The Security Ledger Podcast
Episode 215-2: Leave the Gun, Take the McFlurry
In this episode of the podcast, we bring you the second installment of our interview with Jeremy O’Sullivan of the Internet of Things analytics firm Kytch. (The first part is here.) In this episode Jeremy talks about the launch of Kytch, his second start-up, which helped owners of soft ice cream machines by the manufacturer Taylor to monitor and better manage their equipment. We hear about how what Kytch revealed about Taylor’s hardware put him at odds with the company and its long-time partner: McDonald’s.
We generally view and talk about phenomena like “digital transformation” in a positive light. The world’s growing reliance on software, cloud computing, mobility and Internet connected “things” is remaking everything from how we catch a cab, to how we grow food or educate our children.
Jeremy O’Sullivan, co-founder of Kytch.
But what happens when that “digital transformation” is transformation to something worse than what came before, not the better? What happens when technology isn’t used to build a “better mousetrap” but to support a racket that enshrines expensive inefficiencies or a monopoly that stifles competition?
What the hell is going on?
In his week’s episode, we’re digging deep on that question with the second installment of our interview with Jeremy O’Sullivan, the co-founder of the Internet of Things intelligence start-up Kytch. As we discussed last week, O’Sullivan and his wife, Melissa Nelson, launched the company in an effort to use data analysis to revolutionize the industrial kitchen, starting with one common but troublesome piece of machinery: soft ice cream machines manufactured by the company Taylor and used by the likes of McDonald’s and Burger King.
Episode 147: Forty Year Old GPS Satellites offer a Warning about securing the Internet of Things
“What the hell is going on with the software on this ice cream machine? Why as the versions increase…is the software getting worse?” – Jeremy O’Sullivan of Kytch on the Taylor soft ice cream machines.
The Dark Possibilities of Digital Transformations
In this episode, O’Sullivan talks about how – as McDonald’s franchisees scooped up Kytch devices- his understanding of Taylor’s “business model” changed, even as the relationship with the company soured, culminating in what O’Sullivan alleges was the theft of a Kytch device and the reverse engineering of its proprietary technology.
Far more than a story about massive, wealthy incumbents crushing a smaller challenger, the Kytch story is one that hints at the dark possibilities of digital transformation,