Thursday, September 29, 2016

Successfully Marketing Your Internet of Things (IoT) Idea

Recap of the 9/27/16 Kirkland, WA AppsJack Business Services Meetup

Last night we held the September AppsJack Business Services Meetup.  The meetup was held at the Big Fish Grill in Kirkland, WA and we had a good turnout.  The topic was Successfully Marketing your IoT idea and we had a great discussion on the topic.  Below are the highlights from the night.

We had a great turnout. At the event were:

  • Berry Zimmerman
  • Eric Veal
  • Richard Webb
  • Rex Chen (First time attending.  Welcome, Rex!)
  • Mike Pritchard
  • Christian Harris (First time attending.  Welcome, Christian!)
  • Andrew Sengul
  • Dominic Wong 
  • Steve Kubacki

Richard shared about three IoT products he uses (Tile, Cocoon, Amaryllo and Rex told us about his home automation IoT business.  Eric talked about his past IoT experiences with InKlood.  We talked about BlueTooth beacons and entrants from players like facebook to make this technology ubiquitous.  Also mentioned were local IoT companies like Pebblebee and Footmarks  Richard complained about the data from these devices being stored in China and joked about how these would be perfect tools for the government to monitor people.

Security and Privacy come up a lot in the conversation about IoT because they are such concerns.  There was a belief that the younger population had less concern about privacy.  But when it comes to security, surely we all have a concern there and want to be safe.  Some people might not know (perceive) what is and isn't safe.

We came up with five pillars of IoT.  They are:
  1. Sensors/Instrumentation
  2. Analytics and BI/Insights
  3. Data/Big Data/Storage/Persistance
  4. User Experience (UX)/Software/Telemetry
  5. Trustworthy Computing (Choice, Control, Notification)

Some of the best quotes from the evening were:

"Mind reading is a very good thing." ~ Steve Kubacki

"People want mediated relationships." ~ Christian Harris

"IoT is dead.  We have figured it out.  The next big thing is Augmented Reality.  And Pokemon Go." ~ Richard Webb

"We are seeking connection.  And meaningfulness." ~ Steve Kubacki

"I worry that IoT is selling drills, not holes." ~ Mike Pritchard

"Consciousness has changed." ~ Steve Kubacki

"What about an intranet of things?"  ~ Mike Pritchard

"My experience is not a thing." ~ Steve Kubacki

Mike P. brought up the idea about Ludites and Luditism; that they are actually a constant on the planet.  There will always people be behind the curve who want to go back to the way things were or keep things they way they are.

Dominic wondered which country was the leader in IoT.  Richard believes it is Europe.  Three of the devices that Richard has were created in France, for example.  Dominic also wondered which organization (company) was the farthest ahead on IoT.  Richard and Christian thought the government (intelligence) and also institutions like NASA where the space shuttle has IoT capability "down to the screw level".

Eric raised that he sees IoT doing a great job of providing "Just in Time" capability for many scenarios. Andrew raised the point of things NOT showing up just in time (just a bit too late).  There is risk in systems like this.  He raised the idea of Complementary vs. Competitive Technologies which was talked about on the Tim Ferriss Podcast.  The idea is that complementary technologies help humans be better even when they are not in use, whereas competitive technologies actually take some thing away (reduce our capability) after use (dependency).

"Visual Reality" as a category to include Augment, Virtual, drug-enduced and "real" reality.  The concept is probably best considered as "Sensory Reality" to encapsulate the various human senses.  The idea is that there are many channels / senses and ways to override or modify themm through technology.  So we need an abstract construct (Sensory Reality) to talk about the human's experience and the associated dyanimics / channels of that experience.

The practice / capability of "Airgapping" an environment.  In information technology, this is when information can go into an envrionment but cannot leave it.  Of course there are workarounds and ways areound this but it's an interesting concept for security at even micro scales.

The question "What are the things of IoT and what things are not the things of IoT?" was asked. The group concluded that pretty much all things were things in IoT at macro and micro scales.  Eric said that IoT is like an easy to use design tool / pattern that many people could employ by just talking about things (the world) and technology (the internet) and what's possible.  It changes, perhaps, focuses / normalizes the conversation in many ways.  Especially now that we have a platform of big data to support these ideas and scenarios.

Steve shared that there are two forms of perception: Direct and Constructive perception.

Possible topics for the next meet that were floated were "Risk, Compliance and Resiliency" (the scheduled topic), Cloud Computing (requested by Dominic), a follow up on Marketing IoT (requested by Rex), and something that ties into the pattern "Successfully Marketing your ______ idea."

For the next meetup, I will plan to capture the sound so it is possible to go back and pick out some of the great moments, exchanges and quotes.