Nokia’s snake creator joins Maersk to reduce global freight fuel consumption

We sat down with Lars Knudsen at the recent TechBBQ in Copenhagen to talk about the future of open source solutions, fuel consumption, culture of innovation in global giants and why it’s always good to take a cut of your creation instead of just being paid a regular fee.



Below you will find excerpts from the conversation. They’ve been slightly edited for clarity.


On money he made from Snake Game:


„Instead of having my contracting fee, I should have probably asked for a percent from [each] device”


On culture of creativity in Maersk


„Maers Digital is sort of Google-y department, compared to the rest of the enterprise. That culture is currently going through the company, in a positive way, so there is a lot of innovation going on, there’s a lot of cool software and hardware projects. There will be people from Maersk going into standards organisations - like Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group), W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), Wifi Alliance to understand the needs of using this technologies on container vessels. It’s very different from a big city, in a hipster environment.”


On open source impact in the Internet of Things


„Open source based devices will have bigger impact on population that those cool hipster devices like Google Home. Especially in developing regions, where infrastructure might not be there, so the impact of having sentry system on a ranch where you don’t have access to very expensive equipment. You can build something off-the-shelf, with local students, who just learn a bit of coding and build those things together with local businesses.”


„Open source doesn’t mean less security, it actually means more. You have all those people in the world who can look into that source and not just having bugs lying around that only the hackers can find.”


On why he joined Maersk


„The reason why I joined Maersk is because there are some really interesting things going on there, in terms of how can we reduce fuel consumption in general, to me that is super important for everyone. It’s not only to save money, it’s also to save the world”


On electric freight vessels


„There’s been some experimentation with smaller ones, but it’s gonna take a while, because the immense amount of power you need continuously on a vessel that travels for 17 days, going over the Atlantic, you not gonna have the batteries that will sail that far.”


On new exciting things to come:


„Some of the things I’ve been working on is trying to explain the possibility of connecting hardware directly to the browser. Today, it is possible to connect bluetooth energy devices, usb devices directly which is covering a lot of hardware today, even a lot of legacy stuff. Having a solution where you can sit with a couple of people, for a week, doing a proof of concept in web technologies, instead of having a development team sitting for a year trying to get something working on a native solution, even having to maintain that native solution. It’s a no-brainer. It makes so much more sense to move all those old enterprises to the web.”


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