Q1: How would you describe the current state of IoT?
A1: Confused! Much of the business model and value proposition in today’s marketplace is somewhat speculative, and the real money trail is still embedded in traditional M2M marketplaces. The emergence of consumer IoT is going at a faster speed than industrial. Look at what is happening with Nest and others. These devices are becoming relatively easy to deploy by the average consumer. On the industrial side, people are still struggling with what it takes to create the value proposition, return on investment model and the relative complexity of the fulfillment stream (hardware, cloud services, software, etc.) I am concerned that there will be many tears because of false expectations of the speed and scale of IoT evolution. We will not see 50B connected devices in 2020, and maybe not in 2025.
Q2: What is an indicator of early success ?A2: A very important clue to look at is IoT services that have a subscription service element to them. A leading indicator for everyone to consider is the renewal rate of the service, regardless of whether it is either consumer or industrial. Is the service being renewed in the car subscription after the free period? Do they know how to engage the customer in a way that is meaningful?
Q3: What is the most common thing that you are asked from companies trying to participate in IoT.
A3: Honest perspectives on what it takes to get a solution to market, and how to pull it all together. Companies with very clear problems and defined returns for IoT often do not have the skill to define and integrate the hardware, connectivity, software and other elements needed for a successful launch. Choose your consultants wisely!
Q4: What is the dumbest thing you have seen in the market lately?
A4: I am not a big fan of connected toothbrushes! Companies are pushing the frontiers of applying IoT concepts where it makes no sense. The belief that multi-billion-dollar companies could move the needle on connected health in the near future was also misguided.
Q5: What excites you most about IoT today?
A5: Complexity, because in complexity lies opportunity to innovate and to allow intelligent people to expand their thinking. Complexity also provides an opportunity to make money, especially when you can simplify things.