June 6, 2023

Episode 287: Meade Lewis, CEO of mIQrotech

Meade Lewis is an Eagle Scout with a passion for the environment and a hardware and sensor expert. As the CEO of mIQroTech, he leads the team in predicting oil and gas pipeline leaks before they occur. With a background as the Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO) of multiple successful oil and gas firms, as well as experience in "Big Data" analytics, Meade also knows the value of intelligence gathering and the capabilities of massive analytic platforms on that data. Over $30 Billion worth of products is lost due to oil and gas pipeline leaks. With those, irreparable damage is done to the environment. What they are accomplishing at mIQrotech isn't just saving their customers these billions of lost dollars, they are helping protect the environment and changing the world.

Learn more about his work using the links below:




Here is a link to his TEDx Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/meade_lewis_teaching_old_industries_new_tricks

Julian:Hey everyone. Thank you so much for joining the Behind Company Lines podcast.Today we have Meade Lewis. CEO and founder of mIQroTech the technology thatleverages IOT devices and AI to predict pipeline leaks before they happen.Meade I'm so excited to chat with you. Obviously we got connected through amutual connect, actually a previous guest from the show.

So excited to see,kind of promote other founders, but also learn about your story and, and kindof what your company's doing. Leveraging AI in the kind of an old archaicindustry that has a lot of stereotypes that we'll talk about and, and dive intobut before we get into all that good stuff with mIQroTech and what you'reworking on, What were you doing before you started the company?

Meade:So before this I, I, I was working with a few. I was doing consulting for someagencies within the U.S.

Julian:And through that experience, I was, I was listening to your TED Talk, which we,we were riffing about earlier because of, because of the clicker debacle.

I'm almost, clickergate is, is kind of how I wanna promote it on the show just to really kind of,emphasize it. But no, in particular, what was interesting about, what were youfinding in the industry you chose because it, it's not a traditional industryof being like in oil and gas. What got you there and, and what was.

What did you findthat kind of drew threw you down this rabbit hole of, of, starting companieswithin this industry?  

Meade:Yeah, so growing up I was always kind of a nerd, rather than reading HarryPotter or something like that, my mom would get me encyclopedias. All right.And so I, I would go on these rants telling her what the temperature of magmawas and how lightning was roughly six times hotter than the sun.

And I was alwaysfascinated with geology especially. Yeah. In the third grade, my mom taught mehow to code. But I always kept it as a hobby. Making computer games. That waskind of my first business as a, middle schooler was like selling computer gamesliterally on CD ROMs. And I actually made a decent amount of money for a sixthgrader seventh grader making these games.

Made a gamingwebsite that w basically routed through a proxy server. So that it could not bebanned by the school's white lists or blacklists of websites. Yeah, and, andso, After that I actually went to school for medicine and made software for aFortune 500 pharmaceutical company.

Made that softwarepiece in about a weekend. And what that software did was kind of rerun thelogistics within our facilities so that we could get yeah. Plasma. Extractedfrom human patients in a much more efficient manner. Yeah. And so after that Iwas kind of given the opportunity to either get into software full-time orcontinue my education and I chose software.

I became a softwareengineer for an oil and gas firm. Within six months I was their chieftechnology officer and managing what, 200 people. Yeah. Became a CTO of asecond oil and gas firm. Both of those firms ended up exiting. I made a littlemoney off of that. Co-founded an analytics firm, which we ended up se sellingto a federal group.

And about two yearslater I founded this company where we're kind of merging that background of oiland gas analytics. And you could even go back to my medical experience withdiagnostics. Yeah. Right. And. Throwing that all together. Shaking it aroundand creating mIQroTech, right? Yeah. Where, we're using my oil and gasexperience as the DI for the diagnostics and even the data capture piece.

But the analyticspiece, AI is, AI is ai, it's just about right. Uh uh, figuring out what thespecific algorithm to your problem is.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And, and also just thinking about, what were you uncovering, firstof all, at each phase of the way, it sounds like you love systems and, and, andobviously, correct me if I'm wrong, you love system in figuring out ways eitherto optimize it or, or scale it in, in the really unique way using the rules.

That kind of,within its framework was so, so fascinating to think about how you've been ableto do that in oil and gas. And what were you seeing that where you were like,There's a system here, maybe it has some, inefficiencies and there's a big kindof opportunity to not only add value, but also to, create this new technology.

