising via keyword auctions, the same way as text search engines
We have a lot of competitors; this chart shows some of the main ones and how we stack up
Text search engines like Google and Bing are each working on visual search. They don't support online APIs and are object-based, limiting their search precision
There are companies focused purely on Visual Search applications, such as IQ Engines which was recently acquired by Yahoo, and Camfind, which uses crowdsourcing algorithms
And there are technology companies like Qualcomm, Amazon, and IBM
In our testing eyesFinder's VQ-based visual search delivers uniquely precise results, and we'd be delighted to share these in detail
Here's a bit about me; I've been the technical leader at several startups in emerging markets
I was a co-founder of Digital Insight, the leader in online home banking. That was an interesting time, we used to start every presentation with "this is the Internet".
DI had a successful IPO in 1999
After that I joined Intuit, the leader in consumer and SMB financial services, at a time when each desktop software company was trying to develop an Internet strategy. I led their online billpay team, which became part of quicken.com. This business was structured as a separate company, and was bought into Intuit in 2000
I then joined PayPal, the leader in online payments, at a time of wild growth shortly after the merger between X.com and PayPal. PayPal went public in 2001 - the first company after 9-11 to do so - and was subsequently acquired by eBay
After taking some time off,
for the last eleven years I've been the Chief Technology Officer of Aperio, the leader in digital pathology. Aperio was acquired a year ago by Leica, and eyesFinder is a spinout of the visual search technology we developed at Aperio
The eyesFinder team are experienced and diverse experts;
all friends and colleagues with whom I've worked before
Our crack intern team has built a working prototype, created our website with an online demo,
and is helping to gather market research and find potential customers and partners
Our plan for the next six months is to deliver Visual Search via an online API to Aperio and four other partners in medical imaging, which will deliver immediate revenue of $400K. We'll also release the API to others and expand our API business, as we refine our Visual Search technology
After 6-9m we'll look to raise an A round and begin building out our visual search library, and start beta-testing a general Visual Search mobile app
In 12-18m we'll launch the Visual Search engine and mobile app, and about six months later we'll start hosting advertising via keyword auctions
There are three key drivers to the financials of eyesFinder. Our main expense is our staff, which we project to grow from 11 people in year one, $1.2M, to 21 people in year two, $2.4M.
The per-image, per-search fees from the API will be the primary source of income in the first two years, overtaken by keyword auctions for advertising which will drive stronger growth.
We'd be happy to share more detailed financial projections
We're a bit ambivalent about our fund raising strategy; we might raise a seed round of $500K now, or maybe power this phase from revenue earned from our initial customers
After that we plan to raise an A round of $4M which will drive us to profitability
eyesFinder offers a lot of potential exits to investors
In addition to search engines, eyesFinder will be interesting to technology leaders, major imaging companies, and businesses which create mobile solutions. Many potential acquirers already have visual search projects, but will be attracted by better technology and a clean business model
While eyesFinder intends to be the best at Visual Search, it won't have to be #1 to be valuable; competitors of #1 may acquire the capability they need to be competive
A belated Happy Birthday ... to me ... wow, another trip around the sun.
And this one is pretty significant, a lot of changes this year. Today was actually my last physical day at the Leica office where I have worked for so many years. (Leica acquired my company Aperio about a year ago.) I've started a new company called eyesFinder, focused on Visual Search, with Leica as my partner, and starting tomorrow that will be my only job. Stay tuned for more about that (!)...
In the meantime here I am attending the Radiological Society of North America's annual conference, the biggest medical imaging show which I've attended ... 8 or so years in a row. (Will share pictures, don't worry :) And of course enjoying the freezing cold and Christmas atmosphere while shopping along Michigan Avenue, and the amazing nightime views of the vertical city.
Heh ... just noticed four of my last five posts start with "Happy...", does that mean I'm happy, or that I want to be? (My father-in-law used to say, "you're not happy, you just think you are".) Hmmm...
December! Wow. Should be great... :)
An inconvenient truth: return of the arctic ice cap as it grows 29% in one year. This is the same year that some pundits are calling the "hottest on record". I'm not a climate denier, more of a climate skeptic. Seems like behind every liberal cause is a desire to profit from it, making the innate virtue of the cause harder to judge.
Continuing our theme of big Christmas trees ... check out this huge floating Christmas tree in Rio de Janeiro's harbor. Wow.
Continuing our theme of not coercing people into helping others: Penn Jillette on compassion: "Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness."
If you're Microsoft, this is not good news: Win 7 handily bests Win 8. This is Vista all over again, except that this time the desktop is less important. Microsoft better get Win 9 out soon...
