In the latest editon of the UiPath Reboot Work Festival this week, company founder Dines shared a key lesson on how to advance as a company or individual: capitalize on what’s gone before–and let code help as much as you can.
What’s the secret of UiPath’s rapid growth? According to its founder and CEO, Daniel Dines, the answer is ‘convergence’—specifically, how he and his tiny team were able to capitalize on a number of established technologies but unify them and move them to the next level.
“We’d built a phenomenal computer vision, way better than any of our competitors,” he told futurologist Azeem Azar this week.
“And by combining our computer vision with more traditional Unix, our UI Automation product became more robust and capable of addressing more use cases. But our software owed a lot to a product built by Microsoft called Windows Workflow Foundation, which was an amazing product, but the last version was really in 2010.”
As Dines sees it, Microsoft spent six years and used hundreds of developers to build this tool but didn’t find a market for it, so effectively abandoned it—leaving it to UiPath to find the perfect focus for all that hard work by re-focusing it away from its original application to automation.
And as they say—the rest is history.
Dines shared this secret of UiPath’s evolution with Azar at the latest of the RPA leaders rolling ‘Reboot Work Festival’ program of online conferences, which took place on Tuesday—a series, as described in its opening minute, all about customers learning how the vendor’s looking at automation’s role in the landscape of work, plus “the UiPath vision for how we will continue to help organizations drive productivity innovation, and customer and employee happiness”. (UiPath is keen for us all to go to its next physical conference, Forward V, in September.)
“Automation will allow us to scale and bring down prices”
Azar, author of a recent book he claims lays out how we should navigate the age of complexity and change as exponential technologies meet Industrial Age institutions, had earlier told the Reboot Work audience that he believes we’re all at an important transitional point in history, one being driven by some very powerful technologies–including the ones UiPath is bringing to market.
These so-called ‘exponential,’ general purpose technologies, he claims, are sparking the biggest industrial and economic transition humanity’s seen for a century, and that “at its heart is going to be the technologies of automation, because it’s those technologies that will allow us to scale and bring down prices.
He pursued this insight with his ‘Fireside Chat’ with Dines, sharing his conviction that a key benefit of automation is that it will allow us all to become generalists–which he does not see as a bad thing at all: “What people is to have lots of different types of problems to solve, and able to interact with lots of other people doing it. And I see a great way of accelerating someone’s career progression is if they can offload highly specialist tasks to software?”
Dines completely agrees. “People need to stop being afraid of becoming more of a generalist. I went through this transition myself, going from a C++ software engineer at Microsoft highly specialized in building back-end systems, but when I was trying to start a company, I needed to learn how to talk to customers, learn how to talk to investors. Finally, I had to learn sales.
“Now, I want the guy that is a generalist and understands the big picture. And I think they’ll be the ones in the future who will find high-level jobs easy to get.”