What, what were youseeing in this, consulting and analytics component that were, was likecompelling to you to, to kind of solve other problems?  

Meade: Idon't think it is following the rules. I, I, yeah. So like even at thatpharmaceutical company, I talked to the manager of that specific facility. Butwe were violating the corporate it policies by uploading my software.

Right. It wasn'tcleared by corporate it, right? No, it was, that could have been straight upmalware that we upload to those computer. Obviously it wasn't for the record,but it, it, it was what I made in a weekend. Right. Yeah. E even within thisindustry, right? It's, it's an old school industry.

All right. And Thisold school industry is opposed to change? I would love to say that, you knowwhat I did at my two previous oil and gas rolls where I was CTO w advancedUpstream Solutions and Iron Pro. I would love to say that, I was just, Topnotch, really cutting edge, right.

Steve Jobs makingthe original helping to market really the original Apple computers, but no. Allright. What we were doing is that was what, 24 15? 2014. And what we were doingis that was about the point that i o t became accessible to everyone. Yeah.Right. Sensors were cheap. They were readily available, all right.

And all it took wassome tinkering around with a soldering iron to put something together. And thenafter that, it's just code. And so I had to teach myself the, for theprototype, at least the the electrical engineering component. But after that,it, it's what I already knew, it was, it was C code.

Yeah. So it.Getting back to it. I, I don't think it's about following the rules. I, I, Ithink it's about questioning why the rules exist. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And trying tobuild a product that doesn't just follow the mainstream and solves the problemsthat you see by interacting within the industry that you're yeah, you'rewithin.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. And it's fascinating thinking about what, mIQroTech is, is doingnow, adding the analytics or the AI component to, to offer a different level ofintelligence and describe, what essentially what the incumbent was beforeObviously the technology, it, it helps kind of, predict, oil spills or, orinefficiencies within the process or downtime, things like that.

What was the, likeprevious procedure for that? Those kind of like events. And, and how ismIQroTech changing that kind of experience?

Meade:So, yeah, I'll talk about just typical statistics within the industry. Allright. 70% of pipeline leaks in America are found through what's called visualdetection.

All right. Andvisual detection is just fluff term for a few different categories of pipelineleak fines. All right. There's visual flyovers where the oil and gas companyeither flies their own helicopters or contracts outta group to fly over theirpipelines and spot if there's any areas of dead growth or, flame shooting outtathe ground or something like that.

Right? And then Buta lot of them actually are found by civilians where these people are just,hunting in West Virginia and see that pillar of fire shooting outta the groundand have to call out call up their local natural gas firm. Alright? And, and soif 70% are found through, hunter Sam, walking around the woods, then you knowthat this industry needs to improve.

Alternativelythey're using technology that really hasn't been innovated upon since the1970s. You have your traditional pressure transducers, which are threaded in,rarely are they connected to anything wireless. Most of the times they have a,almost a USB download. And it's brought to a headquarters where then, then theythrow this data into a.

Effectively aspreadsheet and oh, the pressure dropped and it really doesn't tell themanything because a lot of these oil and gas firms aren't hiring data scientists.True data scientists, right? I'm not just talking about, what you see onLinkedIn where somebody just knows all about Microsoft xl, but true datascientists, right?

And, and, and so.I, I think that this industry is ripe for disruption and I think it's ready forit as well. A lot of these firms are putting more and more money into theirinnovation departments, external and internal innovation. Yeah. And, and reallytrying to adopt these gaming changing technologies as we start to go intoIndustry 4.0 and what it can become.

Julian:Yeah. And what would you say are some of the reasons why thing or newtechnologies weren't being adopted? What was it limitation? Cause obviouslymoney's being lost if there's, any, any difference of whether it's pressure orloss of oil. So the pains there, but, but what was the, why weren't peopleadopting or building new technologies to start preemptively predicting versusprobably figuring out ways to bandage it more quickly?

Meade:So, so, Yeah. Let, let's let's go about this two ways. The hardware and thenthe analytics side, right? The, the hardware. So the sensors, all right.Sensors, they used to be super expensive, right? And so there was only alimited number of firms. Making sensors that could withstand the pressures andthe conditions that are within the oil and gas industry.

Right. I once hadsomebody joke with me that the most advanced engineering, mechanicalengineering that you'll ever find is subsea deep space. And within oil and gas,because let's take a fracking rig. Those that flow iron is rated to with withwithstand 22,000 P s I. That's roughly twice as high as a what the inside of arifle barrel sees when you shoot the gun.

