Against the culture of “meh” and the internet of things.

Two weeks ago I nearly lost my shit. Gartner, a trends research group (or science fiction that costs a lot more to subscribe to) published their yearly Hype Cycle Chart, describing the Internet of Things (which they’ve only started adding to their chart in 2010 after “mesh networks” was doing rather well) as being “more than 10 years away” for the third year in a row. Well I sincerely don’t know what they’re smoking in Connecticut but they should come to Europe more often. Trends researchers have a disproportionate influence on the tech sector and C-suite executives who don’t have time to keep up with what’s going on outside their organisations and rely on outside opinion. This is totally fine, unless that source is living under a rock.

I seriously doubt we’re 10 years ago when:
– There are monthly meetups with thousands of members across the world
– The EU has been discussing and integrating #iot in its discourse for about 5 years
– The UK technology funding has invested millions in demonstrator projects (one of which, EyeHub, I’m involved with)
– Large corporations like IBM, Cisco & GE have used the term to brand their activities
– Startups are mushrooming everywhere (see the map I’ve been building)
– Incubators are present worldwide (see my friend Peter‘s writeup)
– The UK Parliament hosts advisory sessions around the topic (which I attend and try to contribute to).
I can fill my office with #iot products
– My friends are writing a book about #iot
– Products are getting funding on crowdfunding platforms because investors don’t get it.

We should remember that the people paid to write reports for the C-suite executives in technology will breed the type of opinion that Ken Olson had in 1977.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

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Founder of designswarm & the Good Night Lamp. Ex CEO of Tinker London, Head of Bulb Labs till May 2019.

2 thoughts on “Against the culture of “meh” and the internet of things.”

  1. Are you are mis-reading their graph? My reading of this report is a little different…I think is that it’s saying IoT will be a major thing, and that it’s just about to get very big, and its growth before it reaches equilibrium will take a long time.

    My interpretation:
    – IoT is just to the left of the peak, this means interest and excitment about IoT is about to explode (stuff moves to the right along the cycle over time)
    – Since IoT will take >10 years to reach plateau, they are are saying it will move relatively slowy through the cycle. So we can expect the peak interest to be held for a relatively long time. Note that “plateau” is pretty much where the technology stabalises and, I guess, innovation slows.

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