What an exciting month and a half it has been! I started as the CEO of IndoorAtlas at the turn of the year – it seems as if though that was just yesterday, but looking at the amount of knowledge I’ve acquired of the indoor location services and opportunities I know it’s been longer. I still am very much aware that I am in the beginning of learning about this exciting new industry, as it is forming and starting to take off.
In this learning process I’ve started to know the team – and what a team it is. Coming from a startup and entrepreneurial background myself, I know it takes a talented and highly skilled team to build something as demanding as the indoor positioning system that IndoorAtlas has created. Having said that, very few startup companies have the kind of intellectual horsepower that IndoorAtlas packs in its team.
Throughout my career I have appreciated and recognised it to be a privilege to work with highly trained professionals from whom there is always so much to learn. IndoorAtlas team takes that learning opportunity to a whole new level, with deep knowledge in mathematics, physics, computer technology, machine learning and so on. Not to mention software development disciplines. In the very unlikely scenario that there was a question the team could not answer, the company also has exceptionally close relationships with the best universities in the country.
Science and R&D are very interesting in their own right, but of course it takes more than that to become a successful company on an emerging market. This is the area where I am confident I can help the company. Having taken G-cluster (the pioneering cloud gaming company) with its team from an idea to an actual product and service used by millions of people, I’ve experienced it the hard way that it takes a lot of hard work to go anywhere. Someone once said it takes 1% of idea and 99% of work to build something new. I think they vastly overestimated the proportion of idea involved, it is probably more like 0.1% of idea and 99.9% of work, even with the best of ideas. It is with this amount of work where one really needs to have the kind of team of people that IndoorAtlas has.
As much as I love technology, doing business takes more than having a great technology and product using that technology. In our case we need to educate the market about the opportunities that already exist with indoor location services, but we also must inspire others to explore the business possibilities that open up when indoor location services become ubiquitous. And this is where the strength of IndoorAtlas lies – the company has developed a way of positioning a smartphone without an expensive infrastructure. This is possible thanks to the technology that combines all the available sensory information with the magnetic map of the location. Unlike other indoor positioning infrastructure, the magnetic field comes pre-installed everywhere, thanks to our planet earth.
If you are someone considering building a business around indoor location services, you should take this company seriously. For me this is just the beginning of the adventure, but I am already thrilled by the opportunities that exist!
Erik Piehl, CEO
About the author: Erik Piehl is a cloud gaming pioneer and the new CEO of IndoorAtlas since January 2017. Previously Erik acted as the co-founder and president of G-cluster.