How can the epicenter of technology be run on a 100-year-old grid tech?

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Recently, San Francisco suffered a major power outage. Friday, March 21st, San Francisco came to a grinding halt. Over 88,000 customers were without power. Hospitals and schools switched over to backup power. Already congested city driving turned into gridlock as streetlights were out. Oddly, at the same time, Los Angeles and Boston were going through similar blackouts, although not as extensive as San Francisco’s outage.

The events while not directly related are a sign of the instability our power grid operates day in and day out. The aging electricity grid is comprised of over 300,000 miles of transmission lines that span the country. Over 30% of our power grid is past its end of the lifecycle. …

Seeing the future of finance in the past

I have just arrived home from a trip to Hong Kong on family vacation. While traveling I noticed the most amazing, ubiquitous payment tool — Octopus Card. The Octopus Card is a stored value smart card for making payments in online and offline systems in Hong Kong. …

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Last April, Facebook announced Messenger, its latest platform. There is nothing like a good make-away to try new tools and techniques. Apurva Shah shares that enthusiasm and we set out to create a bot over a weekend.

We paced around Apurva’s dining room table, a place where we have anguished and hacked on many products together. The blank whiteboard taunted us. We realized that to test behavioral products, one needs to operate within their day-to-day life. We decided that we would treat our early prototype simply as a ‘science experiment.’

By thinking in terms of experimentation it provided us the lightness to consider a core problem and develop a hypothesis rather than foreshadow the complexity of a real product experience. This insight unlocked the rest of our session, the work began to flow more easily. In the same spirit of following the scientific method, we focused on answering a key question — we call our “Minimum Viable Question” our MVQ. …


Jason DePerro

I serve at the nexus of entrepreneurship, sustainability and design leadership

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