I start with a simple question. What do you see here?
Was that too easy? I hope not. But, I still believe that majority of you answered: Cardboard box
Just add some crayons
If you are a child and you sit inside of it, you propably see it totally differently. It might look like an airplane cockpit or even a space shuttle with hundreds of buttons and gauges. But, if they look at it from outside, they might see a rally car or a doll house. Or a part of a robot maybe? And those images come even clearer, if you add some crayons and duct tape.
It's all about imagination and how you see and approach things. Kids are blessed, because they have this wonderful ability and gift to see things in a totally new light. Some of them have wilder imagination than others, but in general all kids see new things and ways of using plain everyday objects, that we adults don't even think of. When they see a huge amount of couch pillows, they immediately start thinking how they can build a castle from those pillows. It's easy for them, because they don't have preconceptions about couch pillows and they are open to try new things. Pillows are just pure building material for them.
It's a shame that when we grow up, we lose this amazing ability. Or do we?
Luckily there is still some adults who got that magical skill. Those lucky ones are able to see things differently and create new things from really simple materials and building blocks. This ability drives their DIY lifestyle and if they need something, rather than buying it from shop, they build it from whatever is available.
This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXwl5Uw7frc) is a good example, how you can turn an ordinary empty shoebox into a "hi-tech charging station" for your mobile devices. You have a problem or a need, you know the resources you have and you use those to solve that problem. And usually you end up with a solution that fills your need exactly, a solution that doesn't do anything extra that you don't need, looks the way you want and is also cheaper than the ones found in stores. If you're even lucky to find product like that in stores. And if you do it properly, you can't even tell that it's made from shoebox.
Dark side of the box
When people are struggling with a problem or they are creating something new, everybody is constantly using this phrase:
Think outside the box
Actually, I don't like that phrase at all. It's not true. It's just half of the solution. And it doesn't solve the problem. In worst case scenario, it leads you in a totally wrong direction.
Instead, you should say:
Think from both sides of the box
It's true that, if you are sitting inside the box, you only see the inside. You have to jump out and also see it from a totally different perspective. You probably come up with a new way of using it. BUT, you also have to know what's inside the box. Otherwise you might cause lots of damage, if you start cutting that box just based on the outside view.
Example here in BCaster, I have to sit inside the box, so that I know what we, our technology and our platform in general is currently capable of doing. Then we jump outside and watch the box from customers and end users perspective. We see what they need and what they want that our box does for them. It's too easy to say to the customer: "Yes, of course we can do it for you". But, if you do that without knowing how the box works inside and what it is capable of doing, you quickly put yourself into an awkward situation, where you have to start eating your words or pushing your development quickly into wrong sidetrack.
But, if you know what's inside and you can see things from both sides, you are strong. You can release your imagination and start innovate features and services to customers, that they haven't even thought of. And just, because they only see one side of the box and they don't know what's inside and what it is capable of doing.
"My first playpen was a cardboard box"
Based on the title and previous chapters, you might think that I spend my whole childhood sitting in a empty cardboard box. That's not true. I also had other toys, like wooden blocks, but those were usually stuck between wall and radiator.
Actually that title is a quote by Michael Lee-Chin, businessman, investor and philanthropist. According to Canadian Business magazine, Lee-Chin has an estimated net worth of more than $3.95 billion (as of 2017) and was ranked the 20th wealthiest Canadian. He is also one of the richest Jamaicans. Lee-Chin is also a dedicated philanthropist and has pledged and donated more than $60 million to hospitals, universities and, most notably, the Royal Ontario Museum, where the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is named in honour of his $30-million pledge.
Well done for a guy, who "spend his childhood playing inside a cardboard box". I have a strong feeling that he knows both sides of the box and how to use that info in business.
Man's best companion
They say that man's best companion is a car. Some people disagree and say that it is dog. If you are more of a car -person, you probably recognize this beauty.
Yep, it is a Trabant!
Trabant means "satellite" or "companion" in German. Well thought name! And it's crucial part of automotive history. Produced without major changes for nearly 30 years, the Trabant became the most common automobile in East Germany. It came to symbolize the country during the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Trabant was also called as a "cardboard car". It's body was so thin and fragile, like it would have been made from cardboard. Actually the body was made from plastic, but still the nickname stuck and it is still known as a "car made from cardboard".
But is it a bad thing? I think not. Trabant changed people's lives and gave them the freedom to travel. During that time, it was a bold move to mass produce car like this. Just like nowadays Tesla is changing the automotive history. Bold move to rely only on electricity and even make the car drive by it self.
But I think, that we would not have Tesla today, without this beautiful little cardboard box (car). And who knows, maybe first mockup model of Tesla's body was made of cardboard..
Both sides of BCaster
How all this relates to BCaster, you might think. BCaster is like a chocolate box. Sorry, I meant cardboard box. If you remember Forrest Gump, you know that with a chocolate box, you never know what you are going to get. But that's not the case with BCaster. Instead, BCaster's core idea is simple, just like plain empty cardboard box. But what you can do with it, build from it and how you can use it in many different and innovative ways, that's the beauty and versatility of cardboard boxes and BCaster.
Inside the box we have location, time and AI. Sounds simple and maybe even little bit too constricted. But still, when you look at it from the outside and think what you can do with those simple variables, you see that you can use it for your own holiday & family videos, news content, stock images, security, travel planning, vlogging platform, fan engagement etc.
Everybody can easily use our platform and it adapts to every users different needs, just like the cardboard boxes.
The only limit is your imagination.