[quote style=”boxed”]It used to be straight forward – go and implement. Now I try to model different business models around it and grasp some feedback from potential users before doing actual implementation.[/quote]
Ernests has spent the last 6 years working in web projects and developing startup ideas in the Bluetooth and QR code fields. In 2008, together with Reach.ly co-founder Kaspars, he built a recommendation engine for geographic places and more recently the pre-cursor to Reach.ly, an affiliate-driven direct marketing hotel bookings site. He is active in the Baltic rim and Nordic startup scene, organizing events such as Garage48 in Riga.
What are you working on right now?
With the team we are developing Reach.ly and researching related text-mining ideas.
What does your typical day look like?
We start by going through previous days tasks. Review them and set the plan for upcoming day. Typically this involves discussions about ideas and hypotheses regarding text-mining. Text-mining is a field where there are still many possibilities to innovate, especially in such field as status update messages which are short and full of slang. The rest of the day involves work, jokes, throwing around our toy Angry bird and talking with customers. We are eager to hear from them the good, the bad and the ugly.
What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I was manager in midsize company that wanted to change the world by entering into online environment. I learned a lot how NOT to do startup, manage a team and choose technology.
3 trends that excite you?
I won’t be original in this one:
Real-time web – I’m amazed about Twitter and impact it has created.
Big data – technology is reaching point where it is relatively cheap to experiment with enormous amount of data and extract value from it. Web 2.0 has been great ways to produce vast amount of information. Now it is time to filter it.
Crowd intelligence or crowdsourcing – There is something in that you can let people do small things and develop big picture. I bet that we will see interesting development in this field in upcoming couple years. There are already interesting projects like Amazon mechanical turk, Crowdspring.com and Microtask.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It used to be straight forward – go and implement. Now I try to model different business models around it and grasp some feedback from potential users before doing actual implementation.
What inspires you?
Good question. Maybe it is excitement when you encounter challenge, problem? Maybe it is just good weekend while kiteboarding? I read lot materials in various fields from natural language programming to user experience and design. I suppose it is mixture of all of these activities.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I spent half a year and good amount of money developing project which didn’t take of. Lesson learned – release fast, release often and collect feedback.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In connected global world there is need for simple and elegant solution for time zone management. It is nightmare to deal with different time zone names, Daylight savings and geographic exceptions. Create one simple and nice solution.
What do you read every day, and why?
My Twitter feed is my main source of information. I used to use RSS reader to receive news from blogs and other sources. Now I follow those blog and news authors see their influence sources and see where and what they are posting.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
“Business model generation” by Alexander Osterwalds. It is about business, design thinking and re-invention. Also it presents great framework – business model canvas – for business model prototyping which I try to use when assessing new ideas.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
My Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. It has good e-mail, calendar app’s and exceptional sound which together with Klipsch S4 earbuds let me enjoy music on the way.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
I would suggest finding people or accounts which work like custom, high quality news aggregators. For me these are as follow:
@newsycombinator – community driven geek news. Because it is community driven there is no pr bullshit and small but rather interesting projects find their way to the top.
@userfocus David Travis – Everything related to user experience. We live in time where we start to depend on lot of systems and gadgets. It is important to create them in that way so people don’t even notice using them.
@thecoolhunter – inspiring designs, services, solutions from different kind of fields and geographic locations.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Richard Wiseman – he is author of book “59 seconds”. Scientifically proven self-help advice.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
As it happens for people who are on internet all day long, it was video. Particularly this one on nowadays language usage – http://vimeo.com/3829682 Just great!