Picture of Mark Sears

Mark Sears

Nov 12, 2014

Freaky Fast Production Lines and The Amazing Brain

As I've been spending more time in the CloudFactory USA office this last year I have come across some fantastic new businesses that wow me. One of those has been Jimmy John's and their "Freaky Fast" subs. I love finding parallels between completely different businesses and industries, here are two from my recent visit to Jimmy John's:

1) Freaky Fast Production Lines

I have ordered submarine sandwiches online for delivery about 10 times but I had never actually stepped foot inside a Jimmy John's until a few days ago. I ordered my sub at the cash register and walked over to fill up my drink at the fountain pop machine when, literally 20 seconds later, they announced my sub and put it up on the counter for me. Out of the corner of my eye I had seen 1 guy pass my sub on to another guy and then to another guy who wrapped it and ... voila. They had the work area perfectly setup for speed and a system in place ran by trained employees - it was a thing of beauty for someone who's world revolves around production lines. At CloudFactory we focus on digital production lines that process data, not sandwiches - but I get excited seeing a core business process that is so efficient, innovative and repeatable. Especially when it forms a key part of the value proposition for a company, like "freaky fast" for Jimmy John's.

It is a fun season at CloudFactory as we have began to scale out our sales and marketing to introduce the world to our innovative "factory in the cloud". We are engaging with more and more companies that want to build their core business processes on top of the CloudFactory platform and workforce. Many of these companies are early stage tech companies that are disrupting their particular niche market and need to grow. They'd love to automate absolutely everything but can't. They'd love to send tasks to a public crowd like Amazon's Mechanical Turk but they know it is more for experimenting and can't deliver the accuracy and scalability they need. They can't imagine working with an old-school BPO company. So many of them have built up their own team of interns, people off craigslist, oDesk, etc and made it work to this point. But those 5, 10, 25 people are about to grow quickly and they need a way to get accuracy at scale. This requires an enterprise-grade work platform and is the point where we come in. We are building production lines for some top tech companies and it is a real honor to become a part of the value proposition to their customers. Sometimes that is high quality/accuracy, sometimes it is amazing value and yes, sometimes that is "freaky fast" turnaround :-)

2) The Amazing Brain

But wait there is more. I sit down to eat my sub and on the wall by my table is this sign with a big human brain and the paragraph below (try to read it!):

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe and the biran fguiers it out aynawy. WOW.

It reminded me of why people are such a key part of our production lines. We are AI junkies who look into the latest neural network research and yet the ultimate, the original neural network is US ... people! The human brain contains 10 billion neurons and truly is amazing. 

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