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Words of the Day
What are your documentation pain-points?
How do you deliver an intermittent staging environment of your product through documentation?
And to what effect?
You, your subsidiary companies, their startups and your VC all want comparative documentation reflective of the current product version.
So, say your last documented version is lagging by a year but your funding round is now… do you have the skills, know-how and penetration power to cut through the chase and deliver documentation that sells the current (or future) cycle your company is in?
I often wonder how companies that try to ‘catch-up’ in 5 days succeed. Yes, it is likely that if you patch up various external processes for fast delivery you’ll get away with it – however, for far reaching drill-down and process management you need a documentarian with fire power to coordinate your company’s skill-sets and professionals to go for the gold.
In previous articles I touched upon some of the evaluation processes involved. I believe that what delivery is definitely a part of the overall pain-points of companies and especially when they want turn-around on their ROI.
To deliver a documentation set successfully, you need more than data analytics, you need the impactful insight of at least a generations worth of punch, in the form of issue tracking software (suggestion), such as Atlassian (Jira), Capterra, Monday, Trello, Asana, Pivotal Tracker, Basecamp, Bugzilla, Azure DevOps, GitHub Issues, and others, to oversee and implement procedures that are meaningful and make your product investment worthy – also relevant for OEM and Manufacturing Continuity.
Save yourself a phone call or email when you want to reschedule a meeting. With Google Calendar, you can propose a new time or date right from the event invitation using the built-in “Propose a New Time” feature.
Propose a New Time in Google Calendar Online
If your preferred method for using the Google Calendar website is on your Windows 10 PC, Mac, or Linux computer, it’s easy to use the feature to suggest a different time or date.
Open the event on your calendar. In the bottom-right corner, click the down arrow and select “Propose a New Time.”
A new page will open that shows the calendar event’s current date and time along with your agenda for that date and time. On the left, under “Your Proposal,” click the start or end date or time that you want to change. If you want to pick a new date, a small calendar will pop up. For the time, you have a scrollable list of times.
After you pick the proposed new time, you can add an optional message in the box. When you finish, click “Send Proposal.”
When the organizer views the event, they’ll see any message you’ve sent (along with the suggested change) and can click “Review Proposed Time” in the event window.
If they accept the change, they’ll simply click “Save” at the top of the event details screen with the new time and/or date. This will reschedule the event for all participants, and they can optionally send a message.
Propose a New Time in Google Calendar on Android, iPhone, or iPad
Using Google Calendar on your mobile device is a great way to keep up with your schedule on the go. The feature for proposing a new time is available in the Google Calendar smartphone and tablet app and works the same on Android, iPhone, and iPad.
Open the event in your Google Calendar app and tap the arrow found in the bottom-right corner. Tap “Propose a New Time.”
Use the date and time section at the bottom to pick your suggestion. You can optionally include a message, just like you can online. Tap the blue send icon that looks like an arrow when you finish.
When the organizer sees the event, they’ll also see any message you’ve sent with the suggested change and can tap “Review Proposed Time.”
If they want to accept your suggestion, they’ll tap the checkmark icon in blue and select “Save” on the next screen, which saves the event with the new date and/or time.
Many times, we’re forced to reschedule a meeting or event. Thankfully, Google Calendar makes suggesting a new date or time easy. And remember to include everything your participants need by attaching files to your Google Calendar events.
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With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage. READ FULL BIO »JOIN GEEK TALK ON FACEBOOK
Dropbox acquires a secure document-sharing startup, Sonos announces a new speaker and Google makes hotel listings free. This is your Daily Crunch for March 9, 2021. 453 more wordsDaily Crunch: Dropbox acquires DocSend for $165M — TechCrunch
Scott Simmie – Jan. 25th 2021 3:47 pm
senseFly has hinted that it will be releasing a new product, presumably a drone, on February 1. A new video teases just enough to grab our attention. Let’s take a look.
senseFly, if you weren’t aware, is the commercial wing of Parrot. The subsidiary was founded in 2009, and has had tremendous success with its eBee drone. The delta-wing aircraft is a favorite of many for surveying and photogrammetry, and has built a reputation as a reliable workhorse. The company also makes an RTK version for super-high spatial accuracy. It produces drones for surveying, precision agriculture, thermal scanning, and more.
And now? It looks like something else is in the pipeline.
What will senseFly release?
Well, based on the 22-second teaser, we’re guessing a new drone. The familiar eBee lines are in this video:https://www.youtube.com/embed/n452wfBgbTw?enablejsapi=1&=1&autohide=2&fs=1&hl=en-US&iv_load_policy=1&rel=1&showinfo=1&showsearch=0&wmode=transparent&playsinline=1“A new solution for drone mapping…”
The new release is on February 1
There’s not really any other info to go on, except for that little tease. But it is worth pointing out that senseFly has really been a serious player in the drone game for quite some time. While writing this up, I remembered a video that was pretty amazing when it first came out: senseFly used its drone(s) to map the Matterhorn, the mighty mountain that straddles the border between Switzerland and Italy.
