Tim Kravchunovsky Podcast Transcript

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Headshot of CEO Tim Kravchunovsky

Tim Kravchunovsky Podcast Transcript

Tim Kravchunovsky joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, Home of The Digital Executive Podcast.

Brian Thomas: Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is Tim Kravchunovsky. Tim Kravchunovsky has extensive experience as a network engineer, having held positions at the World Bank, Comcast, and Chemonics International. A passionate advocate of people power, Tim founded Chirp in January 2021 to connect the world through groundbreaking accessible technology that has the potential to transform the way we all live our daily lives.

Well, good afternoon, Tim. Welcome to the show!

Tim Kravchunovsky: Hey, Brian. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Brian Thomas: Absolutely. So fun to do this. Obviously making the time today, you’re hailing out of the great country of Germany at the moment, but we get to jump into some great things around IOT and blockchain, which is one of my favorite things blockchain, especially.

So, jumping into the first question, Tim, you had a significant impact in network engineering with roles at the World Bank, Comcast. How did these experiences prepare you for founding Chirp?

Tim Kravchunovsky: So, Chirp, first, first and foremost, we’re an IoT company and it all works around networks. So, we’re, we’re building a wireless decentralized network.

Decentralized, meaning that it’s run by the people and obviously this is the type of experience that you need. Believe it or not. There’s actually a couple of Web 3 projects that started networking projects with no prior experience. And we, we actually see the results. So, nobody’s using the networks.

So, we’re, uh, meet me as a founder I have a significant experience and network engineering graduated from University of Maryland and computer science and network engineering, and then work as a network engineer my entire life. But most importantly, our team as well. So, everybody has over 15 years as a network engineer.

Well, we have actually six PhDs in computer science and network engineering on our team. So I think it’s imperative can’t start a project if you really don’t know what you’re talking about. We, we know the problems from inside out. We know what people are looking for, and we know how to solve those issues.

That’s, that’s kind of it in a nutshell.

Brian Thomas: Great. Thank you, Tim. I appreciate that. And it does make a difference having expertise in the field. And I appreciate you highlighting your background and your team’s background for sure. There’s a lot of technological things that need to get done in the type of company that you’re building.

So, I appreciate that. And Tim, what inspired you to start Chirp, and how does it reflect your vision of people power in technology?

Tim Kravchunovsky: So, so let me kind of, like, step back and just get your audience familiar with Chirp, what we’re exactly doing, and then I can probably go into the foundation story.

So, at Chirp, we’re building a wireless network that can connect different types of IoT devices. So contrary to the popular belief that IOT is, is not taking off and that it’s not being used, it’s actually not the case. IoT industry was a $200 billion industry last year.

So, it is most definitely being used, but it is extremely fractioned. So, if you look at the different companies that work in IOT space. You will not find, you will probably find a handful of companies that make a hundred million dollars or more a year. And then all of the other guys are smaller guys.

And this is the exact problem in IoT. So, each manufacturer produces their own IoT devices. They make a proprietary app. That uses that controls those devices if that manufacturer does not have a device that you need in their lineup, then you go to another manufacturer and essentially, you’re using multiple apps and multiple products.

And that’s why we haven’t seen real IOT adoption in residential use cases. So primarily that those 200 billion that’s all-commercial use cases and commercially IOT is being used everywhere, but it’s extremely, extremely difficult to to implement, there’s actually a study that suggests that you when you are implementing an IOT solution, when you want to automate your business.

When you want to install different types of sensors that help your work and life easier you actually need to attract up to 18 different vendors. And that’s that that just shows you, you know, like, how complicated it is. And that’s why we don’t see it in residential use cases, you know, like, most of the folks.

They would probably buy an appliance that has some kind of connectivity to the Internet. But most of the time, their functions are not being used. So now that you have an understanding of what we do at CHIRP, you know, like, we’re building an actual wireless network for IoT, well, which is brand and radio agnostic.

So, meaning that you can buy any device on the Internet. And you can connect it to our network easily. So, you don’t need technical expertise to connect the devices, to control them, to automate your house or business. So, and how CHRP started, it was actually a real story. I have a so my parents have a house and nobody’s living there.

So, during a cold winter month there was a power outage and during the power outage, the entire heating system stopped functioning inside the home. The power outage was significant. It was for several hours and it was really cold outside. I think it was like negative 15 Celsius. And essentially the entire house froze.