Wow. Wow. Yeah.Wow. So you're talking extreme pressures, right? And so having a pressuretransducer, right, which is basically just a diaphragm pushing up on a wiremesh, having that withstand 22,000 psi, right? That's a tough challenge. Right.And, and so I think it's that from the hardware perspective. Just the cost ofthe hardware the, the, also the environmental issues in conjunction with thehardware.

Because if you'retalking about typical oil and gas asset, you're talking pretty remote. And sothat means to get that data from point A to point B. How are you doing thatright now? We can use cellular towers, but you know, those weren't. Around inthe 1980s. Right? Or they were around, but they weren't common.

Right. Like theyare today. And now let's talk about the analytics perspective, right? AI wasinvented in the 1950s. Right. And I'll caveat that with at least you couldargue that some of the computing that we were doing in the 1940s was ai, but1950s, let's just say that. So it's been around for a bit.

The problem is, isto get into this true deep learning, this neural network backed artificialintelligence. We didn't have the hardware that could even approach what we'redoing today. Right. It's, you oftentimes hear the joke that, the iPhonegeneration one has several fold compute power that took us to the moon, right?

So remember themoon was 1969, right? Yeah. iPhone, what, 2008? Something like that. Right? Andso we're even talking about a shorter span there. So what we, what we can donow with AI is well beyond what? The researchers in the 1950s and forties couldever dream of. Yeah. And I think that that's a scar. We can talk about thescary side of ai.

That's a scarything is I think that we've just peeled back the first layer of the onion.  

Julian:Yeah. So, one thing, one thing I, I, I think about, and I've, I've like, Idunno if it's a contrarian opinion or perspective. I haven't researched this atall, but I, I was thinking about knowing about the machine learning kind ofresearch that's been happening and how those frameworks have really dictated a lotof the advancements in ai.

I'm like, are wemoving towards, kind of a more philosophical kind of based kind of way we buildproducts, thinking kind of creating those rule systems within technology. Likewhat is allowing kind of, I guess, for your company in particular, like whatkind of rules are you putting on it to actually extract the data and.

And make thoseanalytics to actually draw those conclusions versus, I don't know. There's justso much in there that, that I'm sure it's hard to not only categorize label,but also to, to make those as, assumptions or, or predictions, what, what areyou doing in, in the technology to be able to do that r Right.

Meade:So with any ai, you do need to put up philosophical barricades, right. In yourengineering approach. Yeah. Right. I mean, Imagine if you made an AI baseddieting app, right. And you told it you wanted to lose weight. Well, if that AItook it a step too far, what's the fastest way to lose it? Weight. Never eat.

Yeah, right. Nevereat and only live on the treadmill. Right. And that's not healthy for humans,right? Right. A and so, When we talk about, our artificial intelligence, what,what the philosophical things that we want to accomplish, right? How do youguarantee no pipeline leaks? Well, No oil and gas, right?

And that's notpractical into today's society. So we need to find a way to live with this oiland gas, whether, whether we like it or not, whatever side of the politicalspectrum you fall on, we need, at least right now, we need to find a way tolive with it. And that's what we're aiming to accomplish here at mIQroTech, islive hand in hand with this industry that.

Really helps usthrive as humans today. Yeah. And, and, and also the other philosophical the,the philosophical debate that we need to talk about with our company is when dowe alert the operator? Right? Is it better to give them false positives orfalse negatives? Right. Yeah. Just not alert them because it's right on thecusp.

Do we let you know,do we alert them for this or do we not? Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. And so if I wasgiven that option, and I think many of my customers would feel the same way.Yeah. Alert. Alright? Because that leak not only environmental damage, but thecosts involved associated with these leaks are immense.

All right, andthat's also with our new hardware that we're coming out with next year, we'reactually going to be able to attribute exact cost to who, what these leakscould end up. Affecting the customer with, so yeah. Help incentivize 'em.  

Julian:Yeah. Well, that's exciting. Is, is that, what have you been able to do? Is itthe, the advancement in the hardware or the, or the relationship between thehardware and the software that's just improved because you've kind of been ableto kind of keep it in a close framework?

Meade:Yeah, so there's changes to the software. There's always changes to thesoftware. But in this next ver version of the hardware we're actually the, thebig missing link was flow rate monitoring.

