Petter Andersson - Bylife
Petter Andersson - Bylife #1
Describe the idea:
Our vision at Bylife is for everybody to be able to experience the great feeling of being outside in nature, while still being inside, in homes and offices all over the world. To achieve this, we want to create a smart living wall. A smart living wall is a wall that is filled with plants of all kinds, and which also houses an intelligent system, that cares for the plants for you.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
My name is Petter Andersson. I am a student at LTH, Lunds Tekniska Högskola. I study computer science and engineering, and am on my fourth year out of five. I’ve previously studied many different sorts of subjects – economics, law, psychology, philosophy etc. – and have had some different jobs, ranging from customer support at a larger engineering firm to grounds keeping at one of my local churches. Now, I focus on software development.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
I will mostly focus on writing software for the wall and its different systems, both frontend and backend, and try to integrate features that I feel will give our smart living wall the edge over our competitors and their systems. I also hope to be able to learn a lot of new things, like CAD and maybe other things related to product development, which I hope to be able to delve into, albeit only briefly.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
My wish is for me and the team to successfully develop our current series of walls, which we want to ship to our first customers, and from it learn what makes a great product. With the help of Leapfrogs, the issue of money is substantially lessened, and that is something that we are very grateful for, since it helps us focus on the more important things – developing our product and forging great relations.
Tell us what you have done on your projects so far during the Leapfrogs time:
Since I’m mostly responsible for the back-end part of our software development, I’ve spent a lot of time working against our hardware systems to get them operational and functional for our 10-series of walls, which are going to be produced very soon. These will be the first walls to reach our customers, and it is important that the systems behind them are reliable. I’ve also been working a little bit with communication protocols and communication between different modules in the system.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
No, everything has not gone according to plan, but such is life when you are working with software! New problems arise constantly, and it is the challenge of the developer to try to not only solve current problems, but also foresee upcoming possible problems, and, if possible, to find solutions to problems which haven’t arisen yet. My biggest hiccups so far has been the problems which arose from working with systems which I had no earlier experience with, so I guess that was to be expected.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
During the remaining time I think a lot of our energy will be spent constructing the walls, and researching the pod-environment, which is where the actual plants will be placed. It is important for the finished product that the plants are thriving, and we have many ideas and thoughts about this very specific feature. I’m very excited about this step in the development, since I think it will give us a lot of creative room to work with!
How did you experience the three months?
The three months went past way to fast, I would’ve loved to have more time! I’ve had a blast, and I’ve learnt so much about software/hardware, what it means to be a part of a start-up and a great team, and I’ve evolved as a person as well, doing things which I had never done before.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The hardest thing has been to structure the work – it’s harder than it might seem to be. With so many things to take care of and, unfortunately, not an endless amount of time, you kind of have to prioritize and do what you feel is best for the project and the start-up at large. The most enjoyable thing has been to be able to work without (almost) any regards to money, thanks to Leapfrogs.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Things didn’t exactly go as expected, but do they ever? There are always things to do that you don’t expect in the beginning. The part of our system that I was in charge of is almost ready, which feels great, but along the way, many issues arose that I never thought of in the beginning. I will for sure keep working, I really like my teammates and I strongly believe in the idea which we’re trying to bring to life!
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
Communication is always important, as is good planning and no small amount of foresight. All of these things are almost equally important to consider when working with a team. We’ve spent time talking about what these things mean for us, and how we want to work in the future together – what kind of culture we want to build, etc. I believe that it is in the best interest of a team to think about this.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Dare to take the leap – it might very well be worth it, and at the very least, you’ll learn something which will be very hard to come by any other way, and which’ll be something good to know!