Ryan Spraetz helps run a Silicon startup that aims to remake the future of online business, but he describes it with a metaphor that dates to the 16th century.
More than 400 years ago, Spraetz says one afternoon outside a San Francisco coffee shop, a Danish nobleman named Tycho Brahe spent most of his adult life collecting data that described the night sky. Each night for more than 30 years, Brahe would climb into his observatory and record the brightness and the position of the stars overhead. Then he died. But his young assistant, Johannes Kepler, would go on to use Brahe’s massive trove of data to formulate the three laws of planetary motion, the laws that proved the Earth revolves around the sun.
“Because Brahe dedicated his whole life to gathering all that data, Kepler is now cemented into history,” Spraetz says, and this becomes an on-ramp to his startup, a 15-person company called KeenIO. As Spraetz explains it, Keen aims to provide the world’s online businesses with ready access to the sort of detailed data so diligently gathered by Brahe, giving them the information they need to make the big leap forward — to, as Spraetz puts it, “turn them into Keplers.” Read the rest of this entry »