After the recruitment charade at HTC headquarters, iCHEF explains the desperation move Part II
( This article follows “After the recruitment charade at HTC headquarters, iCHEF explains the desperation move Part I“)
Besides defining roles for his colleagues, Spencer also said that if you can get technology to reach people, that feeling of changing people’s lives for the better is just rewarding. “That is platform!” Something he learned from joining Focus Project. There are many engineers who choose to work for big companies after graduation, but they might just find themselves doing repetitive coding every day for a huge project and not creating anything of their own from scratch. At the end of the day, they are just a cog in the machine. It would be worse if you are a contractor. You could be doing even more repetitive work, this time for an endless amount of bus apps and puzzle games. Spencer took iCHEF’s own operating system for example, and said that it was being developed by just one colleague who graduated two years ago. On the other hand, because POS terminals require maintenance after installation, iCHEF values more than just IT talents, sales and marketing teams are equally important in keeping the company going and growing. Spencer believes these are the necessities to build your platform. He also mentioned his failed business back in America again. If there are no warriors and priests, the team couldn’t understand what the customers need, and thus wouldn’t be unable to move on in the right direction.
As people rely more and more on technology, product development becomes difficult, but ICHEF wants people to interact with their products, even more aggressively. “Our POS terminals work 8 hours a day, which includes the lunch and dinner rush hours.” How to keep customers patient while they’re ordering, how to keep our products from malfunctioning so the cashier can have an easy time working, this constantly challenges the stability of technology. Bottom line, running a restaurant is a tough business.
Quality is the third required attribute for your platform. Spencer thinks that quality is more than just not making mistakes or not being unresponsive. If you’re a contractor, there would be a limit to your quality, due to the fixated release life cycle and break-in period of a product. Because restaurants have a high use intensity, iCHEF is seeking better quality, and focusing on team performance. Spencer was thinking about an open-source technology. “A project might take a day or two to work, but an open-source project requires the support of a whole company to keep going.” ICHEF hopes that, with the help of open-source, the works of engineers can be brought to the platform, and iCHEF gets to make a name for themselves in restaurant technology and become the pivot of innovation in the ecosystem.
Forget about POS, ICHEF is an IoT team?
Spencer also told us that iCHEF has no intention of staying in POS research, instead they are taking it as the core of the entire restaurant technology, and services like electronic data interchange might be included in the future. Many people are talking about IoT, but Spencer believes that IoT should be more than just a central network. There must be a sales and a marketing team to encompass the entire ecosystem, and to provide service to the customers in the long run. Besides selling POS, iCHEF also organizes a social event called iCHEF Day, where restaurant runners get together and share experiences. They also have a blog reporting news about such gatherings. ICHEF is now working with Foodpanda and CTBC Bank on running and paying for restaurants. They are hoping to have a third party partner on every corner of Taiwan once the ecosystem is formed.
“We can be sexy too.”
Spencer believes that technology has yet to make the switch between online and offline easy for everyone, but innovation might take place anytime because new restaurants demand it. For example, an even more advanced payment method, imagine you can easily walk out of the restaurant to trigger the NFC at the door? In his imagination, mobile payment can never be more seamless, or safer. ICHEF will be co-hosting the iOS challenge with ALPHA Camp and Bounty Hunter on 9/19 and 20. The goal is to tell people that restaurant technology is sexy, fun and full of possibilities. There will also be rewards for potential partners in the ecosystem they are trying to build, so don’t miss this opportunity if you are into developing apps for iOS. After all, everybody’s got to eat, and has a smartphone!
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