#HuntedHunters #4: James Mundy points towards Eco-tech.
This is part four of #HuntedHunters, a series of interviews with top members of the Product Hunt community. If you don’t know anything about it, read what got us here.
It’s great to be futuristic and coin unimaginable concepts that could shape the future of humanity. Especially when the current state humanity is terribly out-of-shape. We are in dire need of sustainable-tech, now more than ever.
At the other end of the tunnel, we see things happening that are not all bad. People are becoming more aware are filling their habitats with smarter greener technology. In this highly charged tech industry, I managed to steal a brief conversation with a hunter who gave us a kaleidoscopic purview of our future.
James Mundy, our next hunter, is a creator and product manager based in London. One of the earliest adopters of Product Hunt, James owns an interesting product portfolio. He’s built an alarm for people who fall asleep on trains, an app that guesses your age and a charity advent calendar, to name a few. He’s also a proud creator of Foundbite, a service which allowed users to share and explore the sounds of the world around them. His small team received backing from Microsoft, Nokia and IdeaLab, with sounds and images shared from all over the world.
He’s currently working on a number of projects including SailSys, a site for sailing clubs to receive entries, manage races and display race results online - often before the competitors have even got back to the dock!
We asked James what it takes to re-route humanity’s current trajectory. Here’s how it went.
Omni Calculator: You've worked on an interesting project in the past. (Foundbite- a great idea, being a musician, I like it when the power of sound makes things come to life. Great job!). What drives your hunt for new products? Any specific thing you’re actively looking for?
Jame Mundy: Thanks for your kind words about Foundbite. It was a fantastic project to work on and from which I learnt so much. I was pretty early to join Product Hunt (I think user #140~) as I was a member of Ryan Hoover’s mailing list which is why, I guess, I am quite high up the rankings. I don’t hunt as much now as it is very rare that I post a product and someone hasn’t got there before me. Early on I would come across an interesting London based startup that I liked, post a link and write a little bio about them and why I liked them.
I’m sure there are many other you like to do apart from being a tech geek, tell us a little about your hobbies. Do they also influence your hunts?
I mainly post products I find on Twitter or IRL so my hobbies don’t affect that so much. In my time outside working on tech I run and gym a lot and like to travel. The usual things really.
OC: Where do you see mankind 5 years from today? Tell us what you see
JM: Tricky question, I think there’s probably a difference between what I’d like to see and what will end up happening. I’d like the continuing trend of tech being used for good to make a fairer society to continue, hopefully having a big impact in preventing a climate catastrophe which seems likely if we continue down our current path. I’d also like to see more small profitable internet business and indie hackers succeeding and communities of people from all over the world working together online to create the next generation of social networks.
I don’t think self-driving cars will be on our streets in 5 years but I do think cars will be far smarter and be able to prevent a lot of accidents on their own (smarter collision detection etc). I think machine learning will also have a huge impact, largely positive but I think there are going to be some hurdles along the way.
OC: You said you've been one of the older members on Product Hunt. What advice would you like to give to the young kids on the block? The ones who've just started their journey in the startup industry, especially those who did it through Product Hunt.
JM: Make sure you have a Twitter account and follow people in startups and tech who you find interesting. I’ve met so many friends and collaborators through Twitter. It’s hard to overstate it’s value for learning and hearing from people building companies and products all over the world.
OC: You're a product builder/designer, hence I wanted to steal a few minutes to ask for your opinion about The Omni Calculator Project? Is there something you like or find interesting? Please tell us and our readers!
JM: It looks useful and it has a nice clean design. I can see myself using some of these calculators in the future. The ability to embed the calculators is an added bonus.
It has been very insightful speaking to James. Imagining the future of technology seems impossible without imagining the technology to save the future. All the young, enthusiastic eco-tech start-ups have great scope for flourishing in the coming days. The world needs new opinion leaders for a healthier tomorrow.