This excellent once-in-a-decade phenomenon happened yesterday: gorgeous photos of the Grand Canyon filled with fog. Wow. Looks like a lighthouse on a seacoast, doesn't it?
Magnus Carlsen, the new king of chess. How interesting that in this era when computers can beat humans, humans still have good new games against one another. There is so much more complexity to chess than you would imagine from the relatively simple rules...
Yes that *is* Magnus with Liv Tyler; perhaps Brent Musburger will now advise teenage boys to play chess?
Doc Searles: how to rescue radio. Um, radio? Buried in the article is an important tidbit: the latest iTunes does have Internet radio, but you have to explicitly enable it via a Preference.
Parenthetically, my car came with Slacker, a Pandora competitor, and I love it. Listen to it all the time, this has pretty much replaced listening to my music from my iPhone, even though it syncs perfectly via bluetooth. I like the spontaneity of hearing music I've never heard, or haven't heard in forever...
BTW Football Saturday sure came through; has there ever been a day with so many close games? And yay, all of my teams won, how rare is that?
Onward ... into December!
A great day to do nothing ... hang out, maybe do a little kayaking, and print some gnomes :) Oh, and watch football! We have Alabama-Auburn (go Tigers!), and Stanford-Notre Dame (go Cardinal!), and then USC-UCLA (go Bruins!) And let's see what else is going on...
So tomorrow is the big day for Obamacare, when healthcare.gov is supposed to work. I'm sure you, like me, are planning to go right these and register. But even if they fix the website - which I somehow doubt - they won't be able to fix the general approach of "redistribution"; those like you and me who pay for medical insurance will have to pay more, so that those who couldn't get it before now can. I'd be willing to pay a little more for insurance - true hedge against disaster - but not much, and not for maintenance. Kind of like the way all of us pay a little more for car insurance so some people can get "assigned risk" policies...
Related: The Heath Care Blog considers what if the Affordable Care Act enrolls a lot fewer people than predicted? Depending on who does enroll, we'll all pay more.
So here's a question: do you feel safer traveling by air with the TSA protecting you? I don't. This is yet another example of government doing something poorly and more expensively than private industry.
Wow, too much seriousness for Football Saturday, right? This picture is the LA Coliseum in October 1923, soon after it was completed, hosting its first football game between USC and Pomona, before 12,000 screaming fans. (click to enlarge) It will look slightly different today, with a few more people in attendance :)
[ Update: By the way, how cool is it that we have a picture of this? Must have been taken by an intrepid pilot in a litte biplane, with their little iPhone :) ]
Can you identify all the different sports teams which have called the Coliseum home? Hint: In addition to football it has been used for baseball*, basketball, and ice hockey... and has hosted two Olympiads, two Super Bowls, and yes, one World Series... and of course Pink Floyd playing The Wall.
* in 2008 it hosted the largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game, 115,000 people... Dodgers - Red Sox.
Okay, pass the Wheat Thins and nobody gets hurt...
Good morning blog public! Did you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I hope you did - I did :) - and I hope it left you refreshed and ready to attack Black Friday. As I type this at 10:30am I know some of you have already been shopping for hours, either in malls or at your keyboard. Good for you. My plans for the day are more modest, I'm planning to put up lights on the house, made a little more interesting by the threat of rain... stay tuned!
Here's something not everyone will buy: Order your very own cold fusion reactor. I'm not buying "cold fusion", let alone this $1.5M alleged implementation of it.
Something else I will be doing soon: In search of the tallest Christmas tree in America. Well, okay, mine will only be about 10' tall, but ... still. A worthy search.
So I switched! Yep, I did it; made Chrome my default browser instead of Firefox. This has been brewing for some time; let's face it, Chrome is faster, and it uses less memory. I had tried this before, only to discover that Chrome always opens links in a new tab, and there's no way to change this behavior. Ah ... but there is! Thanks to the simple and functional New Tab, New Window extension, Chrome now opens links in a new window. Onward!
This is cool: the world's most incredible libraries. Pictured, the Strahov Abbey library, in Prague. Looks like the perfect place to curl up with your Kindle.
How much weight will you gain from Thanksgiving dinner? In my case, I think that is directly tied to another question, how much will I ride this weekend! :)
Hi everyone, Happy Thanksgiving!
I have many things to be thankful for ... my family and friends, my work, cycling and sailing, and ... you my blog friends! I hope you have a fantastic day filled with football, cheese and crackers, turkey and potatoes, pie ... wine ... and your family and friends. Tomorrow is a new day and we can look ahead, but today we can enjoy just for today.
A quiet little day today; you know you didn't get much done when your biggest accomplishment was drafting a press release. Still, it did get drafted. I had a lot of time, so I was able to make it quite short :)
You know we're doing okay when worrying about whether there's too much wind for the Macy's balloons is a top story. Still, we worry, because they're fun. To infinity, and beyond!