Memory’s a funny thing: I guessed this was from about four years ago. But senseFly carried out this accomplishment seven years ago. Clearly, they were ahead of the game at that time. If you’re pressed for time, you could start at about the 2:34 mark:https://www.youtube.com/embed/NuZUSe87miY?enablejsapi=1&=1&autohide=2&fs=1&hl=en-US&iv_load_policy=1&rel=1&showinfo=1&showsearch=0&wmode=transparent&playsinline=1That was quite an accomplishment…seven years ago!
DroneDJ will be watching…
We love product releases. And we know senseFly has a lot of devotees.
We’ll be sure to let you know what the company releases next Monday!
About the Author
Scott Simmie is a career multi-platform journalist now specializing in drones and other technology content creation
DroneDJ: Is senseFly teasing a new drone release?. https://dronedj.com/2021/01/25/sensefly-new-drone-release/
Wingcopter raises $22 million to expand to the U.S. and launch a next-generation drone
After bootstrapping for four years, this drone startup is ready to scale fast
Image Credits: Wingcopter
German drone technology startup Wingcopter has raised a $22 million Series A – its first significant venture capital raise after mostly bootstrapping. The company, which focuses on drone delivery, has come a long way since its founding in 2017, having developed, built and flown its Wingcopter 178 heavy-lift cargo delivery drone using its proprietary and patented tilt-rotor propellant mechanism, which combines all the benefits of vertical take-off and landing with the advantages of fixed-wing aircraft for longer distance horizontal flight.
This new Series A round was led by Silicon Valley VC Xplorer Capital, as well as German growth fund Futury Regio Growth. Wingcopter CEO and founder Tom Plümmer explained to the in an interview that the addition of an SV-based investor is particularly important to the startup, since it’s in the process of preparing its entry into the U.S., with plans for an American facility, both for flight testing to satisfy FAA requirements for operational certification, as well as eventually for U.S.-based drone production.
Wingcopter has already been operating commercially in a few different markets globally, including in Vanuatu in partnership with Unicef for vaccine delivery to remote areas, in Tanzania for two-way medical supply delivery working with Tanzania, and in Ireland where it completed the world’s first delivery of insulin by drone beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS, the industry’s technical term for when a drone flies beyond the visual range of a human operator who has the ability to take control in case of emergencies).
Wingcopter CEO and co-founder Tom Plümmer. Credit: Jonas Wresch
While Wingcopter has so far pursued a business as an OEM manufacturer of drones, and has had paying customers eager to purchase its hardware effectively since day one (Plümmer told me that they had at least one customer wiring them money before they even had a bank account set up for the business), but it’s also now getting into the business of offering drone delivery-as-a-service. After doing the hard work of building its technology from the ground up, and seeking out the necessary regulatory approvals to operate in multiple markets around the world, Plümmer says that he and his co-founders realized that operating a service business not only meant a new source of revenue, but also better-served the needs of many of its potential customers.
“We learned during this process, through applying for permission, receiving these permissions and working now in five continents in multiple countries, flying BVLOS, that actually operating drones is something we are now very good at,” he said. This was actually becoming a really good source of income, and ended up actually making up more than half of our revenue at some point. Also looking at scalability of the business model of being an OEM, it’s kind of […] linear.”
Linear growth with solid revenue and steady demand was fine for Wingcopter as a bootstrapped startup founded by university students supported by a small initial investment from family and friends. But Plümmer says the company say so much potential in the technology it had developed, and the emerging drone delivery market, that the exponential growth curve of its drone delivery-as-a-service model helped make traditional VC backing make sense. In the early days, Plümmer says Wingcopter had been approached by VCs, but at the time it didn’t make sense for what they were trying to do; that’s changed.
“We were really lucky to bootstrap over the last four years,” Plümmer said. “Basically, just by selling drones and creating revenue, we could employ our first 30 employees. But at some point, you realize you want to really plan with that revenue, so you want to have monthly revenues, which generally repeat like a software business – like software as a service.”
Wingcopter 178 cargo drone performing a delivery for Merck.
Wingcopter has also established a useful hedge regarding its service business, not only by being its own hardware supplier, but also by having worked closely with many global flight regulators on their regulatory process through the early days of commercial drone flights. They’re working with the FAA on its certification process now, for instance, with Plümmer saying that they participate in weekly calls with the regulator on its upcoming certification process for BVLOS drone operators. Understanding the regulatory environment, and even helping architect it, is a major selling point for partners who don’t want to have to build out that kind of expertise and regulatory team in-house.
Meanwhile, the company will continue to act as an OEM as well, selling not only its Wingcopter 178 heavy-lift model, which can fly up to 75 miles, at speeds of up to 100 mph, and that can carry payloads up to around 13 lbs. Because of its unique tilt-rotor mechanism, it’s not only more efficient in flight, but it can also fly in much windier conditions – and take-off and land in harsher conditions than most drones, too.
Plümmer tells me that Wingcopter doesn’t intend to rest on its laurels in the hardware department, either; it’s going to be introducing a new model of drone soon, with different capabilities that expand the company’s addressable market, both as an OEM and in its drones-as-a-service business.
