DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast E40 Preventing Worksite Accidents with Machine Learning with Nathan Kirchner

On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony talk to Nathan Kirchner, founder and CTO of Presien, an AI company providing solutions for heavy machines.

Nathan describes the process of working with heavy machinery and seeing otherwise preventable accidents. After spending some time designing his ideas, he presented the solution to VCs who saw its value. Nathan’s vision allows for engineers to build artificial intelligence platforms that give heavy machinery a sense of situational awareness. This awareness can help reduce accidents by sensing blind spots and workers in the way of heavy equipment. Nathan’s company Presien currently develops this platform.

In the episode, Nathan also explains how his concept came to life, how he built his dream team, and how he applied certain takeaways from his time in Silicon Valley. Nathan’s favorite catchphrase he picked up from Silicon Valley: “There are a thousand engineers who are 100% right, but unfortunately, there are 7 billion other people who don’t care.”

Topics Covered:

● Situational awareness in machines.
● Preventing machine-related accidents.
● The hardware and software used in machine situational awareness.
● Founding a tech business without a tech background.
● Picking up the resilience of Silicon Valley.
● You need to get your organization to see the value of your idea.
● Lessons learned in Silicon Valley.
● Structuring your business in the beginning.
● VCs want you to be coachable.
● Develop an MVP with real value and the rest is momentum.
● Talk to customers like they’re real people.
● You can improve the product by learning about the customer.
● Solve a problem, don’t build a product.

Key Quotes:

❏ “It’s all about the machine-person interaction.” (2:40)
❏ “Some 65% of those accidents are related to working with machines.” (4:35)
❏ “If I provide the information, I’ve already got the best control of the machine.” (7:49)
❏ “In the consumer space…you expect it to work, and you don’t care how it does it.” (12:20)
❏ “They have a fear that they [the company] will take it or ignore it.” (17:50)
❏ “It’s better to have a small slice of the pie than no pie at all.” (18:45)
❏ “You’re there to build efficiency, not create a product.” (21:10)
❏ “We had a product, we had traction, and we had some ability to generate revenue out of it.” (24:15)
❏ “If you can demonstrate that you’ve solved a real need, that’s enough to buy you the time for the rest of the things to happen.” (26:40)
❏ “Don’t try so hard…and listen!” (34:40)

Contact Nathan:

● LinkedIn