So, I had to fly out there. I had to rip out all of the floors and walls and it was just a big mess. Because, you know, like, all of the pipes inside the house bursted and I had to replace all of the heating radiators. I had to replace all of the faucets. I had to rip out the floors, replace the piping underneath the floors.

So, it was a very, very expensive lesson learned, but, you know, like, right after. I, um, finished the remodel. I was like, well, how can I make how can I stop this? And how can I prevent this from happening in the future? And this is when I started buying different IOT devices on the market. And I just saw how not user friendly it is by having technical knowledge, you know, I was able to connect those devices, but it was still, it’s a significant learning curve.

And the biggest challenge was I was facing that. I was using different hubs for those devices to communicate with the Internet. So I had to buy different hardware for each device to actually see the Internet and to relate all of that data. I had to use different apps from different manufacturers, but most importantly I could not combine those devices and for example, I could not do the logic.

So, what, what type of logic would you need an IOT devices? So, for example, you know, if you have a leak sensor installed in your house. And for example, you have it installed underneath your kitchen sink and the pipe bursts, and that leak sensor sends an alarm that, um, there is a leak. Well, that’s great.

You know that there is a leak, but I’m far away. How can I stop this? And how can I prevent this? And what we saw is that, you know, like those devices from different manufacturers, they cannot communicate with the devices from other manufacturers. So that’s how sharp was born. We’re building this platform where you can connect all types of devices.

And now we’re giving this ability if the leak sensor actually triggers, you receive an SMS saying that there’s a leak but most importantly, that device can send information to another device from a different manufacturer saying, Hey, there’s a leak. Can you turn off the water?

And they could send that information to a water valve that is installed on the pipe. And that way you’re aware that something happened that your property, but if you cannot address it, it could be done automatically and it could save you a lot of money. And it’s just, you know it’s, it’s.

1 of millions of use cases. But this is probably something that anybody could understand and probably somebody could most definitely relate to. So, for example, you know, like, if you have Airbnb property you were renting it out some, some folks have Airbnb properties far away. I actually have a friend who lives in D.

C. area, and he has Airbnb property in South Carolina. So, if anything happens to his property. It’s not going to be an immediate solution. So, it’s about 7 hours drive, I think. So, in here, you can automate you can easily control all of the devices on remote properties and our network is an outdoor network.

So essentially the antennas provide long range coverage for IOT devices. Bye. So, if there’s an antenna in the area, then all of the houses already have signal and it’s one less equipment that you need to install and worry about. So that’s, that’s the origin of chirp and a little bit about chirp itself.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. I appreciate the example there and gosh, we all need that, especially whether it’s a weather-related event or some other type of activity around your property. And again, I know that’s just 1 use case. But I certainly appreciate the back story on that. That gives us some idea of what chirp is.

And Tim, if you could briefly share, Chirp aims to redefine wireless communication through IOT and blockchain, right? How do you see these technologies evolving and what role will Chirp play in that future?

Tim Kravchunovsky: So, we are not just a standard telecommunications company. When we started Chirp, we decided to build it on top of a blockchain.

And that there’s significant advantages, overstarting a regular Web2 company. So, first of all our entire radio access network is run by the people. So, meaning that we don’t have our own crews. Like in a traditional telecom company, When you connect your phone to Verizon Wireless or AT& T or any other any, any other telephone provider when you’re inserting that SIM card, that SIM card is communicating with self-cell towers that are installed throughout the country.

And those cell towers. That’s the most expensive part of any telecom network. So, the telecommunications company that would have crews that go out and they install those cell towers, they install the, the antennas on the cell towers. And that’s a very, very expensive and it’s a very lengthy process.

So you actually have to if we’ll look at the entire process, how does it work? I mean, like you have to find land you have to either buy it or lease the land, you have to erect a cell tower on there. You will need to make arrangements to pull electricity in there to pull Internet in there.

You have to fence the property. You have to alarm the property. Then you have to install the antennas. So, by finishing off just 1 site where you can install the antenna. Sometimes it takes years, you know, like, if you’re going through the process of finding land, purchasing that land doing all of the paperwork just for the land part and then, you know, like, well, pulling all of the utilities.

So, it’s a very lengthy and it’s a very expensive process. So, what we’re doing with the blockchain is we are completely decentralizing our antenna rollout. So, you, Brian you can buy our antenna. You can install it in your house. It’s a plug and play antenna. And essentially that process is reduced to a couple of days instead of years or months because you already have power, you already have internet, you we, we did not use any licensed spectrums.

