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It’s been nearly four years since I first came across this intriguing article from Business Insider titled Here’s Why ‘The Internet Of Things’ Will Be Huge, And Drive Tremendous Value For People And Businesses.  As I read through the post, this quote jumped out at me …

“…we look at the transition of once-inert objects into sensor-laden intelligent devices that can communicate with the other gadgets in our lives.”

minorityreportHmm … makes me think of the scene from the 2002 movie Minority Report where the character John Anderton is walking through a public space and the various “devices” are reading his retina and advertising to him personally (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bXJ_obaiYQ). What seemed futuristic when the movie came out is actually not that far away.

Not too long ago, I was listening to a motivational speaker Seth Mattison talk about “the shift” where he intimated we are witnessing the greatest fundamental shift the world has seen since the industrial revolution … in the way we organize, collaborate, connect, and contribute.

  • From Hierarchical – methodical, structured, top down, command & control, centralized
  • To Networked – interconnected, exponential reach, decentralized, ubiquitous

For most of use who grew up with the hierarchical approach, we get the premise.  Think about it … from organizational structures, to marketing strategies, to support channels, to even programming languages … there were cultural do’s and don’ts, written and unwritten rules that guided out thoughts, actions, and experiences.

But for the newer generations, this just isn’t the case.  This quote from the Aspect Consumer Experience Index summarizes it well … “The pace of technological development is accelerating, creating new and unexpected customer interactions and expectations. Technologies that weren’t commonplace five years ago are now normal for an entire generation (e.g., Twitter, Snapchat, Yik Yak, Facebook Messenger, etc.).”

As Business & Product leaders, we must pay attention to the implications here.  Case in point, yesterday morning I decided to listen to a few TED talks on the way into the office.

In their own ways, each were pointing to this shift … the first pointing out the traditional pillars of management are obsolete … the second commenting on how iotcentralized institutions are giving way to a more distributed, transparent, autonomous system for exchanging value.

When you think about all of this in the context of this diagram, the various elements of our lives that used to be somewhat silo’d (our finances, our shopping & dining experiences, our social interactions, our homes, our entertainment choices) … they are all converging.  I love the context of an example I found while putting together a presentation on this topic …

  • Saw it on TV
  • Posted on Facebook
  • Socially endorsed by a friend
  • Ordered online
  • Paid with mobile wallet
  • Delivered to my door 90 minutes later

This is the world we live in now!  Preference driven, instant gratification (ie – real-time), seamless across any channel/device, and easy/friction-less.  Are you ready?