A friend was asking me why people should go to IoT Evolution Expo in Las Vegas, August 17-20 instead of his favorite association show. It’s a fair question, and in many industries the associations are fantastic at projecting the values of the industry and protecting their members from regulatory harm.
When it comes to IoT, though, can we really have an association that represents every aspect of the business? And for that matter, should we?
The term free association in psychology is about people working it out for them selves rather than parroting others’ ideas. As I talk to people in the industry, I am amazed how few people go to the same events. Some go to events only about cold chain and logistics, others go to telematics shows.
I look over all these events and I see their value. But I also see how easily innovations can be missed because the existing market is adapting the new technologies.
My mentor calls these experiences a red ocean. Lots of people and lots of focus, but the measurement does not change so the market is crowded. I get that. When I think with my “Bell Head” I am all about network efficiency and all I want to do is talk speeds and feeds. And clearly there is a reason for some of us to focus there.
However, a red ocean does not enable the innovators. You have to navigate to a blue ocean to explore new opportunities.
The other day, I came up with this idea to explain the blue ocean opportunities. Take you smart phone out and put it next to your home line or office phone. How much similarity is there in these devices? Now put it next to you TV? Closer, but still not similar. Smart phones found a blue ocean somewhere in between.
Now put your phone next to your thermostat, your car’s dash, and any other appliance and ask yourself: where are these blue oceans?
The answers are probably going to be in the palm of your hand. On a broader level, the software is going to impact not just your experience but the experience of every business that supports your life. From Auto Mechanics to Window Insulation, the association of IoT solutions will change the efficiency and opportunities all around us.
IoT Evolution Expo is not going to boil a red ocean for you with the groups you normally associate with your business. It’s going to put you in uncharted waters with blue oceans for you to navigate on your own.
All we can do is wish you a hearty bon voyage.