And we weren'tcapable of doing that. We had ideas of how to accomplish it when we firststarted this company, but now we know exactly how to do it. Yeah, we filed thepatents on it. And remember, we're measuring all of these variables. Corrosion,pressure, density, vibration, temperature, geolocation, acoustics flow rate.

And density. Ithink I got 'em all. Yeah. Oh, also, so soil moisture. All right. Got 'em all.Now we're reading all of these external to the pipeline itself. So what we'retalking about here is leveraging physics in the most unique ways possible to beable to read, for example, corrosion from outside of the pipeline.

Yeah. Leads tofaster installs, no invasive monitoring, which actually leads for to 2% ofpipeline leaks. Yeah. But yeah.  

Julian: Yeah.And thinking about just like the industry in, in all, because obviously,begging the question, and I think you mentioned this and something I read ofyours or, or listened to where it was like there's not enough people going intoindustries like oil and gas in particular.

And, and, and Iwould love to hear response to this hypothesis that I have is, Is, I feel thatthough a lot of people see it as having an end date, right? We all see like oiland gas having an essential end date where we then have the sustainable renewalenergy. The more people I talk to within energy in particular know that that's,that's not, that's not anything we'll see for a long time.

So we have tofigure out this kind of relationship with it and need by the innovation. Whatwould you say? Am I, am I kind of close to it? What would you add in that? Orwhat do you completely disagree?  

Meade:So the end date, let's mention this for a second. The end date isn't gonna bein my lifetime. Yeah.

Probably is notgonna be in my kid's lifetime. All right. Because the sad reality of it is weapproach talking about energy as an as Americans, right. Where we haveeffectively unlimited money. Right. Relatively we the, there, if we wanna solvesomething, we can just throw dollars at it, right?

Yeah. But when youtalk about developing nations across the world, they can't just jump ahead tosolar because of the cost. That's a real concern. I mean, I recently got aquote to put a solar panels on my roof, all right? And they quoted me $120,000.All right. Insane. Luckily I'm in a financial spot where, you know, that's aconsideration.

I do want solar onmy house, but you're telling me that the average Joe is gonna shell out$120,000 to go off grid with their house? No, no, that, that's it. It's a firstworld type problem, right? Yeah. And so the end date is far. Further down theline than I think anybody's willing to talk about.

And frankly, I thinkthat that's because we need three geniuses. And when I say geniuses, I'm notjust talking about your, buddy Joe at the bar who's, smarter than everybodyelse. He's really smart. Yeah. No, I'm, I'm talking about your Nikola Tesla,not must Tesla, but Nicla Tesla types.

Right. Those thatAlbert Einstein's, right. The, the, the just cr crazy. Intelligent people,people that are on a different plane, and the three problems that they need tosolve is energy storage. All right. We need a more efficient way of doing it.Yeah. A lot of chemists believe that lithium ion is about as good as we can getwith battery technology.

We'll be fightingover scraps for an extra few percent worth of storage. Yeah. All, and we don'thave enough lithium mines available to power this world off of lithium ionbatteries. All right, so that's a problem. Solar panels. Solar panels are onlyabout 19% efficient. All right. And then finally, actually converting that DCpower into AC power.

Our world works offof AC power solar panels. And batteries put out DC power, and when you convertit from DC to ac you lose about 30% of efficiency off the top. So you'retalking about 19% efficient. It goes into the battery, you trickle, you losecharge to the to the atmosphere when it's stored in a battery.

And so they lose afew percent there. Yeah. Then you lose another 30% when it's converted toactually be used by the end user. Yeah. All right. And, and, and so it, it'sjust, it there, there's a lot of problems with it right now, and we, we needincredibly smart people to solve those problems and while they're solving thoseproblems, you, you ha can have people like me.

Who are solving theproblems within the more traditional energy sources today. Right? Yeah. Oil,natural gas, hopefully more natural gas and oil. And hopefully we get moreinvolved in nuclear in the future. Yeah. And, and even hydrogen production. ButI digress going back to why I believe people are not knocking as involved inoil and gas as they should.

I think it's becauseit, it. It's an accessibility problem. Mm-hmm. I think unless you grow up inOdessa, Texas, where, you know, you look around you and there's the, there's,pumpjacks everywhere, right? Yeah. There, there's drilling happening all aroundyou. Right. And it's fundamental to your community.

