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SlideShare utilise les cookies pour améliorer les fonctionnalités et les performances, et également pour vous montrer des publicités pertinentes. Si vous continuez à naviguer sur ce site, vous acceptez l’utilisation de cookies. Consultez notre Politique de confidentialité et nos Conditions d’utilisation pour en savoir plus.
[0.5 mins] Hello It’s great to be here at the 100th OpenCoffee! Such initiatives are great and much needed in a growing start-up scene, so thank you George and team for having us. Congrats and keep up the good work.
[0 min] In one way or another we are all riding the global waves of technology
[2 min] -and these waves have finally caught up with the deeply traditional domain of shipping… - Recently came across statement that I found strangely relevant to what we do… -“Shipping is cheap. So cheap in fact that Scotland can send its cod 10,000 miles away to be filleted in China and shipped back, for less than the price of doing it themselves.” -Wow | think | connecting, entrepreneurial, very lazy
We @Signal are creating solutions for shipping professionals that: -allow them to be lazy… or efficient with the hundreds or thousands of emails their receive every day -we pick them up and ship them to powerful servers in the cloud -where they get filleted for the juiciest parts of data -and then this data is combined into consensus about what is happening around the global shipping markets -and shipped back to them, over a nice, simple and secure interface
[0.5 min] …so that they … …may focus on what is most important in their job.
-for Scotland, it might be selling the cod on -for shipping professionals it is about -arranging transportation for a cargo -booking a ship -or helping in the process
[2 min] A few quick words about the team: My name is DT and I am the COO at Signal. After studying electronics in London I worked there as a consultant in FS and technology. In 2005 I moved back to Greece to join leading ship mgmt. co Thenamaris, where I discovered, learned and fell in love with shipping. Ten years later and with about 10 people, under our CEO IM we moved to create The Signal Group with a burning desire to discover the role of emerging technologies in shipping With me tonight is Lucas Kattis, our CTO and I can see a few more faces in the audience In 2015, about 10 of us, under our CEO Ioannis Martinos, left leading Ship Mgmt company Thenamaris Today we are proud to have grown the team to more than100 in Athens, London and Polland And they have developed more than one million lines of beautiful code on a super exciting stack that brings together deep domain expertise and dozens of proven machine learning and AI techniques Having started with just one customer back in 2015, our own shipping co, we now have about 40 clients. Our 40 onboard control about 50% of the global fleet and >25% of the cargoes in the crude oil shipping routes we cover to date
-they say a picture is a thousand words … or …in shipping -a picture of the market can only be painted after reading 1000 emails…
-We use to sit around in the office on a Friday afternoon and ponder the question:
SHOULD WE FIX OUR SHIP TODAY? OR SHOULD WE TAKE OUR CHANCES AND WAIT FOR MONDAY?
-The information we needed was buried in the emails, but it was very hard to process. -and even if we sat down to do it once, by the time we got finished 100 more emails had arrived…
-..and if that were not enough, shipping speaks gibberish ! -observe this sentence speaking about a transportation deal, called “fixture” -it takes the average shipping professional years to learn this language!
-using NLP we have taught our systems this language -so that we can copy
-and paste to have the data extracted and ready for analysis
-right now we may have the equivalent of a high-performing 30 year old pro, but in a few months our system will be packing the punch of a 600-year old shipping language scholar!
… -who is unleashed over your mailbox -to instantly read and extract all deals as they arrive
-and once information that tells you what ships are going to be doing over the next month -is combined with traces of where ships have been that come from satellites
-and passed through other cool AI-powered algorithms, like activity detection and path planning -you can keep constant tabs on where and when each ship will become available for a next bit of business
-and when you can do this for all ships on the planet…
-then you can say -hey Signal Ocean…. -how many Aframax ships (ships that can carry 100K tons of crude oil) -will be available -in Ceyhan Turkey, where pipelines bring crude oil from Azerbaijan and Iraq -in 6 days from now
-so this is the equivalent of asking your taxi app for a taxi in 35 minutes from now
-notice there are 36 vessels that could make the dates -but 7 of them are already in discussion with clients (pre booked)
-so let’s have a dialog with the data
-let’s only focus on the truly available ships….the predicted Ceyhan taxi rank in 6 days from now -down to 29
-And let’s only focus on ships that can serve us with the contingency of 1 day to spare
-how about discarding ships that have not called this port in the last 2 years and might not be the most efficient
-This is a much shorter perspective on competition…no?
