• Question: Jarrod what things do you look for when identifying technology, specifically what qualities do you try to find that would be beneficial for your company and the world around it?

    Asked by auks499age to Jarrod H on 8 Mar 2024.
    • Photo: Jarrod Hart

      Jarrod Hart answered on 8 Mar 2024:

      I look for a technology that has a “fundamental advantage”, such as requiring less energy, or being better quality (better tasting food/quieter engine, etc), or having the potential to be cheaper.

      Ideally it also needs to be something we can do that our competitors cannot easily do (can we keep it secret, or file a patent?).

      Next, and most complex, it needs to be “scalable”, that means we need to be able to ramp up production somehow without a big investment. There needs to be a way to finance it, a “business case” – in other words, we need a way to get that first money “in” to make more product to sell more to make more money, and so on… this is actually very hard to “scale up” from the first prototype to mass production!

      There is also a question of how a product can be adopted – new products are disrutive! Consider for example if cars and roads had never been invented and we walked everywhere. If you then invented cars, it would be hard to sell because there are no roads… and building roads everywhere would be very hard and expensive. There are loads of “good technologies” that are hard to introduce because the world would need to change a lot to adapt to them – for example, we should stop releasing CO2 immediately, but we can’t as people depend on energy (and concrete and steel and so on). So finding a way to “get people off their addiction” is part of the problem there… so each new tech needs to find an initial niche market and then gradually spread…

      Anyway, that is what I think about when evaluating technologies!