I think it seemsintangible. To a lot of people, yeah. They know that the oil and gas industryexists, but you know, it's never something that they actually dream of goinginto. Yeah. And which is sad because there's so much innovation that needs tohappen here. It is a fascinating industry. Remember, some of the mostincredible mechanical engineering in the world.

You're talkingabout geology and rocks and Yeah, the environment and money and everything. Imean, there's a role in oil and gas for everybody.  

Julian:Yeah. Well, I was gonna also, I was gonna add that, with the. I'm excited aboutthe popular, popular popularity, the gaining and popularity that AI has.

Obviously with chatgbt, kind of kind of pushing it to the mainstream, but realizing it's actualpotential in companies like yours and seeing, maybe that's the bridge. Maybeit's where can I use this cool piece of technology and innovation. In somethinglike oil and gas or healthcare or something that you don't necessarily thinkabout as, in, in needing the cutting edge.

But I don't know. Ifeel like things are shifting in a way that we can, we see use cases forparticular things and, and like to think about ways we can replicate in underindustries.  

Meade:Well just look at the industry of asset management. Okay. Right? Yeah. Yeah.There are people that have made starred billion dollar companies just throwingGPSs into trucks.

Yeah. All right.And then sending that data to the cloud wirelessly to then be viewed on somedashboard that you probably could have paid a college student $10,000 to writethat g i graphic user interface, right? Yeah. I mean, fundamentally that's soeasy, right? Yeah. Yeah. A GPS chip is like, you can buy a breakout board of a GP S board for like 15 bucks.

Alright. I mean,hardware costs just for with barely engineering it. You're talking about like80 bucks to build one of those yourselves just as a prototype. Right. Andyou're telling me that started a billion dollar company. Right. And, and sothere's a lot of low hanging fruit out there, whether it's in oil and gas ortrucking or vessel transport o on the water or it, the d o d right there,there's a lot of problems due to the bureaucracy within the Department ofDefense that they're trying to solve.

Right. I knowthere's legislation coming out about br making the Humvees, or there's beendiscussion of legislation anyway making the Humvees electric. Yeah. And what amore brilliant thing to do, right? Assuming that you can armor the batteriesand you choose non-flammable chemistries, et cetera.

Right? But that'sbrilliant. How far are those Humvees driving every day? Yeah, not very far.Right. They're just, clear clearing out an area, coming back home. Right. Andso you can just have solar panels, never have to ship in your own gasoline ordiesel. All right? You ha you electric cars have like 90% less maintenance thanan internal combustion engine vehicle.

Mm-hmm. So, I mean,there, there's just so many places that, yeah, just small improvements mean theworld of difference to the industry.  

Julian:Yeah, yeah. And thinking about, obviously, shifting gears back to mIQroTech,what's been exciting about, what traction you've seen thus far? And obviouslyyou, you talked about some hardware kind of upgrades, but what's particularlyexciting about kind of the next milestone you're looking to achieve?

Meade:Yeah, so next milestone. We're closing a large fundraising round actually as wespeak now. A huge fundraising round. So, with that money 21 million, we'rereally hoping to expand our market internationally. So we have a fewinternational clients, but they're kind of far and few between. We have one inItaly.

We're working withJapan now middle East, et cetera Chile. But really what we want to do is makesure that we go global with our mission. Right. And so that means findingpowerful distribution partners of which we have a number that we're signing upright now. Yeah. What that also means is expansion of our technology stackespecially on the artificial intelligence front, because I believe what's moreincredible then our hardware is our data.

Yeah. And what wecan do with it. And what type of questions we can solve for this industry andit kind of positioning us more as a Palantir than as a slumber J, if that makessense. Yeah,  

Julian:yeah, yeah. It was interesting. I'm, I'm thinking about, what you said aboutthe partnerships component, and, and I guess, I guess my question is what,what, what has to go well, or what, what would you predict will go well thatwill essentially help your company become massively adopted?

Because for me, itmakes sense, right? Every pipeline should have better sensors. Have moreintelligent ways to not only track, but also extract data. And then on top ofthat, be predictive so that you don't get to that critical state. Like it allmakes sense to me. But you know, that mass adoption, getting people to use theproduct and get onboard and integrated, what has to go well for that to, thatto happen?

Meade:I, I really do think it's just within this industry who you partner with. Allright. Once again, it's, it's it. It's a, it's a small industry, but a hugeindustry, right? Yeah. So everybody knows each other, right? And if you findthe right folks to champion your product, it will go everywhere. All right?Yeah.

