BUS 145 — Product Management for the Internet of Things
Instructor: Daniel Elizalde
Daniel Elizalde, Founder, TechProductManagement
Daniel Elizalde trains product managers to become successful at managing IoT products through his IoT Decision Framework. He has over fifteen years of experience managing the lifecycle of IoT products. He regularly speaks at conferences and publishes the IoT product management blog TechProductManagement.
From the Survey
Longevity and continuity concepts in product design and business model operation for consumer IoT operation. By way of perspective, my home is 60 years old. My truck is fifteen years old. All of them still “work.” However, in the time span that I have owned the house, I have installed and a whole generation of television technology (the cutover to HDTV and encrypted digital cable from terrestrial broadcast analog signal transmission) and I have installed and remaindered two separate generations of analog and hybrid copper telecom infrastructure. Today I use a 2nd generation of VoIP (whereas AT&T committed to and abandoned their VoiP business line [CallVantage]). The challenge for IoT is how to provide significant lifespan to the technologies underpinning the services being offered. Product lifetimes are short, frequently being circumscribed to a single build plan or kickstarter initiative at all. More frequently now one sees abandonment of whole products and even lines of business in toto within a single fiscal year; c.f. Intel’s recent repudiation of their IoT product lines. By the time the class starts, the IoT SBC line, Edison, Curie, etc., will be in final-order EOL status.
What to Learn
The learning would be around business model development under ephemeral technology constraints and the tie-in to product design. One is very cognizant of the “How to Survive on a Diet of Poisoned Fruit” thinking. My trade is in and around online entertainment experiences. These are today are primarily driven from the WinTel platform, but moving onto Apple/Google. They are funded by advertising. The business model for the experiences is oriented around aggregation of “eyeballs” Success is measured in “unique user counts” or “gross rating points” or “daily active users.” Monetization (how the money happens) occurs through the introduction of gently intrusive messaging (advertising) wherein sponsors insert reminders of their call to action within the media being created. Whereas “data is the new oil”, the great martech and adtech machinery amplifies the efficacy of the media delivery by allowing audience-based buying and selling of the media. The current form of the media is “pages” or short-form linear media (video snippets). None of this makes any sense for an IoT world. It is unclear how IoT will fund itself. Consumers will simply not put up with advertising prior to turning on their thermostats or prior to commanding their oven to ignite. And having a $35-$100/month bill for a “connected light bulb fleet” doesn’t make any sense at all. We already do this for cell phones and telecom value-added services. Of course one can comprehend that budget-heavy enterprise solutions for predictive maintenance amortization will be useful, that too does not make sense in a consumer or household type setting.