Author Archive for Paul Morrissey

Anyone Can Code

Imagine destroying Angry Birds in the competition with just learning to code one month ago. Robert Nay, a 14 year old had no coding experience. He decided he wanted to learn so he went to the public library and started to teach himself. 4,000 lines of code later he came out with Bubble Ball. A physicals game that had users create the track to get a bubble to a end point goal. Its a very simple game, but ended up beating Angry Birds for the top downloaded free game on the app store. The simplest game turned out to be the biggest.

Image result for bubble ball app

As a computer science major I love coding. I taught myself to build my own websites using html. It is really something anyone can do if they have a brain and a computer. This kid decided to teach himself to code and turned a passion and something fun into a company that makes a pretty big profit. I love the idea of apps. It opens a whole new market and allows people to connect to more consumers. I think before anyone graduates college, take a summer to learn how to code. Create a cheesy app. I think it is a skill everyone should know and it can possibly lead to some surprises, like beating out the most popular apps on the app store.


There are some technologies that we use that we think is such an innovation and we don’t know how it could get any better. These are often daily-use items or technologies that we feel work. What we don’t usually look for is the problems within them. This is what Jon Reynolds decided to look for in something most phone users use everyday, the keyboard. When looking for an entrepreneurial pursuit, he decided to not think of creating something new, but to make something better and easier. He saw that keyboards on phones were not as easy as they could be. He saw the work of individually hitting every key as difficult and challenged himself to make something easier for users. His solution was swiftkey.

SwiftKey is an app that you can download on your phone and it is a keyboard you can use. Instead of hitting every individual key, you swipe your finger across the keyboard hitting all the letters in the word you are trying to spell and it will write the word. No longer will you have to pick up your finger for every letter. Now you just have to lift your finger when you need to add a space between words.

Image result for swiftkey

As entrepreneurs, we need to realize is that there is no perfect system of machine. There is always a way to make something easier or better, or take less energy. Problems for us to solve are literally everywhere around us and it is up for us to find them and use our minds to innovate and create.

Chalk Talk

Specialization can sometimes decrease your market size, but it can increase your popularity. is described as a “Microsoft Office for teachers”. It is a resource of productivity apps for teachers in elementary schools to high schools, grades K through 12. helps teachers deal with and produce lesson plans, assessments, and collaboration between teachers to provide for a better job and an easier life for teachers. It is now used in 20,000 schools all over the world. Its main solution is that it helps ease the complexity of personalized student success.

William Zhou, the co-founder and CEO of Chalk, was inspired when his perception of teachers got changed when he went back to visit some old high school teachers. He used the think that it was an easy job with three months summer vacation. When he talked with his old teachers, he realized that it is a lot more difficult than he thought. He decided that this was an opportunity to help out those who helped him out in high school. He decided to make a collaborative suite that teachers can get access to great resources and connect with each other and make everyones lives a little bit easier.

I think when most entrepreneurs look for a market, they try to see how they can reach the most people to gain the most money. Zhou did the opposite. He found a small niche market and decided to capitalize on them. He found a problem they were facing and one that most entrepreneurs would overlook when looking for an idea for a product or service. He also found a social connection where he felt he owed his teachers something for helping him become the entrepreneur he is today.

Passwords? Your body remembered them!

Scientists developed a way to send secure passwords from a persons body. It relays from a fingerprint scanner through the body to unlock doors and other devices. It allows for a person to unlock a device without a password, using a person’s biological identity. It connects a phone to another device through a person. Using WIFI and cellular to transmit passwords isn’t secure over the air. This engineering inoovation creates a secure, hardware connectio through a human body. The only password you’d need is a fingerprint, which you don’t have to remember and you carry on you at all times. This project is the work of Merhdad Hessar, a doctorate student at the University of Washington. His inspiration was from his interest in Ubiquitous Computing. He wanted to see if it was possible to remove the need of passwords and to also make it more secure.

I found it interesting that this innovator looked into a method that was working (passwords) and thought of a way to make it better. This product doesn’t have much personal usage at the moment, but could be a huge product in high security facilities. You would have to be alive and it uses your body as the password to unlock doors. It could be an interesting step into a secure future


Another Drop Out Success

Another drop out become successful entrepreneur. Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of her sophomore year at Stanford to pursue her entrepreneurial dream. She dropped out as a chemical engineering major to create a blood diagnosing startup. The problem of correctly diagnosing was the problem that Elizabeth noticed. Too many people were either having to wait hours for expensive testing to get done at hospitals or they were incorrectly diagnosing themselves online. The company, Theranos, created a mini blood testing lab that is the size of a microwave. It is portable and does a majority of the tests that usually takes a large lab to do, with only small samples of blood. This method gets results faster and at a fraction of the price. With this, the company even innovated the finger prick device into something that requires less blood and gives a more accurate result. not only this, but all the devices are being produced in the USA to create American jobs.

Image result for theranos

If you have ever watched an Episode of Grey’s Anatomy, there will usually be someone complaining about labs taking too long or patients freaking out about the cost of taking too many tests. This product innovates the entire lab process into one device. It is like a computer that blood is an input, and it condenses all the tests into one place. My opinion is that they are focused on creating a cheaper method, so why aren’t the producing in the cheapest way possible, overseas? What are your thoughts on this?

Caleb Merkl- Not Scared of Delivery

Heard of “Maple”? Same. But if you are living in a major city you may be hearing of it soon. Its the newest edition to the food delivery market. This company cooks and delivers food from the kitchen straight to your door. That does sound very familiar though; Seamless, Grubhub, Doordash, Wunwun are all other food delivery companies. What makes maple stand out of the crowd. First I want to start with how unpopular the food delivery market is right now. Who has ever ordered from one of these sites? Its really inconvenient. The whole food delivery system is inconvenient. I waited over an hour for a Papa Johns pizza. Its a flawed market. Also with the delivery fee and the tip involved, it makes it too much of a hassle to even both with delivery. This is where Maple solves this problem. First, there is a flat rate for all meals: $12 for lunch, $15 for dinner. This includes cost for meals, tax, delivery, and tip. Other companies force you to add everything separate and a meal can cost over $20 with all delivery fees. Maple does this by focusing only on delivery. They control the whole process through their company. They cook the meals in a 5,000 sq. ft. kitchen where Michelin Star chefs design meals, they get prepared by sous chefs, get packaged, and get delivered by bike straight to your door. Best part: it is guaranteed in under 30 minutes (30 minutes or it’s free was such a good idea and they are bringing it back). Here is how they do this. They only serve to a specific radius to their facility. They have focused markets in a popular part of big cities. They are focusing micro and not worrying about going macro like other companies. They have been perfecting their system in New York City and they hope to mirror the process in other cities nationwide soon.

What stood out for me is how this company wasn’t afraid to fix a dying market. Everyone knows that the delivery market isn’t rock solid. It hasn’t been known for large profits. This company found the flaw to be that these companies tried to go too big too fast. Their system wasn’t tested and wasn’t solid. Maple found a strong market: New York City Residents that are often too busy too cook and going out to eat is either expensive or unhealthy. Maple decides to profit off of this problem. They decided they would go to a focused market, establish themselves as a solid company and get a good reputation, then move on a mirror the system in other cities. I think it was really smart thinking to not be scared of a wobbly market and try to figure out if there is a solution to fix it. I think it is a way of thinking all entrepreneurs should take up and it can lead to a bunch of opportunities that can make a big difference or make a lot of money in the future