With its U.S. expansion, Wingcopter will still look to focus specifically on the delivery market, but Plümmer points out that there’s no reason its unique technology couldn’t also work well to serve markets including observation and inspection, or to address needs in the communication space as well. The one market that Wingcopter doesn’t intend to pursue, however, is military and defense. While these are popular customers in the aerospace and drone industries, Plümmer says that Wingcopter has a mission “to create sustainable and efficient drone solutions for improving and saving lives,” and says the startup looks at every potential customer and ensures that it aligns with its vision – which defense customers do not.
While the company has just announced the close of its Series A round, Plümmer says they’re already in talks with some potential investors to join a Series B. It’s also going to be looking for U.S. based talent in embedded systems software and flight operations testing, to help with the testing process required its certification by the FAA.
Plümmer sees a long tail of value to be built from Wingcopter’s patented tilt-rotor design, with potential applications in a range of industries, and he says that Wingcopter won’t be looking around for any potential via M&A until it has fully realized that value. Meanwhile, the company is also starting to sow the seeds of its own potential future customers, with training programs in drone flights and operations it’s putting on in partnership with UNICEF’s African Drone and Data Academy. Wingcopter clearly envisions a bright future for drone delivery, and its work in focusing its efforts on building differentiating hardware, plus the role it’s playing in setting the regulatory agenda globally, could help position it at the center of that future.
South African startup Aerobotics raises $17M to scale its AI-for-agriculture platform
Image Credits: Aerobotics
As the global agricultural industry stretches to meet expected population growth and food demand, and food security becomes more of a pressing issue with global warming, a startup out of South Africa is using artificial intelligence to help farmers manage their farms, trees and fruits.
Aerobotics, a South African startup that provides intelligent tools to the world’s agriculture industry, has raised $17 million in an oversubscribed Series B round.
Founded in 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer, Aerobotics is currently focused on building tools for fruit and tree farmers. Using artificial intelligence, drones and other robotics, its technology helps track and assess the health of these crops, including identifying when trees are sick, tracking pests and diseases, and analytics for better yield management.
The company has progressed its technology and provides to farmers independent and reliable yield estimations and harvest schedules by collecting and processing both tree and fruit imagery from citrus growers early in the season. In turn, farmers can prepare their stock, predict demand and ensure their customers have the best quality of produce.
Aerobotics has experienced record growth in the last few years. For one, it claims to have the largest proprietary data set of trees and citrus fruit in the world, having processed 81 million trees and more than a million citrus fruit.
The seven-year-old startup is based in Cape Town, South Africa. At a time when many of the startups out of the African continent have focused their attention primarily on identifying and fixing challenges at home, Aerobotics has found a lot of traction for its services abroad, too. It has offices in the U.S., Australia and Portugal — like Africa, home to other major, global agricultural economies — and operates in 18 countries across Africa, the Americas, Europe and Australia.
Image Credits: Aerobotics
Within that, the U.S. is the company’s primary market, and Aerobotics says it has two provisional patents pending in the country, one for systems and methods for estimating tree age and another for systems and methods for predicting yield.
The company said it plans to use this Series B investment to continue developing more technology and product delivery, both for the U.S. and other markets.
“We’re committed to providing intelligent tools to optimize automation, minimize inputs and maximize production. We look forward to further co-developing our products with the agricultural industry leaders,” said Paterson, the CEO in a statement.
Once heralded as a frontier for technology centuries ago, the agriculture industry has stalled in that aspect for a long while. However, agritech companies like Aerobotics that support climate-smart agriculture and help farmers have sprung forth trying to take the industry back to its past glory. Investors have taken notice and over the past five years, investments have flowed with breathtaking pace.
For Aerobotics, it raised $600,000 from 4Di Capital and Savannah Fund as part of its seed round in September 2017. The company then raised a further $4 million in Series A funding in February 2019, led by Nedbank Capital and Paper Plane Ventures.
Naspers Foundry, the lead investor in this Series B round, was launched by Naspers in 2019 as a 1.4 billion rand (~$100 million) fund for tech startups in South Africa.
Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers South Africa, said of the investment, “Food security is of paramount importance in South Africa and the Aerobotics platform provides a positive contribution towards helping to sustain it. This type of tech innovation addresses societal challenges and is exactly the type of early-stage company that Naspers Foundry looks to back.”
Besides Aerobotics, Naspers Foundry has invested in online cleaning service SweepSouth, and food service platform Food Supply Network.
When does management provide funding for documentation? Usually when it’s too late…
In today’s world, where converging intellect, knowledge and know-how let training and documentation coexist higher up in the Agile chain where largely big companies could only afford to before, the move to Static Generators from Dedicated tools is one factor, but the other factor which requires ongoing motivated tasking, is Financial.
Companies finally understand that their sales funnel will reach a rough end if they do not produce R&D documentation for the long-haul.
Historically, companies would ‘clean-up’ too late.
Failure to consider their entire Eco stem would let the product live for a short period before upgrading – whereas the customer would propose to have it available all the time – not a trifle when OEMs are concerned, for some.
The real challenge and impact of having useless documentation was providing a cover story for bad management choices.
Picking and choosing your battles is one way to evaluate what documents your company needs right now. But for a holistic view, the evaluation should be ongoing, comprehensive and deep.