And so working withthese distributors that know all of these potential champions, that's reallythe next goal to take us, all everywhere. Absolutely everything, right? Yeah.And that's concern. What?  

Julian:Who are those champions? Just outta if, if they were listening to the show,it'd be like, oh man, I could totally help meet out.

Meade:So yeah. So definitely within the US you, you, some of the biggest ones areKinder Morgan are a you al you also have Enbridge you have your traditionalsuper majors, Chevron, Exxon, Phillips 66. Yeah. Shell. Right. But really my,my two, two Moby dicks are Kinder Morgan and Enbridge.

Yeah, they'remassive firms that really know what they're doing. They do their best tooperate in the most efficient and safe manners. Right. And so they are really agreat, a great group, two great groups that I would like to yeah. Find a way towork with. Yeah. Yeah. As far as distribution is concerned yeah, we're actuallylooking to partner with a large Japanese hyper conglomerate within the nextmonth.

Julian:That's exciting, man. And, and I, whether it's, not, not to think about thepessimistic side, but you know, whether it's external or internal, what are,what would you say was some of the biggest risks for your company facing today?  

Meade:Yeah, so, we're closing the series B and by series B it's all aboutscalability.

Right? Yeah. Seed.Pre-seed. It's about building a prototype product, market fit type questions.All right. Series A is, can you deploy? Period. All right. Series B is aboutscalability, right? And so a, a lot of this has been derisked, but probably theriskiest things right now would be macro economy. All right.

I, I, I think thatthere's definitely some turmoil happening in the macro economy right now thatwe do not directly impact, and so that should cause some concerns for anystartup. Right. Look at what happened to Silicon Valley Bank. Yeah. Right. And.For a smaller firm, right? Let's say that you had 250,000 in funding sitting inSilicon Valley Bank, right?

That's devastatingfor you. But at that point, everybody's used to not working without a paycheck,right? Like, you're gonna be fine. But for a larger firm, could you imagine ifthat would've happened to like, I don't know, Walgreens or something, and theyhad all their money in Silicon Valley Bank?

Right. All of asudden people aren't getting paychecks at fucking Walgreens. Yeah. Alright. Themass panic of that. And so the, the, it's, it's, it's a concern, the macroeconomy, but, but more localized than that to mIQroTech. It's about hiring theright people, some of the biggest challenges I've ever had is just hiring theright people.

All right. I mean,those are the, they. They are both the greatest asset to any company, but alsothe greatest liability, right? Because especially early stages where let's sayyou are that company that has $250,000, all right? And you're looking to hireyour first engineer, right? This person asks for a $120,000 salary, and youhave two people who want the job, right, for the same amount.

Money. Yeah. If youpick wrong. Your company is over. Right? Like you don't get much time with thatengineer, and if they don't get it done on time, you're done. Yeah. Yeah. Andso hiring that right person is so critical, so critical. Especially early stageswhere you don't have the redundancy.  

Julian:Yeah, yeah. In thinking if everything does go well, what's the long termvision?

Meade:Long-term vision. So I see a few opportunities. So, we're looking at reallystarting this new product line that I'll talk to you about next year. Yeah. Anew, new product line that we're hoping to really be releasing to the productthe public next year. But that will answer the age old i p o or acquisitionquestion.

Sure. Right. Oncewe release that within a year after release, we will know whether or not we aredestined for i p o or acquisition. If I p o then I expect that to happen withinthe next three years from today. If acquisition, I would expect within twoyears. All right. And the potential acquirers would be probably firms thatwould surprise you.

Bm, Nvidia.Palantir, even Amazon. Yeah. All right. And that's because I, IBM tried to sellWatson to the oil and gas industry, spent billions trying to do it. Yeah. Andfailed. And the reason why they failed is just why every other AI company thatI in this situation will fail. Bad data. Yes. Yeah. Right.

If you feed an AIalgorithm, bad data. It's going to give bad results every single time. And thisindustry, it's full of bad data. And so that's why we do a hardware solution inconjunction with the AI solution is because without the hardware, we'd berelying on that unreliable data. Yeah. Further you think also,  

Julian: Iwas gonna say, do you think also, part of your edge is just knowing and, andhaving the experience in the industry?

I feel like a lotof AI companies come from it, from an outsider coming in, but seeing that youcan leverage it within is, is is interesting.

