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Coming out of the coalmine: the grown up challenges of the internet of things.


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Talk given at the BLN IOT Forum on March 11th 2015.

Published in: Design
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Coming out of the coalmine: the grown up challenges of the internet of things.

  1. 1. Coming out of the coalmine. The grown up challenges of the internet of things. @iotwatch / @GNLamp /
  2. 2. About me First distributor of the Arduino in the UK in 2007-2010 (Tinker London) Consultant since 2010 (designswarm) Founder of the Good Night Lamp, a family of internet connected lamps for your global family. Organiser of the London Internet of Things Meetup (Biggest #iot meetup in the world) On @iotwatch
  3. 3. Some Clients
  4. 4. No longer problems Real problems Non-problems This talk is about:
  5. 5. WARNING This talk will not apply to you if you are B2B Large corporation
  6. 6. No longer problems I’ve been organising @iotangels and we are now getting VCs coming when this was targeted at angel investors. Industrial design firms are starting to work with startups to help with better engineered products for crowd funding campaigns (Hackaball, Evos). Lots of competitions with cash prizes and incubators to choose from. Large corporations understand this isn’t a fad.
  7. 7. Interoperability implies that corporations have a vested interest in working with their competitors. Security & Privacy will always be an issue as long as we ask people to create an account and a password online or offline. Non problems
  8. 8. Incubators / accelerators are not necessarily attracting entrepreneurs. “It was great while I was there but there was no support after” Are they replacing an MBA or design course? Real problems 1/
  9. 9. A 1 month residency with free access to manufacturing resources, talent, advice and no money whatsoever. An entrepreneur will know how to make that work to their advantage. Digital Catapult have a part of that model. More needs to happen. Idea 1
  10. 10. Real problems 2/ A strong market for a consumer product is built over the course of many years. This clashes with the startup discourse and financial success we know from web/app startups. We should look to the cottage industries model instead. (Sugru, Tatty Devine)
  11. 11. Real problems 3/ Most consumers have no idea what we’re on about. We are terrible at explaining the value of #iot to consumers & citizens which is why most smart city programs are not funded with council tax money. Decision makers are nervous about how these applications will be perceived.
  12. 12. Idea The UK government created the Council of Industrial Designers after the 2nd World War and started a high street showcase of British designers work. Let’s do that again for #iot. Give consumer and retailers an opportunity to learn from this and get familiar with new products.
  13. 13. Real problems 4/ It’s a goldrush, so people are selling shovels. (Software platforms, Hardware tools & education platforms) Let’s not stop there. We need to support consumer applications that are solving real problems (Kemuri) but aren’t shiny and entertainment based.
  14. 14. Idea Someone start an #iot investment fund with a bank please? Returns within 7 years, not 2. Seed & Super angels investments (up to £250K) will go a long way.
  15. 15. Homework Think about what you know you should be doing with your investment fund or R&D. Think about how many actual entrepreneurs you know and how you’re helping them, not just learning from them. Think about how many times you say ”too risky” instead of “why not”.
  16. 16. By walking, one makes the road and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. - Antonio Machado.
  17. 17. Good luck. @iotwatch / @GNLamp /