A podcast interview with Tim Willis, CFO and Head of Growth at Aerobotics
By Ton Dobbe — Chief Inspiration Officer, Value Inspiration
Every week I interview entrepreneurs and experts from around the world to share their big idea about new forms of value creation and the potential we can unlock when technology augments the unique strengths of people to deliver remarkable impact.
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Exponentially growing the value farmers can deliver
I got inspired by the big idea behind Aerobotics, hence I invited Tim Willis, CFO and Head of Growth at Aerobotics, to be a guest on my podcast.
We explore how technology can add significant value by augmenting farmers across the world to increase their yields, while becoming more efficient at the same time. We also discuss the wider value implications this can have across the supply chain, and how other, non-farming related industries, can be served uniquely as a by-product of the intelligence gained.
Here are some of Tim’s quotes:
Aerobotics effectively takes aerial images of mainly agricultural areas. We collect those images using drones and satellites and potentially even aeroplanes.
Farmers have a real struggle in terms of managing their overall farm….
…you’re looking at farms that are hundreds of hectares big, and some farmers can’t get through their entire farm in three days…
If they don’t have technology, they have to basically walk around or drive around their farm trying to identify areas that could be potentially mismanaged, and employ large scouting teams to work in their farm. With our technology, they’re able to basically manage their farm from their office.
If we look at the overall picture in the world, obviously food’s going to be a scare resource, and I don’t think we’re going to solve that by ourselves, but we’re definitely going to be a player in the combination of solutions that solves that problem.
The thing that triggered me most from my interview with Tim?
“Our aim in the future is to actually be able to predict what your yield will be based off our images. If we can do that, then we have a lot of forward looking information which is extremely useful, not only to farmers, but also to people down the value chain.”
Why did this trigger me? What’s the bigger value I see?
The value is in thinking in outcomes, not in outputs. Aerobotics started around the idea that “it was cool to fly a drone over a farm”, but realized quickly that “without the software to actually use, it was going to be difficult to commercialize.”
In other words — they started with the ‘What’ (a more efficient way to spot yield issues i.e. a photo), and realized it was answering the ‘Why’ that would lead them to create remarkable value (i.e. predict yield and help increase yield quality). This takes Aerobotics value towards farmers from 10% impact to potentially 10x impact — and more importantly, it created a by-product with which they (in the near future) can drive value to other markets as well: Providing qualitative insights to retail to help them anticipate issues in their supply chain planning weeks, if not months in advance, or providing key data to Insurance companies to help them create new disruptive business models to insure farmers based on adjusted risk-profiles, etc…
Listen to the big idea behind Aerobotics and why it has the potential to transform the future of farming.