Meade: Ithink that's probably more on our strategy side, not necessarily the AI side,because with, with, guided ai alright, where basically let's kind of go througha theoretical.

How AI works withinour system, right? Yeah. How AI would work in our system is basically we see anevent, all right, let's see, we say we see a huge vibration spike. All right?And we're hearing something on the acoustic monitoring. And that's a red flag.Okay. Any statistical algorithm, standard deviation is picking it up, right?

Basian statisticscan pick it up, right? Foyer transfer forms can pick it up right. Once it's redflagged to then go to some form of AI comparative algorithm, right where we arecomparing. What we're seeing there, this new instance with previousfingerprints of issues that we've seen in the past.

Mm-hmm. Right? Andif we can match a fingerprint to what we're currently seeing, then all of asudden we have some percentage of likelihood. That that's what's actually goingon. And we can alert the operator differently depending on the threat, right?Is it a tree falling near the pipeline or is it, an unauthorized excavatordigging up the pipeline, right?

Those need verydifferent responses. One's a non-issue, right? Who cares if a tree's falling inthe woods, right? And then, An excavator digging up your pipeline. That's a massiveissue. That's code red. Get helicopters out there.

Julian:Yeah. I, I love this next section I'll call my founder faq.

So I'm gonna hityou with some rapid fire questions and we'll see where we get. I always like,oh, I always like to drop stuff. Always like to open it up with one particularis hard about your job day to day.

Meade:People. Yeah. I'm not, I'm not a, I'm not a people person. I, I, I'm actuallyprobably an obligate extrovert. I, I, it's, if you were to ask most people,they would say, I'm an extrovert. Extrovert. But when the day's done, dude, Ijust wanna work, like work on like a woodworking project I have going on in thegarage or garden or something like that. Yeah. I don't want to talk to anyone.Yeah.  

Julian:Yeah. What, what would you say is something professionally or at your company,what's something that you spend a lot of time on that you wish you wish youspent less and something you spend little time on that you wish you could spendmore on?

Meade:Probably finances and capital raising. Yeah. All right. Is what I spend a lotof time on that I wish I didn't have to spend the time on. Yeah. What I wish Igot to spend more time on is kind of this vision making and what can we becomeand what if we tinker that, at this sense or what could that do to ouranalytics, right.

The real CTO typestuff. I, I, I do miss that role.  

Julian:Yeah. And what, what in particular, you mentioned something like, seeing thiscompany grow you, you can really answer some really deep questions aboutwhether it's energy or oil and gas. What in particular do you hypothesize youcould have an effect on that you're not necessarily impacting now, but if thetechnology goes in that the direction you want it to, what's something that youkind of think you can have a significant impact on?

Meade:Everything. Yeah. Think of insurance. All right. These pipelines are insured. Iwould be able to say what the safe pipelines are to ensure. Yeah. All right.Talk about warfare. All right. If we were on the the the pipeline, the Baltic,that mysteriously was blown up, right? I could have told you exactly when ithappened.

Could have probablygiven you the ex category of explosive that was used. Yeah. And therefore itwould've vastly eliminated who the potential people Yeah. Were that causedthat. Okay. Yeah. And also by monitoring that flow rate, we probably could havepredicted this Russian invasion before it even happened.

All right. Andyeah. Think about Wall Street commodities traders. Okay. With these insights,it would be dangerous. Yeah. All right. Yeah. They'd be printing money. Allright. And, and so it, it goes on and on and on from there. Even gas prices,right? If we're true, if I could snap my fingers and we were on every pipelinein the world, I could tell you how much gas is gonna cost six, 10 months fromnow, because it takes, about that time to go from wellhead to refined productthat you're buying at the at the gas station.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. One thing I was thinking about when, when, you know, researchingyour company and your product is like, is there gonna be a point where yourproduct is so good that you essentially just like don't have a market anymore?You've created such good analytics that, has a result in creating amazinghardware that is, say impenetrable.

You can predict anyflood or any instance, like, will you think you'll ever build to outmarketyourself or do you think you'll just find new problems?

Meade:So, so I think we'll, Will reach market saturation right there, there youalways reach market saturation, right? Everybody owns an i a, a phone, most ofwhich own an iPhone, right?

So you reach thislevel of market saturation where you, everybody else is fighting for thescraps, right? Yeah. A, a, a. And so I think that will be a lead contender forthat market saturation dominance. But for for the Additional revenues that wewould need. We can bring this to any other industry.

