THE SIGNAL ISSUE 2:- Our thoughts on connected cars, IoT device development, and Japan’s shift to temp labor


Connected cars, IoT device development, Japan’s shift to temp labor, and more


The summer slows seem to have ended – Bay Area roads, and our inboxes, are full again. We are glad about the annual Burning Man depletion – perhaps we can even hit a San Francisco restaurant or two while the Playa Players deal with that nasty bug infestation.  (h/t Annette Cardwell and Shanan Delp)


With that, welcome to the latest edition of The Signal.


First, thanks to all those who responded to our inaugural epistle. It’s great to hear from you. It turns out newsletters are a great way to stay in touch.  


These past several weeks, we’ve done some thinking around connected cars, and more specifically, autonomous cars and V2V/V2I information sharing, and how to get to critical mass so as to provide society-scale benefits: more efficient traffic patterns, fewer accidents, and, perhaps, fewer dents from people who just don’t know how to park.


In the past several months, we’ve had many conversations about IoT device development support as a service (IoT DDSaaS? Nah). In Japan, we visited the very well-appointed DMM.make Akiba, based on Tokyo’s Akihabara District, aka Electric Town. In San Francisco, we have PCH Highway1 and Hax, among others. There are a LOT of hardware accelerators now. Where the rubber will – or will not – meet the road is likely in the old-school functions of marketing and distribution.  


We recently gave a “Silicon Valley update” to a company visiting from overseas.  In it, we noted that corporate venture investment, in terms of share of deals with corporate venture participation, follows a sawtooth pattern (NVCA data).  Here it is. The percent of deals with CVC participation is shown on the right Y-axis. 2015-1H is almost on a par with 2007, a “peak sawtooth” year, though not quite at 1999 levels.  This seems noteworthy.

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 16.03.12.png


We spend a fair bit of time looking at and thinking about business in Japan, and see leveraging Japan’s growing body of temp labor and investing in child care infrastructure as key to unlocking growth. With that, we were happy to see what looks like progress on Prime Minister Abe’s plan to award three-year guest worker visas to caregivers.  The internship program that precedes it has been criticized as creating conditions equivalent to indentured servitude. However, we see guest workers as absolutely fundamental in dealing with Japan’s growing population of solo seniors, shown below.




More to come on this subject.


Have a great holiday weekend.  Please keep those emails coming.

– Team Blue Field

Electric Vehicles Continue Gaining Customer Acceptance 
A recent study commissioned by the UK Department of Transport, incorporating research from previous studies in the UK, the United States, and elsewhere, paints a picture of electric vehicles gaining a loyal finding… (READ MORE)”

Many Drivers Ignoring New Tech Features in Cars, Survey Finds
“Drivers are steering clear of some new technology in cars, according to a survey released Tuesday, raising questions about whether car makers are moving too quickly to incorporate sophisticated technology… (READ MORE)”

Google’s Tiny Self-Driving Cars are Coming into Austin
“Google is expanding the testing of its self-driving cars to Austin, Texas… The expansion marks the first time that these prototypes will be tested outside of Silicon Valley… (READ MORE)”

LG’s New Smart Sensor Will Turn Your Old Appliances into Connected Gadgets 
LG has announced that the company will be showcasing the latest smart home technology and products at this year’s IFA 2015(READ MORE)”

Autodesk Buys SeeControl, eyes Internet of Things Role 

“Autodesk buys SeeControl for its Internet of things management platform and plans to integrate it with its design software for manufacturing and building… (READ MORE)”

Best Buy Thrives on Internet of Things Complexity 

“For US electronics retailer Best Buy, there are two great drivers for success at present- the Apple Watch and the Internet of Things (IoT)… (READ MORE)”


Jon will be moderating the following events. If you are interested in attending, please register at the links below.

9/24- Keizai Silicon Industrial IoT event
The session will focus on industrial IoT (IIoT). Experienced panelists from leading companies in the IIoT field will discuss use cases to uncover potential challenges and opportunities.

9/30- Telecom Council of Silicon Valley TC3 2015
TC3 is a 2-day, executive summit, where the companies which are building and maintaining the networks come to find innovation.

Interested in our recent engagements and want to keep up? Follow our LinkedIn page here and check out our blog posts on our website here. 



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