JOBS, MUSK AND MARS
All good things thrive on inspiration. We need that spark to get excited. For years, I’ve been inspired by Apple and it’s late visionary leader Steve Jobs. They inspired me to start developing mobile applications. It’s like magic — the opportunities to change people’s lives are endless.
We need to evolve — to grow and keep going. Recently, I’ve been delighted to find new meaningful fountain of inspiration. His name is Elon Musk, South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, investor, engineer and inventor.
He is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Motors; co-founder and chairman of SolarCity; co-chairman of OpenAI; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com which merged with PayPal of Confinity. Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multiplanetary” by setting up a human colony on Mars.
Here are two great videos I recommend for you watch to get sense of what Musk is visioning.
HOW DOES MUSKS VISION OF HUMANY COLONY IN MARS INSPIRE
My learning from watching Musk speaking is to understand how building products needs vision, goal and path to achieve the vision. Just like Western Pacific Railroad, formed 1903, enabled people traveling to west and explore California, or ships that enabled people to start doing months long journeys from Europe to North America — SpaceX’s vision is to build transportation from planet Earth to Mars extending humanity beyond limits we know at the moment.
This is how products should be built — with vision, goal and endpoint. Only after you have vision you can build path how to get there.
OUR VISION IN SPENT
“By giving access to your own purchase data, organise automatically all your business and personal purchases using latest technologies — with profitability in connection to commerce.”
What does that mean? Let me try to open up this a little bit for you. By getting access to your own purchase data, we mean that you can connect any cards, bank accounts or cash purchases to SPENT mobile app and enjoy easiest way to organize and see where does your money go.
We have successfully launched first version of this product and people trust us by linking their purchase data to our product and in return all of their purchase data is now visible and nicely organized in the cloud. You can check our latest Android product with statistics — it’s amazing — you can see how you have “swiped” your spending.
Next step towards our vision has been to establish connection to commerce and retail around you. Again, we’ve been successful in this part and have already over 90% coverage on U.S. online market and on growing representation of in-store merchant inventory including biggest names from Amazon to Walmart.
Purchase data + retail inventory + location = profitability for you.
Now we are developing smart algorithms to find you savings from all this commerce, where you use money everyday, by getting cashback from your purchases to you. This is what we mean by profitability in our vision. It simply saves you money and time.
Last part of our vision is the automation. This needs state-of-the-art technology. We have built first versions of features that can read item-level data from purchases. This is something where we see lot of development coming in the near future and big trend is retailers’ point of sale being connected to cloud by likes of VISA and authorized service providers like us can use this data to better automate your purchase data.
End goal in our vision is to recognise data from the purchase and automatically connect it to your organised purchase data cloud.
Then you can give access to selected parties beneficial to you — for example your accountant to reimburse your travel expenses or to help you to quickly file your annual tax report — or to find any warranty receipt for the gadget you purchased.
Organised purchase data with connectivity is very valuable for you — it makes your life easier.
This is why we are building SPENT. We think that by executing this vision we can change how people organise their everyday life — in a profitable way by saving money on the go — and to help commerce to be part of this in a meaningful way.
Result will be less printed paper as well. That’s a great bonus and it will help us all to enjoy our life on planet Earth before Elon Musk’s road to Mars is available :)