Intoto – Creating a More Sustainable Environment
Frode Aagedal, CEO, Intoto is a passionate entrepreneur. He believes in the fact that sustainability coupled with better data insights and technology can reap desired benefits especially for government agencies. The company, in close collaboration with government agencies, is striving hard to make an impact in not only in its local area but also at a larger level. As an innovative leader, Frode’s deep operational insights and organizational management has helped him co-found Intoto, a platform for live river data which accelerates our sustainable understanding of water bodies. In an interview, he speaks on an array of topics. Excerpts from the interview:
Founding of Intoto – The History
“As one of three co-founders, it feels more like our story” notes Frode. He says that the idea to start Intoto began when they faced a massive river flood situation in their hometown. While everyone was busy with the evacuation, we were also faced with the daunting questions as to what will happen next. Will the water level rise, is it peaking, or going down? Unfortunately, the government authorities did not have answers to any of these questions and even worse, they had no data to conduct studies about a possible repeat incident in the future. “Our own random video coverage became the main data source. As technologists that triggered us to dig into it, we soon realized we could use our years of experience within web and hardware developments to make something of actual real-life importance. Since then, we have learned a lot. Basically, now we have a scalable platform of both hardware and software serving amazing high-quality local water data –in real time.”
Intoto is a platform for live river data which accelerates our understanding of water, how it affects us, and how we can manage this resource in a more sustainable way. They provide local data, facts, and predictions for local communities to use in river floods – before, during and after. “In addition, they can recommend more sustainable water courses, and support the hydro power and aquaculture industries with better data insights. It’s a kind of operating system built for water data.” adds Frode.
The Intoto Platform
Frode underscored the need to have a platform of both software and hardware components that you can deeply trust and can handle almost everything you throw at it or want out of it. “We aren’t talking about just a generic cloud platform with off the shelf sensors which is quite easy to set up but will limit quality, capabilities and innovations. Then I believe it is all about providing the best data possible, in a user friendly and transparent manner. Water data is useful and valuable for different stakeholders in different ways. It’s just like weather forecasts, and how those are useful and valuable for many people.”
The Pandemic Effect
Noting that communication between human beings has received a big boost of digitalization during Covid, Frode notes that new digital services have been conceived in a quick manner exhibiting of both good and bad characters. Personally, I think many of those who had limited human contact before Covid have had almost none in the last couple of years.” He opines that technology would still need few more years to become that channel that breaks boundaries between physical and online human contact.”
Improving Resilience and Agility
Stressing on the need to become more resilient and agile, Frode observes that working along with the government could be very stressful. “If you simplify the topic to data, both parties (the government and the people alike) should ponder over as to what would be the best solution for both the parties. I don’t believe that the governments have the best solution. Though they have the needs but often forget to play on the market on the solution front.”
Successful Case Study
“I think a big part of our success is working close with a variety of clients, and a deep understanding of the actual problems to solve, contributing with tech competence in non-tech environment. A lot of logic takes place in those discussions, but making the scalable solution is where it gets both more complex, and interesting!” High competence within the team and a deep desire to innovate are valuable, according to Frode. “Many of our clients are more production-based. So, I think when they now have started to trust Intoto, they see collaborating as a joint force and key to success.”
An Innovative Leader
“I really don’t think of myself as a natural leader. I just love to see innovations and technological magic come to life with a constant need of improvements, and will push people around me to such goals, beyond what they envisioned. I love nerds, those who are deep into something, almost no matter what it is. I believe you need to deeply care about a topic to make something amazing. I’m not sure Intoto would be what it is, without our own dramatic flood experience.”
Frode encourages all new leaders to think bigger than they ever thought was possible. “Make sure that work is of actual value in terms of technology, clients/market/income or traction and things take time” he chuckles.