One highlight of the past week was a talk by Paul Carke, CTO of Ocado. It turns out that Ocado is not an online supermarket as many of have been led to believe, but is firstly and at heart a technology company. Paul Carke illustrated this point with a couple of incredible infographics, the first a virtual-lightshow of neon-coloured units, presumably representing individual customer orders, tracking back and forth along kilometers of conveyor belt in a warehouse. The second showed delivery routes unspooling from distribution centers across England. These two representations alone were extremely impressive (though I did notice that Norfolk and Cornwall were completely dark) and attest to the rapid pace at which Ocado is unsettling the grocery market with automation.
Lunchtime talks are the jet propellant of Makers. Usually there are phrases and acronyms that are over my head, but it’s motivational to be exposed to these vast areas of unknown technology, many still in the process of being hashed out.