It sure is a fun time to imagine the possibilities these days. Jeff Bezos envisions a future where hundreds of mini drones zip around our airways delivering us our books and DVDs. Elon Musk wants to reinvent everything from the EV to cross-nation transportation to commercial space travel. And hundreds of other visionaries have who knows what up their sleeves.
The great thing about such lines of thinking is, these days nothing is really out of the question. Sure, it would take a miracle for the FAA to approve an army of Amazon drones taking flight on national airways. And yes, commercial space travel doesn’t seem feasible. But it’s pioneers like Bezos and Musk who continue to challenge us to think: Why not? Maybe drones won’t become mail delivery pods, but they are being used in many other interesting ways.
Gartner may have turned some heads when it predicted earlier this year that roughly 50% of the companies that will deliver upon the firm’s estimated $309 billion level for IoT (Internet of Things) by 2020 would be start ups. But it is not that far-fetched of an estimate. Just look around at the products coming to market these days.
More and more these ideas are being birthed by many and women who have nothing more than an entrepreneurial spirit and some venture capital (or a Kickstarter campaign). And such stories are the most awe-inspiring, in my opinion.
This past year alone I have had the pleasure of interviewing some of the most awe-inspiring entrepreneurs and innovators who simply don’t view the world in the same way as the average person. Take the folks at ube for instance. Speaking with Utz Baldwin and Glen Burchers earlier this year about what inspired them to create an intelligent platform to control it simply boiled down to the reality that Wi-Fi had become so ubiquitous and the price of giving any “thing” an IP address was so low that the bigger question would be: why not?
In the December issue we profile 10 pioneers in the space (including Musk). We had the pleasure of interviewing doctors who saw the smartphone as a tool to help monitor patients with Tuberculosis; a man who loves the game of tennis so much that he worked and worked on a racquet that uses sensors and microprocessors in order to improve the performance of these athletes; just to name a few.
Even some of the big “brands” have come from humble beginnings. Take Under Armour, for instance. The company perhaps most well known as an apparel maker and which is making a big push into IoT as of late, started from the basement of the founder’s grandparents. While it is still a ways behind chief rival Nike, don’t tell me they are not paying attention.
A recent report published by The Economist suggests that businesses should be prepared for an explosion of IoT-related data. I agree, but furthermore suggest that businesses should be prepared to find their stiffest competition coming from the “start-ups” that realize all the wonderful things that they can accomplish thanks to the ubiquity of technology these days.
We have long had an affinity for the start up here at Connected World. They are the tinkerers, the makers, the doers of the M2M/IoT world. It’s the very reason we have dedicated space at the Connected World Conference this coming February for a start-up pavilion. We have some exciting things cooking to feed the entrepreneurial spirit of this segment—details to come soon. Who knows what is to come, but don’t rule out anything.