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Podcast Reference: This Week In Startups Episode #1845
Alex Wilhelm - You know, for a really long time, people looked down their nose at people who worked with their hands and those jobs were viewed as, as lesser. And even the whole blue collar white collar divide was, was not just class in the United States, but it was also, you know, kind of like a cultural cachet that, that, that were valued to jobs didn't have.
Uh, if we think about the power of digital technologies in a realm of generative AI, we're taking away the white collar premium. And oddly enough, pushing that back onto the blue collar jobs, there's a full circle element to this that I, that I, that I appreciate and find ironic that the computer guys got so smart, they took away their own jobs.
Hey there, my friends. It's your host, Andy Humphrey. Welcome to episode 145. of the sprinkler nerd show. I'm super stoked that you're tuning in today. Just like to remind myself this super stoked you're turning into tuning in today because there is a whole universe of podcasts out there more than anyone could ever listen to in a hundred lifetimes.
There's a whole universe of podcasts out there. So the fact that you're hanging out here today. is pretty awesome. Thank you so much. And I hope that you are having an awesome day wherever you are listening from. And as I say that wherever you are listening from, tell me where you are listening from. I love making new friends with all of you guys.
So feel free to shoot me a text message. I'll give you my personal cell phone number here. It is two zero eight.
Send me a text message. Tell me where you are listening from. And uh, when you do text me, please add your name. Don't just say something like, hello, how are you? So I know that. Uh, you are not just a, another bot trying to, trying to sell me something because I do get a lot of spam text messages. So shoot me a text message, 208 908 3229, tell me where you're tuning in from.
Uh, let's see, you guys know that I love sharing. Stories and insights and sometimes even a few laughs here and there. And I hope that today's episode adds some good vibes to your day. I'm going to share a few things that I think would particularly resonate with anyone in the trades. Uh, community, which obviously would be the landscape and irrigation industry as a trade.
Um, and, uh, you know, if you are loving the vibes today, as I say that, you know, if you're loving what you hear, why not spread the good vibes with others, share it with your work buddies, share this episode in this podcast with your work buddies or anyone that you think might appreciate these topics, particularly anyone.
Who might be like you, who likes to think divergently. I mean, different. I mean, anyone who likes to question what it is they think they know, because at least that's what I like to do. Question what it is I think I know so that I can be curious, curious, curious enough to learn something new. Okay. All right.
Enough of this chit chat intro. Let's jump right into the heart of today's episode. Here we go.
If you are an irrigation professional, old or new, who designs, installs, or maintains high end residential, commercial, or municipal properties, and you want to use technology to improve your business, to get a leg up on your competition, even if you're an old school irrigator from the days of hydraulic systems, this show is for you.
So for today, I have three topics to share with you. Number one, something I heard recently that points favorably. To the future of the trades industry. Number two, an invitation to join me at the op Connect late night welcome party at the IA show. Number three, a technology platform that I've been building with two other team members for the past year that we will have ready for beta testing soon.
So, okay, let's start with the future of the trades industry, and in case you missed it. Missed it in the intro. I'm going to play this clip again for you, this really short clip, and I may play it a few times just to drill the point home. The computer guys got so smart they took away their own jobs. The computer guys got so smart they took away their own jobs.
The computer guys got so smart they took away their own jobs. Let me play it one more time. The computer guys got so smart they took away their own jobs. It's frickin awesome. I just think that this is an amazing concept. The computer guys got so smart they took away their own jobs. There's just something so ironic about that that it reminds me of these lyrics.
Now this is a story all about how My life got flipped, turned upside down And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there I'll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air My life got turned flipped upside down and that might be exactly what is coming for some people as it relates to a I their life is going to get turned flipped upside down because what they think what they thought they think what they think they thought they knew the value of that is changing.
The puck is moving. So some people's lives are going to get turned flipped upside down. However, the reason I say that trades rule. And that's kind of why I put that in this episode is because what really resonated with me and this episode, which I, you know, will link here in the show notes, what resonated with me is when Jason Calacanis predicted that the jobs that require the sort of like human hands or like, aka the trades, you know, plumbers, carpenters, anything that requires the trades will be more in demand.
And I think that it's sort of like the, you know, it's that flip happening. It's like the poles getting reversed when society at one time, uh, it's not that we When I say we, society, devalued blue collar jobs, we put this sort of false, um, pedestal under white collar jobs, aka going to college, aka getting a degree.
You know, I, we'll save my true thoughts on this for another podcast, but is, where is the value there if much of what is taught there can be and will be outsourced to another country? Right? Through the internet, remote workforce, or replaced by AI. Is that the, is that really where humans should put their value?
And what's really fascinating, flip that over, blue collar jobs, work with your hands. These types of jobs will be in more demand than ever. And he says six figures. So good news for you guys wanted to just play these quotes because as I listened to them in my day to day and the content that I consume when something It sticks out to me.
I want to share it with you and that one did because I think it looks bright for the future of the trades industry. Whether you work in the trade, whether you are a sole proprietor, whether you own the business and employ trades people, the entire trades industry looks positive. So let's play the entire quote from Jason Calacanis right now.