So we actually work on license free spectrums. So, there’s no regulatory paperwork that needs to be done. You just buy the antenna; you mount it on your house. And that antenna provides wireless coverage to our network. And in return, you get sharp tokens that are minted on the blockchain. So that’s the incentivization model but people that use the, the network.

They pay with a credit card for connectivity services. So just like you pay for your cell phone, you pay for IO OT device connectivity. You can buy any device on the intranet. You connect it to the chirp network. You sign up for a payment plan and every time you make a payment, it actually buys our tokens.

And that’s how the entire token economy is structured. So, it’s, uh, those tokens for people that are not familiar with, with the blockchain or with tokens, it’s not just empty air it’s actually backed up by the actual fiat payment that you, that users make with a credit card.

So, that’s essentially how it works. Yeah, I think that’s it in a nutshell.

Brian Thomas: Great team. I appreciate that. You really broke down some of the technical aspects of the platform and how it works and how obviously it incentivizes users of the platform to jump on it and again, earn some of that tokenization through that process.

So, thank you. And Tim, last question of the day, if you could briefly share with Chirp set to launch its testnet and mainnet, what immediate impacts on IOT connectivity and user interaction do you anticipate?

Tim Kravchunovsky: So right now we’re in testnet by introducing this model of decentralized radio access networks.

We were able to actually deploy our network in 33 countries just in a couple of months. And this is unprecedented in Web 2. 0 space for a regular Web 2. 0 company. I mean, like, if you think about it, how come you don’t see those telecommunications companies operating in multiple countries?

It’s because, you know, the, the entire process And how that business is structured, you need to have so many people around the country installing those self-hours installing those antennas. It is extremely labor intensive. So that’s why you typically don’t see. Telecommunications companies operate in multiple countries.

They, they, they focus on one country sometimes even on certain states or coastlines. So in, in the US for example, you know some some operators they have heavy presence and on the East coast and then on the west coast it could be another company that is dominant.

So, with, with, with Chirp and with launching the first, the Testnet, but we’re launching main net in, in, in the next couple of months. We are incentivizing people to grow the network and we’re already deployed in 33 countries. I mean, it’s really unheard of in the telecom space.

So, by incentivizing people to install the antennas and to run those antennas, we can really spread out our coverage. Significantly faster, we can reduce the expenses of running the network. And we can obviously pass on those costs savings to our clients. So, this is this type of project is called deep in so decentralized physical infrastructure where the physical infrastructure is actually owned and run by the people.

And we’re probably going to see this stiff, the entire telecom industry in this direction, because this is just it’s a new way of running business. And for those people that don’t understand crypto that think that, you know, crypto is a scam or something like that, this is a real-world use case where there’s something tangible behind that crypto token.

It’s a real-world asset. It’s a communications network that people use. So it’s, it’s just a take of fresh air in the industry. And I think that’s going to be the future because the web 2 ways of running the company, the centralized way, it is obviously not the optimal way. It’s much more expensive.

It’s slower. And when you are decentralizing a lot of things you are able to focus on the core product. And I think it will just spike the innovation that we’re going to see in the future. So, about Deepin in general actually Deepin is not only a decentralized wireless network, it’s our use case, but depend decentralized physical infrastructure.

It could be any tangible asset that belongs to the people. So, for example, I know of several companies that are already developing in this space. And it could be decentralized car sharing. So, for example, where cars belong to different people, and they join them to the network. So, I mean, like, it doesn’t have to be antennas.

There’s other projects. Where people buy hard drives and they join hard drives to the network and they create decentralized file storage that is cheaper than Google or Amazon, for example. So yeah, there’s, there, there’s, there’s a lot of exciting new projects that are starting in this space Most

Brian Thomas: definitely. Amazing. Thank you. And again, Tim, you did break down you know, how this is being launched, how it’s being obviously propagated across many countries in the world. And I’m really looking forward to hear more about it in the next few months for sure. And Tim, it was such a pleasure having you on today and I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

Tim Kravchunovsky: Yeah. Thank you, Brian. Thank you for having me. Always a pleasure. So yeah, let’s catch up in a couple of months. I’ll be able to tell you after, after we’ll launch what is happening in this industry and space most definitely.

Brian Thomas: Bye for now.

Tim Kravchunovsky Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.

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