Kicking off our new Blog

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been debating the merits of blogging. After discussion, deliberation, looking at examples that we like and dislike, we have decided to start a company blog, and to devote the internal resources to properly maintain and update it.

This was not a decision we took lightly, and the internal feedback we received on this idea varied widely. Yet I feel that there are a number of advantages to blogging, even for a robotics company that isn’t a typical web 2.0 or social media startup. For companies like that, blogging isn’t an option – it’s a key requirement. Companies like ours do perfectly fine never having tweeted, facebooked, linked’in, vined, pinterested, snapchatted, or blogged.

So in this inaugural post, I want to talk a bit about our decision process, what we considered, and why we ultimately have decided to start blogging.

The first, most basic question, was “why bother?”. Our customers know us. Our personnel are well known in the unmanned systems industry, and as a growing company, we have good relationships with government and commercial customers. A lot of our growth happens because we try to do good work, be responsive to customer needs, and write good proposals, not because we have a cool website (or any website at all). Our company metrics don’t include page views, click through rates, or subscriber growth. In fact, like many companies, we have IP that we are developing that we want to keep private. Blogging brings up the possibility of inadvertent disclosure of core IP, proposal strategies, etc.

However, at the end of the day, the robotics community is still a fairly small one, and the industry is still nascent, despite how long robots have been around in one form or another. So I feel there is value in growing this industry, and I believe that our experience in growing Neya over the past three years can be of value to other folks who may be considering doing something in our space or in adjacent spaces. And we can do this in a way that doesn’t give away things we don’t want to give away.

The second question is, “what do we blog about”? To me, that was the easy one. We have a great mix of people of different backgrounds, skills, interests, and experience. Between everyone here, I’m pretty sure we can come up with interesting technical and non-technical topics to discuss. The central theme of our blog will be the technical and non technical experiences of running and growing a small robotics company.

The third question was “how much time will it take?”. That is one that is near and dear to my heart, since time is money. Deeply technical articles will take time. Maybe a day or more. Posts like this one, maybe an hour or so. So we have to balance that. Our goal isn’t to start a school on robotics technologies or entrepreneurship. So our posts will be a very broad mix of topics, but all related to Neya and all related to robotics.

Given all this, we’ve decided to take the plunge and give it a try. We are curious as to what the response (in terms of readership) will be. We are curious if folks who wouldn’t normally be aware of us become aware of us. We are curious about what the reaction will be amongst ourselves as we do this.

Our plan is to publish about one post per week. We may adjust that as we go forward. Upcoming topics include our experiences with Robotic Operating System; the importance of field testing rapid and often; our company culture; the importance of continuous integration and IT infrastructure in robotics; machine learning for robotics, and other areas that we hope you will find interesting.

If you have comments or questions, you can reach me at paragb AT neyasystems.com

Thanks, and I hope you find this useful, and I hope you come back. Or if not, tell me why!

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About the Author

Parag Batavia

Parag Batavia is the founder and president of Neya Systems, LLC. He started Neya in 2009, in order to further robotics R&D efforts, and transition them to commercial and DoD product areas. Parag has a Ph.D. in Robotics from CMU, and an MBA from Drexel. He is married, with two beautiful little girls, and is slowly trying to get back in shape now that he's hit the big 40.