Jul 21, 2014

The Hype of IoT

We all know fads are short-lived, and while some become mainstream, others don’t necessarily succeed.

For example, Crocs, the foam clog company, burst onto the scene in 2006 and is now a $1 billion company.

Silly Bandz, silicone rubber bands formed into shapes, became a sensational trend in 2008 and by 2010, they were found in an estimated 30,000 stores in 15 countries. But today, they are nowhere near the top of the list of what their target market wants.

Like fashion, the technology sector also experiences hype-fueled fads.

So how do we know which are temporary and which will stand the test of time?

In the late 90s, if a company put a “.com” after its name, the valuation would shoot through the roof. So lots of companies tried it, and by 2000, it was clear that the whole thing was a house of cards. At the same time, companies like Amazon, eBay and, of course, Google made it through and became huge successes. So putting a .com at the end of the company’s name may have helped in the short-term, but it was not real.

In the last four years, it seems every company, organization and cause has tried to create an app. Simply put, apps are hot, so why not create an app thereby transforming your entity into a hot item. Of course, we now know that an app alone does not equal success. The app has to be relevant and useful. Otherwise, it will go nowhere.

And so, with all the hype surrounding IoT, I’m asking myself, is this time different? Is every Tom, Dick and Harry company talking about IoT because it’s real, or do they just want to connect with something exciting so people will consider them more relevant and important?

The answer is that while IoT is undoubtedly hyped, it’s for good reason. There’s a solid vision and promise along with the hype.

I have no idea which industries – if any – will ultimately not be involved in IOT. What I do know though, is that IOT will impact industries that you’d least expect, conservative industries like insurance, manufacturing and agriculture.

So it’s silly to compare IoT to a fleeting, hyped-up fad like Silly Bandz or the dot-com craze of the late ’90s. IoT will flourish from concept to reality and will evolve with the inevitable advances in the tech world. Only time will tell the force of IoT’s great and broad impact.