By the way I must confess, I just rewatched the whole Toy Story series. Pretty great, and they hold up amazingly well. Toy Story 2 has to be about the best animated movie ever.
Want to play with your family a bit tomorrow? Maybe make some Grime Dice to confound them. In which, Dice A will systematically beat Dice B, which systematically beats Dice C, but C beats A. Paging Kurt Godel...
Leonado da Vinci invented numerous devices that he never built*, including the viola organista, a machine-line instrument that combines a harpsicord, organ, and viola da gamba. This 500-year-old idea is now a reality, however, thanks to Polish musician Slawomir Zubrzycki. Cool. Some people have too much time on their hands, and we are glad they do!
* while I was non-blogging last summer I visited Tuscany, and Vinci, and the da Vinci museum, which features cool scale models of many of Leonardo's designs. Way cool and well worth seeing.
Okay, back to printing wild turkeys ... :)
Pretty cool: FlightAware's Misery Map shows you, by city, how likely you are to be delayed.
This is just an animated example, your mileage may vary. May the odds be ever in your favor...
Today ... was a good day :) Feeling very Thankful on many fronts...
(yes of course ... that is my 3D-printed turkey)
Here we have ... the world's sexiest buildings! I have to admit, they are amazing. I love that building materials are now so strong that architecture can looking like anything you can imagine, instead of being a slave to functional strength. Pretty soon buildings will be 3D-printed like turkeys :)
I have to agree with this: Let's kill the aid industry. "Most development aid is actively harmful. Selling goods for less than production cost is dumping, a business practice condemned as predatory; aid is just dumping with the price set to zero."
Thirty infuriating images that will trigger your OCD. Hehe.
Did you know? It turns out that cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, collard greens, and cauliflower are all the same species of plant (Brassica oleracea). And so ... I like cabbage, kale, and broccoli, find caulifower to be meh, and do not like brussels sprouts. Go figure.
From the Oatmeal: how to suck at your religion. There's one good way, which is toinsist that I have to care about your religion. Unfortunately religions are mental viruses, and the most successful are designed to pull in new hosts.
Thermal images of Emperor Penguins show how they stay warm. I think Penguins are so cool!
Related: the gorgeous, dangerous world below Antarctic ice. Brrr...
Tiny animals on fingers. Pretty much the cutest things ever... wow.
Posts in the last year:
12/09/13 01:31 PM -
12/08/13 11:06 PM -
12/07/13 11:19 AM -
12/05/13 11:17 PM -
12/03/13 11:16 PM -
Happy Birthday ... to me
12/01/13 11:26 PM -
11/30/13 12:21 PM -
Happy Football Saturday
11/29/13 10:29 AM -
Happy Black Friday
11/28/13 09:51 AM -
Happy Thanksgiving! (NY 12/02/13)
11/27/13 09:19 PM -
Wednesday, 11/27/13 09:19 PM
11/27/13 09:03 PM -
11/26/13 11:25 PM -
Tuesday, 11/26/13 11:25 PM
11/26/13 11:12 PM -
11/25/13 05:30 PM -
Monday, 11/25/13 05:30 PM
11/25/13 05:20 PM -
11/24/13 06:03 PM -
Sunday, 11/24/13 06:03 PM
11/24/13 05:42 PM -
11/23/13 04:47 PM -
Saturday, 11/23/13 04:47 PM
11/22/13 04:31 PM -
11/20/13 10:27 PM -
11/20/13 07:15 PM -
Wednesday, 11/20/13 07:15 PM
11/20/13 04:57 PM -
11/19/13 10:10 PM -
11/19/13 09:46 PM -
Tuesday, 11/19/13 09:46 PM
11/19/13 09:19 AM -
11/18/13 08:36 PM -
Monday, 11/18/13 08:36 PM
11/17/13 11:33 PM -
Sunday, 11/17/13 11:33 PM
11/16/13 10:56 PM -
11/16/13 02:43 PM -
11/15/13 10:02 PM -
'tis the season
11/14/13 11:51 PM -
11/13/13 11:12 PM -
11/12/13 09:14 PM -
11 ... 12 ... 13 ...
11/12/13 12:44 AM -
it's a new world
10/19/13 04:47 PM -
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
09/11/13 09:07 AM -
01/06/13 07:14 PM -
01/06/13 06:01 PM -
checking in after ten years
For older posts please visit the archive.
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
the big day
solving bongard problems
the nuclear option
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
the inflection point
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
in praise of paddle shifting
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
shining a light
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
discovering the third quadrant
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker