There are certain qualities we associate with entrepreneurs. Smart, risk-taking and innovative are a few that come to mind. At the Silicon Valley Bank Annual CEO Summit last week, the word bold was queued up and explored. In his address at the summit, Jon Fisher, CEO of CrowdOptic, highlighted memorable bold moments in his career as an entrepreneur and the measurement of those ventures.
"What's measurable are the bold moments. A moment in time that you share with a team and you know when it's happening. Unlike, perhaps, being at the right time at the right place, you know that this is really special. My co-founders and I were wandering around in a fog in 2003-2004 and we were trying to figure out how does one enter a password even if someone is looking over your shoulder or hacking your keystrokes, that they wouldn't know what you were doing. And Silicon Valley Bank on down was faced with the challenge of strengthening their systems back then... We wanted to focus on this problem."
Asking this question to solve a very specific problem led to a patented design that's the crux of the Oracle's Adaptive Access Manager project. Fisher went on to co-found CrowdOptic which is cutting edge technology may be best explained by their website -- CrowdOptic analyzes where people point their smartphones to identify activity hot spots, engage users with contextual applications, and curate social media content.
In other words, when a significant or memorable event is taking place and everyone whips out their phones to record the moment or snap a picture, GPS signals reflect this activity. CrowdOptic created an algorithm that calculates where people are aiming their phones and when. From there, Fisher reasoned, you can offer them services based on curation and organization and highlight what has become the common focus at a significant moment, whether it's at a sporting event, family vacation or news event. CrowdOptic is ahead of the curve and it'll be interesting to see how the market develops for this technology in consumer use and for news organizations trying to authenticate images.
Drawing out themes of measurement, outcomes and the questions that led to innovation, Fisher talked about success in terms of persistence. As an entrepreneur, you can measure professional relationships and opportunity costs. You look to outcomes such as strategic acquisition by a larger company. But he did add that there's some luck involved.
Fisher credits his success to his connection with Ray Lane. If you follow tech news, then you know that Lane has had some bad times recently. Lane is a major investor in Fisker and the announcement that Fisker, maker of electric cars, is laying off 75 percent of workers piled up against Lane's resignation from HP. Fisher referenced Lane's troubles and spoke about the need for big plans and taking big bets. He charged the audience to go back to school and get an advanced Physics degree and raise an "unholy amount of money" for clean or green technology to solve problems like battery development for cars or desalinization.
To hear Fisher's entire speech, go to Fora.tv.