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How do you bring internet connection in the middle of the Sahara or the Atlantic Ocean?

This Google X startup may have found a solution.

Taara is a Google X startup aiming to expand global access to fast, affordable internet by simply using beams of light.

Yep ... think of these as traffic lights beaming data.

By leveraging wireless optical communication technology, the startup aims to transmit data through beam of lights, instead of having to lay physical fiber cables in the ground.


Because fiber connection has a problem.

It presents deployment complications (digging trenches, laying lines) that greatly undermine its expansion at scale especially in remote areas (like deserts, forests and oceans).

I discovered that the idea for Taara actually arose when the Google X team was working on Loon, a different project started years before to bring Internet in the deserts using stratosphere balloons.

At the time, the team had to find a way to transmit data from balloons in space to Earth and managed to get some early success using wireless optical communication technology.

Hence they asked themselves: if we can do that, why not using light to provide connectivity instead of sending balloons in space?

And that's how Taara started.

You see, this is something super important that I've also learnt in the startup I'm working with.

I call this exercise the "Question Yourself Test".

What's this all about?

It's a simple question you should ask yourself every now and then to be sure that what you're building or doing can lead to the best possible outcome in the future.

If you had to restart everything from scratch, is there anything you would do differently? If yes, what would you change?

You see, it's only after you work on something for some time that you can truly grasp its different facets and learn what works best.

And the "Question Yourself Test" simply helps you understand if what you're doing is still the best use of your resources in order to achieve the best possible outcome in the future even after all your learnings.

Long story short.

Never stop questioning yourself and don't be afraid to pivot. Never.

Written by @Giacomo Bottoli

Giacomo Bottoli


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