Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: TechCrunch

A Quick Look at the Internet of Things

Via TechCrunchThe Internet of Things (IoT) is at the most basic level TCP/IP on everything. If that still doesn’t help don’t worry – basically, IoT is the idea that common objects which don’t already have a connection to the web will have one soon. This is already being seen in shoes that track runners to the (currently a gimmick) fridges connected to the web.

In the past couple of years the IoT has really taken off and more companies are getting into the space. Over at TechCrunch (which popularized a lot of web2.0 stuff) has a great image and article on the current IoT space.

The concept of the Internet of Things is not new (the term itself was coined in 1999), but it is now in the process of becoming a reality thanks to the confluence of several key factors.

First, while still challenging, it is easier and cheaper than ever to produce hardware – some components are open sourced (e.g. Arduino microcontrollers); 3D printing helps with rapid prototyping; specialized providers like Dragon Innovation and PCH can handle key parts of the production process, and emerging marketplaces such as Grand St. help with distribution. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo considerably de-risk the early phase of creating hardware by establishing market demand and providing financing.

Thoughts on Starting a New Business

Two nifty takes on planning a business have landed in my inbox in the past week and they both are good enough and flexible enough that I feel I should share them. First up is a new way to go about business planning and rethinks what the business planing should focus on.

The problem with the traditional business plan is that while it is a great *initial* exercise for the entrepreneur, we don’t yet have all the right answers but are expected to pretend we do. More importantly, we see the world differently and need help finding the right answers but the business plan format is not conducive for that.

It’s called the lean startup canvas and propose to not think about the product you’re creating but rather the business model that you’re creating. This may not sound radical but the change in focus can be helpful.

Thinking about the business model as “the product” is quite empowering. It’s not something you back into once you have a product with early traction to pitch investors. Rather, it’s something you can and should be actively building and testing from day one.

The canvas is focused on the business aspect of the plan, but what about living while you’re starting a business. If you read TechCrunch you’ll start to think that the only thing worth doing is working 20-hour days to start a company to sell it to somebody else – the act of creating a business for money is the thing we ought to aspire to.

The reality is that people need a good work-life balance. MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey has an excellent talk on his experience with finding that work-life business. Watch the video below or read his notes on his blog about the talk.

Webstock ’12: Matt Haughey – Lessons from a 40 year old from Webstock on Vimeo.

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