How Digital Startups Transform the World-A Technological Perspective
by Pratama Putra
The existence of startup companies has been increasingly emerging worldwide for the last couple of decades. People are interested in building startups because of garage that have been born multibillion companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, etc.
Although they do not precisely start from the garage, the pattern is the same. They begin with two or three founders that work in the cafe or their house, build the idea, and go to the investor to gain funding for their operation or business. As their company gets some pression and high evaluated, they receive more funding and grow as a billionaire company. That is why many people would like to tempt to jump into a startup company, especially millennials.
Unfortunately, a startup story would not always end with that success. The data shows that about 90% of startups fail, with 10% failing within the first year. The startup failure rates seem to be close to the same regardless of the business or industry field of the startup is. “I would not you to be discouraged. I really would like to support your challenge and become the top ten of startup in the world”, said Mr. Pratama Putra to students after showing hidden startup stories that most people still do not realize.
Mr. Pratama was invited as the guest lecturer on the virtual Senior Colloquium at Sampoerna University Faculty of Engineering and Technology, with Mr. Farid Triawan as the host who led during the lecture or discussion session. The topic discussed is “How Digital Startups Transform the World – A Technological Perspective”.
Mr. Pratama finished his master’s degree in Applied Computer Science at the University of Tokyo, Japan. He started his dream by being involved in many projects of a digital startup in Japan. Then, he went back to Indonesia in 2019 and joined several companies. Currently, Mr. Pratama is working as technical lead in tiket.com. He is a software developer engineer and led other three developers who developed a product for ground transportation in tickets such as train, car rental, airport transfer, etc.
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Mr. Pratama starts his lecture by explaining the difference between a startup and a small business as they have the same business approach applied. The differences between them are about the market, asset, and growth scale. The startup is more likely to have a large market scale but not tangible assets because startup value is an evaluation method.
Then, startup do not create a viscous model that relies on getting profit. They only focus on growth (e.g., company scale or active users in a specified time), which is an exponential growth. Apple, Microsoft, Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Tencent Holdings, Tesla, Alibaba, and Berkshire Hathaway are the most valuable company in the world today. “Most of these younger companies can surplus compared to prior companies, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, or other well-known company, because of an internet that is born from academic experiment,” remarked Mr. Pratama.
Internet is a technology that enables startups to change the world to a digital version, such as movie-YouTube, library-Google, books-Amazon, etc. Internet is a wide global computer network (interconnected computer) that provides a way for computers/devices to communicate with each other even from a different side of the world by applying binary level or digital.
Moreover, internet technology enables the creation of cyberspace. Here, people, objects, services can be represented digitally in cyberspace as a digital twin. Hence, startups are thriving because all real-world interactions can be done in cyberspace without time and space restrictions.
“We know that technology is rapidly evolving. More things will be coming up. So, if we find a way to solve real-world problems with new technologies, we might be able to build a startup. With good preparation and opportunity, it might come to a big startup also.
However, we need to understand the science and technology fundamentals to be realized and keep up with the trends of the technologies. We need a strong mentality as startup founders because it is not easy, fun, or exciting. We need persistence, creativity, innovation, humbleness, and never give up,” uttered Mr. Pratama. He also suggested future mechanical engineers learn Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) as it would be the key feature of industry 4.0. and any machine interaction in the world might have a digital twin in cyberspace.
At the end of his lecture, Mr. Pratama took the time to give assignments to SU FET students by supposing them as startup founders. The student should think about the problem and solution to create a digital twin of people, things, and services and connect them in cyberspace. For example, Mechanical Engineering students can focus on product manufacturing, smart factory, industry 4.0. There is no limitation on what field of business they would like to apply.
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