Q1: How would you describe the current state of IoT?
A1: Highly fragmented. There is no one IoT. There are 50,000 use cases across 30 industries. Collectively, they are very valuable, but it is much harder than everyone thought it would be to achieve value.
Q2: Where are the successes in IoT right now?
A2: I like that some companies are stating to make money in IoT with real use cases. I am finding that the more I speak with people, the more interest that there is in the market.
The trick is to focus on specific solutions that are solving real problems. The people that do this will make real money as there is real potential beyond PowerPoint fantasies.
Q3: Where do you find the biggest undervalued opportunities?
A3: What is really interesting about IoT is that most of the use cases today are things that we could have done a few years ago with the available technology. The space gets much more interesting as the solution costs fall further and open up the market. The economics of connecting lower value items is just catching up with the market interest. Today, everyone is talking pulling data down from shipping containers or bicycles, but in a few years we will be talking about pulling data from Coke bottles and individual packages.
Q4: You spend regular time in China and have worked extensively in the region. What are your thoughts on the impact of the China trade war and COVID-19 on IoT this year?
A4: There is no simple answer to this. We are clearly seeing signs of the US and China decoupling. That being said, China is a large market and has an incredible manufacturing base. After the Trade War is resolved and the virus situation clears up, China and Chinese companies will still be there. I am continuing to see Chinese companies win deals and make some real, substantial contributions to IoT
Q5: What excites and interests you most about IoT today?
A5: I think we are just waking up to some of the opportunities out there for IoT. There are companies with real, untapped potential. Many of them may not even be aware of what they can achieve. I think we are going to see some really interesting developments as management make use of assets and talents they already have but pointed in new directions.
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