Entrepreneurs often get lost in the hype of emerging technologies like the Internet of Things, failing to effectively integrate new tech into their startups, said Don Sharp.
“Whether it’s the latest, greatest thing or not — it’s no different than any other tool,” said Sharp, CEO of St. Louis-based Coolfire Solutions and panelist at RUMBLE’s Friday IoT: Beyond the Hype event. “People seem mystified by new technology. Some of it is our own darn fault — we speak in so many acronyms, the only place worse would be the United States military.
“When it comes to any kind of technology, especially in IoT, it starts with anything else you do in business: ‘What am I trying to achieve?’ and ‘What is ultimately the business value I’m trying to drive?’”
Hosted at Polsinelli, end-to-end IoT designer and integrator firm RUMBLE brought together four IoT experts — Sharp, Nadine Manjaro, Stephanie Atkinson and RUMBLE co-founder Perry Lea — to deliver insight to KC business leaders on the importance of effectively implementing the innovative tech, said Terri Foudray.
“Very few people know how to design and implement end-to-end IoT solutions,” said Foudray, RUMBLE co-founder and CEO. “IoT creates advantages for adopters and we want to ensure regional organizations have the information that will help them move forward successfully.”
Click here to learn more about Overland Park-based RUMBLE.
Implementing IoT solutions or any new technology is difficult if the task is outside the scope of the organization, said Manjaro, IoT consultant and CEO of Beyond Machine to Machine Communications in New Jersey.
“Definitely bring in people who have expertise,” she advised. “Don’t try to do everything yourself because I’ve seen this with so many large companies who say, ‘Yeah, we can do this ourselves,’ but $20 or $30 million dollars later — it failed. The technology didn’t fail, they just didn’t understand the pitfalls.
“Get help early and start small,” she added.
The biggest hurdles for startup: being risk averse and failing to force needed change, said Sharp.
“It’s the number one thing I consistently see,” he said. “When you’re innovating, it’s about failing fast and learning quickly. By definition, you have to fail. That flies in the face of every mature organization’s compensation structures, performance reviews, all those kinds of things.”
“If you don’t have that culture of innovation, your competitor does,” added Lea, co-founder of RUMBLE and a Microsoft principal. “You have to embrace these new technologies. We talked about a lot of hype today, but you have to go beyond that, and say, ‘How do these technologies work for me and my customers?’”
Lea recently published “The Internet of Things for Architects.” Click here to learn more about the book.