An Eventful Blockchain Year

Intro


Theta one completed its third year. After building and failing on a product in 2016 and having a jumpstart in outsourcing journey on 2017, we are calling 2018 a blockchain year for Theta One. The time when the technology is about to enter into the trough of disillusionment, a serendipity opened a whole new passage for us to move on.

hypecycle-aug-20 Gartner hype chart - 2018

We Rode The Bandwagon


It was the end of 2017. On a gloomy afternoon, we got a phone call from a gentleman. The voice on the other side asked whether we can develop a blockchain proof-of-concept within a month. The natural answer was "no" since we were completely illiterate about blockchain. But the gentleman was not ready to listen as he BELIEVED that we have the right attitude to do it. 😯

It rarely happens that people trust you not for the experiences but for having the "right attitude".

We completed the assignment in slightly more than a month's time and thus began a new journey. 🤘

More Blocks And Chains


This led to more clients asking us to create other interesting blockchain based apps.

  • 📑 A student-record-keeping system for paperless and automatically verifiable academic records on Quorum / Ethereum
  • 💁‍♀️ A customer-on-boarding-system-for-bank on Quorum / Ethereum
  • 🃏 A non-fungible token development on Ethereum
  • 💸 A POC for trade finance application on Hyperledger
  • 📜 Trade License application on Hyperledger
  • 🔖 Marriage Certificate application on Hyperledger

New Location


The expertise in Blockchain and AI paved an exciting way to make our presence in Andhra Pradesh. The department of municipal affairs engaged us in a project where they wanted issuing Trade License and Marriage Certificates on Hyperledger blockchain. We also got associated in a few other engagements for automating human intensive workflows using Artificial Intelligence.

The newly formed state is way ahead than most of the states in India when it comes to implementing cutting edge technologies for governance. We were long waiting for an opportunity like this, where we can contribute in making real impact through technology.

Other tech updates


This year was significant in other sense as well; we made good progress in developing Artificial Intelligence based products and services.

  • Smartsol - "Single Point Incident Response & Complaint Redressal System". It analyzes user generated free texts and routes to appropriate authority using AI based text analysis.
  • Deepviz - A suite of computer vision modules which include face recognition, object tracking, object counting and activity detection.
  • Garbage Detection - An AI model developed for department of municipal administration, AP to automatically detect presence of garbage in images.

Opensource


Opensource contribution were much less in compare to the last year. Last year we developed about 6 opensource libraries and published to Github. Whereas there were only one contribution has been made - which is - an Angular 6 Pay Button for Razorpay payment.

Nevertheless, there are a few opensource projects in the pipeline.

  • A beautiful tooltip component for React-Native
  • A cross platform vanilla-styled Dropdown for React-Native
  • Dyfor: A cross-platform form builder which renders native forms from a JSON
  • A contact fetching plugin for React-Native to fetch phonebook entries in chunk-by-chunk without blocking the UI
  • A cross platform React-Native plugin for rectangular surface detection and OCR using openCV (similar to Camscanner)

Bumpy Road


Quite a lot georgous failures and rejections also made this year memorable.

  • There were at least three engagements which stopped midway with no or very minimal cost recovery.
  • A merger / acquisition request had to be rejected after long negotiating discussions.
  • A funding deal dismissed after many discussions, developing demos and business plans.
  • A big US deal for developing apps for an innovative wearable device was dismissed for not having well-structured compliance practices in the company.
  • We had been rejected in Dubai Fintech Hive after long exercise and submission of Smartsol in that competition.
  • Last but most recent, rejected in Bengalathon (a countrywide hackathon for business ideas) even after selected in three tracks in the first round.

Perks for Teammates

  • 💰 Two major salary hikes
  • 🏛️ Communication class - a daily half-an-hour session to improve soft skills
  • 💊 Medical Insurance (from Jan, 2019)

Process Improvement

  • ✅ Mandatory testing before each release by dedicated quality assurance team
  • ✔️ Redmine for project progress tracking
  • 🕤 Weekly Huddle on every Wednesday, 9.30 AM

Plan for the next year

  1. Significant contribution to e-Governance projects through advance technology like AI and blockchain and augmented reality
  2. Scaling Smartsol to different smart cities
  3. Open development centers in Bangalore and Vijayawada
  4. More opensource contribution

The new year resolution for Theta One was always quite the same - that is having more and more fun. At the same time we are on a mission on making technology available to mass. If you think you are crazy enough to share the same dream, do write to us.

A very happy new year to all of you, from all crazy souls at Theta One.