Bring a knife to a gunfight seldom ends good for the knife person. Just like whoever is still thinking Self-Drivings car as a “PC business”, likely misses out on the next big wave. Easy for me to say, the question is how. Obviously, a “good” strategy has to be different for each player to fit better for the unique context. Nevertheless, there could be a few useful heuristics: pursuing adjacent opportunities, moving forward Toyota Kata style, working backwards wit clarity & redefining business boundaries.

Key Transformation Stages, Based on Digital technology and social change from Hibert, M.

Pursue Adjacent Opportunities

There have been many theories that suggest innovations at the edge have a better chance to…


This week another smartphone maker, Xiaomi joins the EV club. How could we make a better sense of all such news? The easy way is to wait & see what actually “sticks”. If you don’t want to wait, you could connect the dots to their business models. Just remember to use the broadest possible definition: Business Model is how anyone creates, delivers & captures values when you charge into “a wild-west”.

Fortunate innovations are all alike; every unfortunate innovation is unfortunate in its own way.

The Motive

The business model is just like the motive of a business. Which enables you to…


Choong Hyun Presbyterian Church, South Korea

In 1-on-1 sometimes, we bounce the big question: “what get you uncomfortably excited?” For me, I’m lucky to have jobs in SW engineering & a career on scaling platforms. But most importantly a calling: making an industry revolution by increasing the SW development productivity significantly. Luckily, I happen to work on car infotainment systems, where the industry productivity gap is at an inflection point. So allow me to scratch the surface of a cathedral 😉.


Mind The Gap

Once upon a time, my friend was developing SW for a new feature phone. There was a bug blocking the SW release for the production pilot run. Somehow no one seem to be able to reproducible beside a few on the factory floor. And all teams were pretty sure their code could not cause such problem. Late in the night, he could finally seat down to debug after talking about the bug for days. The office was quiet & his development board was kindly to repeat the error sometimes. This could be the night to nail the root cause down…


VW: ID.4 The infotainment system also benefits from regular updates.

Welcome to the club, Volkswagen. Looking forward to see ID.x drivers are delighted by SW updates before the summer 2021, despite SW delay news. To be fair, only people have been through the first production for a new SW platform know how tough & craze a crunch time can be. So kudos for the great milestone & getting the ID fleet smarter. Especially 3K “dogfood car” is pretty impressive 👍. Just try to image how to update them manually weekly 😱.

BTW, I would love to learn more from anyone has the first hand experience on that. Even better if…


Transformers: Dark of the Moon

What could be the next big building block, topping the 3 open ecosystems for innovation & new brains for smarter cars? Transformers, of course 🦾. Seriously, what could be a key enabler for SW innovation to make cars smarter at scale? Of course Cybertron 😅, a virtual world enables 10x speed on smarter car development. For passengers stay for the good old day, where no change, no break, this is your stop 😉.

Physical Limitations

Still, reading? OK, let’s consider how to make cars smarter by rolling out changes/innovation quicker. But why is that not happening for…


CNBC: How The Global Computer Chip Shortage Happened

This week, the chip shortage crisis escalates to take an US president executive order to help auto industry. Easy to say a crisis can come with opportunities, difficult to really challenge the status quote to make a real difference for a better future. For example as Nikkei’s Tesla Model 3 teardown suggests: it’s years ahead of other cars. e.g. Model 3 uses a few Electronic Control Units/chips, where as other cars have dozens. At the time like this, I hope more car makers to switch to new architectures earlier rather later. Bonus…


EBC: Tesla system crashed by a particular Chinese term in Taiwan

This week, Tesla Taiwanese users may have too much fun to reboot their Tesla by a magic spell. 3 lessons may worth learning for whoever wants to make their next cars smarter.

  1. A better isolated application architecture pays. Which reduces the penalty as it recovers quicker/less painful to restart an app than the system. I learned my lessons too many time since my feature phone days 😅. It’s a darker age because of how “easy” to crash a phone by phonebook, calculator or almost any app. Smartphone “solved” such…

This week quite a few people celebrate Lunar New Year of the OX. Wish everyone may turn your tables. And we’ll not only get out of COVID-19 sooner but also make the best of the opportunities. So how may the table turn for smarter cars? Call me crazy, but I wish for 3 open ecosystems for innovations 🙏.

Take the Bull by the Horns, Tai-Yuan Lu, zodiac.ntust.edu.tw/2020/en/awards

3 Innovation Ecosystems


Failures may be inevitable stepping stones of the path to innovation & learning is the spirit to make the journey worth wise.

On Feb. 2, 2021 Starship Serial Number 9 (SN9) completed SpaceX’s 2nd flight test ending with another spectacular firework. It’s still very impressive. Not only because they’re pushing the final frontier forward, but also a few really walk the talk. Even in the valley, most people are still more comfortable to play safely. It’s just a human nature. But as Jeff Bezos said “Failure and innovation are inseparable twins”, what could we learn from these “spectacular failures” 🤔?

SpaceX: Starship The 1st High-Altitude Flight Recap: SN8

You Either Gain Something Or Learn Sometimes

Sam Lin

A Taiwanese lives in Silicon Valley since 2014 & has random opinions on many stuffs. The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company.

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