What are the safe jobs? Do you think in a world of AI, if you're 18 right now, listening to this, anything physical in the world, that's like a trade skill is going to be crazy. Like, you know, try getting a plumber, electrician, any of those jobs. So if you have the propensity, it's going to be a six figure job.
And I would say it's safer than the equivalent six figure job. You might get after 20 years of being a journalist, right. To hit six figures as a teacher or journalist is a 10 to 20 year journey, I'd say. And your job as a plumber, electrician, carpenter. Pick the trade will be higher. Excellent. Now let's move on to item number two on my list today.
And that is an invitation to join me at the op connect late night. Welcome party at the I a show up. Connect has generously. Scheduled a happy hour irrigation appreciation event on Tuesday, November 28th. So if you are listening to this and plan to attend the IA show, which officially I believe starts Wednesday trade show anyway, Tuesday night.
From 8pm to 9pm, we invite you to join OpConnect, Justin, Breck, you know, and myself at Rita's Riverwalk, Rita's Riverwalk, at 8pm Tuesday, November 28th, from 8pm to 9pm, and then I will sponsor the Late Late Night. Event, so if any of you guys stay past 9 p. m Then I'll take over from OpConnect and this will be the sprinkler nerd meetup sponsored event in the after party So join OpConnect, Justin Breck, myself at the IA show Tuesday night, November 28th, Rita's River Walk, just google that, I could give you the address, but just google it, it's Rita's, like Margarita, Rita, Rita's River Walk, San Antonio, Tuesday, November 28th, 8pm.
Would love to see you there. But this is my lead in to my third kind of announcement and that is about the technology platform that the three of us have been building for the past year, which eventually will be a very A comprehensive platform and there's multiple legs of the platform that range from analytics to control to monitoring and the first kind of public release of the technology is a long range wireless soil moisture sensor.
I'll pause for a moment. Yes, you heard that, a Long Range Wireless Soil Moisture Sensor Platform. And our platform has two parts. Number one is the hardware technology of the sensor, which has a, um, how do I say this? A shelf life, an installed shelf life of approximately five years. So we, we have engineered, manufactured an amazing product that measures the soil moisture at three inches and measures it at six inches.
It provides an average and the soil temperature. And we're building this at an affordable price because part of our business plan is what we are calling the democratization of soil moisture sensor technology. So we believe that. If you, why would you want to spend 800 on one soil moisture sensor, we believe that you should be spending 800 for at least 10 to 20 soil moisture sensors.
Because one, we want to, we want to get a lot of sensors out there because we want you to learn. We don't want price to be the barrier. We want to help the industry learn. How to water better, how to water more efficiently, to learn what runtime actually does. What does 30 minutes of runtime look like in your soil moisture?
And one of the only ways to do that is to build a product that is affordable, that can scale to the everyday user. Um, so we are excited to announce the release, the beta release of our brand new long range wireless soil moisture sensor platform that will be available to see at the first. You can see this first at the op connect happy hour on Tuesday, November 28th at 8 PM.
So if you come and you're excited about this, you can join our beta list and we could probably have you leave the show. with some product in hand. And when we say long range should be at least a mile, a mile, one mile. Pretty awesome. We want you to put sensors everywhere. We don't want wire to be the barrier or location to be the barrier.
We want you to feel. The freedom of putting a sensor wherever you want, okay? Now this is, I don't have more to share on this outside of that, but if you think about this scaling up to an analytics platform that has all of the data. We're talking flow data, pressure data, irrigation control. That is the sort of comprehensive platform that we are working on that incorporates the three legs of the stool, which is control, analytics, and monitoring.
And we are launching with the release of our H2 Soil Moisture Sensor, H4 Harmony, H4 Hexagon. You guys are going to love the way this thing looks. I'm so freaking excited and I can't wait to, I'm actually most excited to see how you guys use it. And that's why we want beta users because we'd like to know.
where you use it, why you use it, what is the data you want to see, what do you want it to do, so that we can improve the lives of the everyday irrigator, landscaper, and client. So. There it is. That's my, that's my third announcement is the release of our new technology platform, long range wireless soil moisture sensors that our hope is to democratize sensors.
Okay, so that's it for this episode. Thank you so much. I hope to see many of you. At the show coming up the week after Thanksgiving. And, um, if you don't, if you can't attend the happy hour, send me a text message again, 2 0 8 9 0 8 3 2 2 9. Happy to meet up with you. I'm going to be roaming the show every day.
Happy to meet up with you. Uh, learn about your business, what you're into. If there's anything I can do to help you, if you're interested in looking at our new sensor platform, happy to review that. with you as well. And again, thank you so much for listening. Please share this episode with a friend or another industry colleague, or maybe somebody else that you know, that's in the trades, that's not in irrigation or landscaping.
Maybe, you know, somebody that's just doing home construction or they're doing HVAC and you want to send them that little nugget about the future of trades. Share this episode. It would mean a lot to me. Thank you so much. Have a great weekend and we'll catch you on the next episode.