The return of manufacturing & the benevolence of robots
THE SIGNAL- ISSUE 3
Thanks again for the feedback on our last newsletter. They’re fun to write and the positive feedback we’ve gotten has been gratifying. (Haven’t read it? Here it is. And our first one too. Don’t be shy. We‘ll wait.)
After the August slows, September has been event season. We went to CTIA Super Mobility and a lot of other events this month, among them Autotech Council Car Compute. We will moderate a discussion on industrial IoT at Keizai Silicon Valley. Other events include Telecom Council of Silicon Valley TC3, GE Minds & Machines, Gizworld Wearable Tech and IoT San Francisco (discount code here), and more. In addition, resident Blue Field Product Strategist, Sandro, will be participating at the I Love APIs conference on Oct 14th. He will draw upon his experience building out the AT&T developer program to answer the question: “how do you build grassroots support for digital?”
We liked the more focused CTIA Super Mobility, and not just because it’s eminently more walkable than CES and doesn’t involve a flight to Europe. It is back to being a wireless industry show, by and for people who work in wireless. We also would like to thank CTIA’s Innovation Council for investing in outreach to Silicon Valley and the startup community. Speaking of which, 26 startup lab finalists from CTIA’s 2015 Startup Lab are listed here, and here are the winners.
Manufacturing is back
One trend we are particularly excited about is the intersection of manufacturing and IoT. Companies that make big and meaningful stuff – engines, planes, trains – are showing up in Silicon Valley. This is great. These companies should be data nirvana for data nerds. Still, is this a product business or a service business? Rephrased, is on-ramping a manufacturer into the IoT world a consulting-led business (billable man-hours, scales serially), or a product-led business (license based, theoretically scales infinitely). After speaking with some startups in the space, it seems like the answer is…Yes. More on this in future issues.
Good robots, not bad robots
Some very smart peopleare afraid that we may all end up enslaved by our future robot overlords. (The first appearance of the word “robot” was in the Czech play “Rossum’s Universal Robots“. And yes, their invention led to the extinction of the human race. Asimov’s Rules of Robotics are inherently pessimistic.) So, it was nice to see some examples of good robots, like a tackling dummy at Dartmouth. Worried about concussions? Use a robot!
While we in the US remain ambivalent about our robot friends, meanwhile, in Japan, robots are seen as the solution to an aging and declining population. Note that Japan is hardly alone in having to deal with an aging population and low birth rate – it’s the canary in the coalmine.
Can you guess what country this is? Reply with your best guess to this email!
China sneezes, Japan catches a cold
We saw a great example of China sneezing and Japan catching a cold, via Terrie Lloyd’s Terrie’s Take, on how Japan’s Laox electronics chain’s shares have dropped 40% since China’s stock market turmoil began. (h/t to the amazingly prolific Terrie, whose weekly newsletter is on #810. That’s about 16 years, rain or shine, of informative epistles.)
The world we live in
We recently met someone with the job title “robot producer”.
Fall is lovely in the Bay Area – please come see us.
-Team Blue Field
P.S: Please forward this to three friends. Thank you.
HOW TO BUILD GRASSROOTS SUPPORT FOR DIGITAL Whether it’s in your title or not, are you an evangelist for digital or APIs in your organization? Connect with the community of “doers” like you who cajole, persuade, entertain, and sweat the details of creating momentum and catalyzing change–with or without formal authority. Learn more here.
Gizworld Conference 2015 Oct 27 & Oct 28 Gizworld Conference on Wearable Tech & IoT