I recently got to be a guest at a FarmLogs board meeting. I was struck by how much of an impact the company was having on the world, and how just a couple of years ago it seemed like they were doing something so small.
FarmLogs is a great example of a company that started out with a seemingly boring idea--a way for farmers to store their data in the cloud--and has developed into a way for farmers to run their entire farm, gather all the data about a particular piece of farmland, and optimize production. The company is now used by 20% of US row crop farms, and those farms are all more productive than they were without the software.
Eventually, FarmLogs can become the operating system for efficient, semi-autonomous farms.
Technology is about doing more with less. This is important in a lot of areas, but few as important as natural resources.
We need technology like this to meet the resource challenges that the planet will continue to face as the population grows and standards of living continue to increase. In fact, we need another hundred companies like this.
The good news is that it’s doable. FarmLogs is only three years old (YC Winter 2012). The company has used less than $3 million of capital so far, and with it they have already helped farmers gain hundreds of millions of dollars in efficiency. The software revolution is making it possible to create world-changing companies relatively quickly and with relatively modest resources.
And importantly, they started out doing something that any two programmers (with domain expertise in their market) could have done.