-and you can even sort the ships by their relative profitability -to see who has the biggest margins based on a quick P&L estimation
-and we can drill down on any ship we like -to discover details about what they are doing -this ship has just finished discharging a cargo in Thessaloniki
-and can even review a detailed P&L by ship -identifying strengths and weaknesses and evaluating their competitiveness
AND ALL THIS IN SECONDS WITHOUT HAVING MANUALLY ENTERED A SINGLE DATA LINE or read 1000 emails
-our Fridays have changed
-but… ships don’t stop; they can be in any timezone on the planet
-so if you are at home in the night OR in a restaurant… -thanks to cloud computing, you can carry our technology with you on your mobile
AND YOU CAN AGAIN SAY…HEY SIGNAL OCEAN
-how many ships in Ceyhan over the next 6 or 8 days
-and drill down
-so we use technology to help shipping professionals… -make better decisions faster -extend their market trading edge -While respecting their data privacy, the current market structure and not levelling the playing field.
-And although bringing this type of power to users is exhilarating -what we love even more are the greater prospects that follow
-for example, this type of data fusion brings transparency and transparency boosts fact-based decision making -and when more people can see and follow how decisions are made, then they can think clearer and develop faster -but it also enables completely new business models, that were previously not possible -like consolidation on the ship owning side through flexible pooling -or more efficient supply and transportation chains for companies that need them
-So technology has finally arrived in shipping -And the future is bright
-but future, usually, comes after the past -so here are 3 bits of advice for those of you who are starting now, or earlier in the lifecyle -all three will come across as mind-numbing truisms, so they are very easy to dismiss -I hope I do these points justice because they matter
Starts…. they matter!
1. Culture -when the time comes for you to grow the team -look for your work culture and mission co-founders -you must share values, passion for your goal and positively complement each-other. -The first 10 will have to recruit and onboard then next 30 or 50… ...so remember.... recruitment is imperfect; so if it turns out you are not aligned with a new team member, even if they are performing great, be brave and part ways sooner rather than later. 2 months should be enough time to tell
2. People that fit in a room don’t need documents; right? Wrong. -The collective ability of a team to collaborate on the basis of transparent, documented thinking is hard to conquer but harder to retrofit once a team is forged. -Learn to collaborate via documents. Meetings are great, but if you have them, make sure somebody is making them efficient through good prep and effective follow-up. Finally, choose or create a virtual space, to share, organize and collect this shared content
3. If you have to grow your engineering team, theory says you do it by building multiple teams of roughly 5-8 people; -if you subscribe (and you should), worry about team autonomy from the beginning -each team needs to be able to touch any bit of code they need to to achieve their targets -make sure you have strong ownership but as little constraining specialization as possible -speak to us about this afterwards and read up on internal Open-source models
4. “Spend time to make time” -who here has heard or practiced the well established lean startup mantra: "do things that don't scale" -it means you start by doing things manually and progressively automate stuff with scale. -but automating your client's journey is not be enough -QA, test automation, continuous integration will actually allow your team to continue accelerating as it grows. The opposite can grind you down to a halt. -You can't be afraid of what is called tech debt. Build a regular process of eliminating debt as you go along. we, e.g., are running one maintenance/debt removal sprint for every 5 normal ones.
....so do these things early and you will be off to a great start
Product management is one of the hardest team disciplines to fulfil…
-more often than not, the difference between getting to the next important client or funding round will hinge on tough and not always obvious decisions, such as which feature to build next.
-for us, one such decision that appears to be serving us well at the moment was to invest in keeping data and running analytics on a per client-basis; each client has their own data that drives their own private insights; if you are familiar with machine learning you might understand how painful breaking up data domains can be
-It has easily been 10x more costly and difficult to do this -But data privacy is very important in our market, so choosing to do this has helped us counter a lot of inertia in our clients organizations
Funny thing is that if we are successful, a lot of the code we had to write might stop adding value, but it will have served its purpose…
So make sure you have a deep understanding of your market/clients and look for those bold decisions not many would see or take. And don’t expect you clients to give you these; you can and should, however, speak to them to build hypotheses and validate them.
...and to close our parade of apparent cliches...Focus -ALWAYS focus on what you think the next most important thing in your journey is. -tune your team to have formidable serial speed first (we call this doing first things first), then parallelize -not the other way around
-so...do less....but do it well. -measure your progress daily and become great at objective setting and tracking -companies like Amazon and Google swear by concepts/tools like OKRs. Read up on these and practice before you raise capital.
-I attended the last OpenCoffee session, during which budgeting was endorsed as a productive discipline. -Don't perceive budgeting as an accounting process…use it to think entrepreneurially, constantly cross checking cost against benefit. -When you plan your work (eg sprints, features, etc) allow your team to estimate the actual EUR cost of developing and operating a feature and ask yourself if the investment makes intuitive sense against your business model and strategy. If it does not, pivot.
- Thank you very much for the attention and best of luck to all of us - we need as many successes in the Greek startup scene as possible