We talked to Nicolas CARPi of Deltablot about the electronic lab notebook and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nicolas CARPi: Good.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Deltablot.
Nicolas CARPi: I worked for 15 years in academic research laboratories and needed a good software to log my experiments (electronic lab notebook). But I couldn’t find one, so I created eLabFTW, and it immediately became a popular open-source project. Last year I decided to create a company to provide PRO support and PRO hosting to companies, universities, and research labs all over the world. There is a strong demand for quality, open-source software for research.
How does Deltablot innovate?
Nicolas CARPi: Using the latest technologies and always fighting the “legacy code” is important. We’re always looking for ways to improve the security of the software, along with maintainability (a very important point!) and general quality. Only good backend software can provide a pleasant frontend experience for users at the end of the day.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nicolas CARPi: I would say that the impact was positive for us, as people realized that using an electronic solution was the way to go, to make remote work possible. As we sell software support/hosting, there was no negative impact on our activity.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nicolas CARPi: Nothing of that sort, no we did not have to make any difficult choices.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Deltablot in the future?
Nicolas CARPi: I drink Earl Grey tea and play video games. Right now, I still have a full-time job as a research engineer in an academic lab, but business is booming, and I’m seriously considering reducing the time on this job to give more time to the software and company I created.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nicolas CARPi: Some of my competitors are very big companies (some are selling fighter jets, to give you a hint on their size), but they make closed source, proprietary software. My advantage is to propose free and open-source software that can be audited and improved by the community. And that will work in 20 or 30 years at no additional cost. It’s really a very different philosophy than paying 20000€/year for a piece of software over which you have absolutely no control.
Your final thoughts?
Nicolas CARPi: I believe open source software is slowly but surely winning. Whole countries are passing laws to use OSS instead of paying Microsoft or other companies to get crappy software in exchange.