I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the so-called ‘Internet of Things.’ It’s such a poorly chosen buzzword because it calls too much attention to the fact that devices will be connected, which will fade to the background over time–the layers on top of the connection are what matter. Earlier this year, my colleague Ashwin and I hammered out some bullet points on what we believe about this Internet of Things:

  • Connecting a device is not an end in-and-of itself; it is an intermediate step–providing new and myriad data to be collected and put to use
  • The majority of the initial winners in the IoT space have been/will be single-point solutions and consumer products, but this will not remain the case over the long run
  • Long term, the opportunities lie not in these point solutions, but in the platforms, tools, and infrastructure that support new and novel devices and applications
  • These new connected devices and applications enable previously disconnected verticals to become adjacent and synergistic
  • Companies in this space will need to become experts in finding value in collected data, and in using them to unlock a new value store or to remove friction or cost from an existing process
  • The magical experiences happen not when a device is connected, but in the software that with which the users interact. UX/UI will be more important than ever and simplicity will trump capability
  • Decreasing hardware and software development costs allow for new approaches to testing and optimizing customer experience
  • IoT has the potential to deeply impact almost every industry. Incumbents that are late to the party will have large parts of their business disrupted
  • The stakes are higher when it comes to security and privacy. There are already so many things that can go wrong with the ‘regular internet’ when it comes to security. When you add in physical things that are likely to be a part critical life/home/business processes, any mishaps or flaws have increased potential to be more sensitive and possibly even dangerous from a physical harm standpoint