As IOTAS was forming, I had a fascinating conversation with a good friend of mine, an executive at a large OEM company, that changed my vision for IOTAS. We were in Las Vegas for CES 2014 and dining at a beautiful restaurant in the Wynn Hotel. Around us there were carts of large lobsters being pushed around and numerous servers rushing to serve diners plates which were laden with steak cuts that were well in the $50+ range. In the tables around us, you could easily hear large deals being made over the din of wine glasses and cutlery.
Wealth was flowing all around us, and yet, my friend leaned over and said, “You know what concerns me the most right now?”
“What?” I asked.
“Ha.” I laughed. “Because you’ll end up on the wrong side of the revolution when it comes?”
We went on to discuss the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots in the world. I looked around the dining room, which was a good representation of the gap and there was a wide chasm between the diners and the servers, economically speaking, which seemed almost impossible to cross. What were the main differences between the two groups? My theory is that most of the people dining in the room, were generating income while eating their fancy surf n’turf, some probably more income than they were spending at that moment, which is a lot. On the other hand you have the servers in the room who have to earn every penny through direct labor. They don’t have the opportunity to generate passive income. And seriously, let’s say they could put a little away into savings, what kind of return would they get? Nothing. It’d be so minimal that they would not be able to claw their way across the gap using traditional means of savings. So what is the thing that the economically disadvantaged groups have that they can monetize to generate passive income? How have others monetized this group?
The information age has created tremendous wealth. There are companies in Silicon Valley and many individuals who have accumulated so much wealth that they are having trouble giving it away. But why accumulate so much wealth in the first place?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to be another technology revolution that will generate billionaires and companies akin to Google, Apple, and Facebook. These companies generated their wealth with one simple notion – get eyeballs to constantly be engaged with them. Why not start an IoT company that builds into its core value system the notion of sharing the wealth it generates with those eyeballs?
So how does one do that? Generate wealth, not only for your own employees, your clients, investors, shareholders but also the audience that participates in the valuation of your company?
Well, first, let’s find the audience as I talked about in my previous post, and understand their needs. Let’s figure out a distribution and marketing strategy that won’t crush the company doing customer acquisition. Let’s provide an industry with something that they are missing and add value.
Our tactic is to first help the Real Estate Industry by offering them an Internet of Things as a Service (IOTAS) that will give them:
- A marketing differentiation – which gets more people to check out their buildings
- Show vacant units faster – which means more apartments rent faster
- Increase profits – through better management and higher income from premium rent
By ensuring that the Real Estate Industry gets immediate value from IOTAS we will gain wide adoption. Once we have enough adoption and distribution by the industry, we hope to provide the industry with an infrastructure that will give them a path to exponential revenue streams such as software, services, and applications. What do I mean by this? I come from the mobile industry and when I watched those ‘dumb’ phones that just made voice calls become ‘smart’ it opened up a whole new revenue source for phone manufacturers. They were no longer in the business of selling hardware but software, which completely changed their business models. Some adapted quickly and dominated, like Samsung, others fell behind like Sony and new players rose like HTC.
For the Real Estate Industry adopters, this will mean that they are no longer bound by the box and selling just the 4 walls and a roof but can generate revenue using their buildings to provide services and software for the ESPN, Amazon, and Ubers of the world. They will no longer look at rent as their main source of income. What would this do to rent? Would it become commoditized like your phone bill’s Minutes? Does anyone remember how much Minutes cost anymore since they mainly think about their Data allowance?
Through the Real Estate industry we will be able to distribute IOTAS to our audience and reach them in their homes. We want our audience to know that we value them and their lifestyle and we are in their most sacred space, their home, and we respect that space. We hope that they will understand that an IOTAS Home is very different than a regular smart home because an IOTAS Home will take care of them, will understand what they need when they need it, it will differentiate them from intruders, and it will do everything it can to treat their stuff, their privacy and their data with utmost care. And when they are ready and we have sufficiently proven ourselves to be the best ally, friend, roommate, guest in their home, we hope to help them to generate passive income through careful management and brokering of their data.
Stated very simply, we want to help the Real Estate industry digitize itself and create new revenue sources so that we can gain wide adoption by them to be inside their buildings. Once there, we hope to help their residents generate passive income through brokering of their own data in the way they see fit.
Our plan is simple, our vision hopeful.