All right. Whetherthat's hydrogen, CO2, sequestration domestic water, 30% of the S'S water isleaked. Yeah. All right. Yet, we have water crises in California. Right. Andso, yeah, like we can bring it all over the place. We can start to get into AgTech. We can start branching out into tangential industries.

And actually thatwould improve our statistics because take that farmer, Joe Pl excavating hisfield and striking a pipeline. Yeah. When do you think Farmer Joe is mostlikely to be excavating his field? Probably not during growing season. It'sgonna be either right at the beginning of growing season, right at the end, or.

When there are nocrops in the ground, right? And if we can say, okay, within these three months,this pipeline is at higher risk because it's not growing season and this farmergrows soy, which growing season is between X month and Y month. All of a suddenour analytics just got a lot better just by including one other industry.

Julian:Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the flow tracker that I think innovation, that, that levelof, of change in your company is gonna be game changer. Just having the abilityto flac track the flow, predict when those changes are, and how that's gonnaimpact, from beginning to end. I mean, That's gonna be exciting to see wherethat takes you may, maybe we'll have to do another podcast in a year, once,once that kind of gets underway and starts to really kind of, bring someawesome intelligence, I think, to a lot of this industry and, and, and othersalike.

Well, me, I knowwe're coming to the close the show and I know I, I love to ask this question.So, yeah. Just to jump out with it, what books or people have influenced orimpacted you the most, whether it was now or early in your career? What's,what's lasted in your, in your head?  

Meade:Jonathan Maxwell's Great leaders a good leaders ask great questions.

Scott Galloway'salgebra of Happiness actually, one that really impacted how I go about conflictis Jocko Willick's extreme ownership. All right. Yeah. So I love books read alot on leadership and business. Scott Galloway is by far my favorite act actor,author, excuse me.

Guys just fuckinghilarious. But As far as people are concerned my father-in-law is an incredibleman, Paul Sil. He's on my board. He's really kind of been this business idolI've had growing up since childhood. Yeah, Paul s is such a brilliant man.Yeah. And  

Julian:anything that you, you've taken for advice or perspective or mantra, anythingthat that's helped that other founders can use.

Meade:Difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is two days. Right? Andsimilarly, right. That's all of our problems, right? One of my another personthat's influenced me a lot is James Smedley, my patent attorney, all right?

And one time hetold me something very similar. Nothing's ever is, ever as good as it seems.Nothing is as ever bad as it seems. Yeah. All right. And it. I think that'ssolid advice because at the end of the day, startup land is just about notgiving up. The startup doesn't die because you're outta money.

The startup doesn'tdie if you know your COO quits, or the startup doesn't die, no matter whathappens until you quit. Yeah. Yeah. All right. The IP is still there. It'sstill alive. It's just how much are you willing to put into it? Right. Yeah.Yeah. And so well said. Just realizing that times get rough, times get better,right.

Startup land is thebipolar it, it's very bipolar in the highs. Yeah. Yeah. Lows.  

Julian:Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it's well said man. I know we're coming to the endof this show and I want to give a chance to give us your plugs and where we canfind you. But before we do that, is there any question I asked you or I didn'task you that I should have anything left on the table here today?

Meade:Not that I can think of. We talked about a lot today. Yeah. But if anybodywants to learn more about what we're accomplishing at mIQroTech, if they'reinterested in a job, or Kinder Morgan or Enbridge, if you're listening you canreach out to me via meade.lewis@miqrotech.com or visit the website,mIQroTech.com. I'm also on LinkedIn. Don't friend me on Facebook, please.  

Julian:We'll find you. We'll find, yeah, you'll find Facebook, maybe a, maybe anarchive. MySpace. Maybe a Tumblr. We don't know where you're at.  

Meade:Never did MySpace. Spacer. Tumblr.  

Julian:No, that's, oh, man. No, I'm just kidding me. It's been such a pleasure talkingwith you, man, talking about your early experience, but also, the oil and gasindustry, what innovation you're bringing to it, how more people can do it alsoand get involved. But you know what this would mean in terms of how it canimpact, not only your industry in oil and gas, but others alike.

It's been soexciting chatting with you and having this conversation. I hope you enjoyedyourself and thank you again for being on Behind Company Lines.  

Meade:It was great being here. Thank you.

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