As if to underscore my previous posts on the extraordinary rapidity of disruptive change for the utility industry, This is turning out to be potentially more significant than the smart mobile phone revolution. Issues here include the utility industry’s failure to recognize a strategic change caused by disruptive technological change, and to respond to it, and the rapid acceleration in Adizes’ corporate life cycle model. Citibank is now predicting severe consequences for utility companies if they do not grasp the massive changes confronting them.
This is another of my Industry Analysis discussions for UBC students. This time it is perhaps as big an industry issue and clash of competing values as big as the smart mobile phone market, which I call the Mega Market War of Titans. It is about the intersection between two industries, which has recently morphed into a contentious clash. This is about disruptive new technology and strategic inflection points. So what has happened?
Stanford Graduate School of Business Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Tony Seba, will be our MGMT 450 Guest Lecturer, Thursday, October 10th, at 2:30PM in EME 2181, speaking on “Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Clean Tech.” Tony Seba is also an entrepreneur, author, speaker, executive, management consultant and business architect. Tony will be appearing via live video conference from Stanford University to the MGMT 450 classroom.
With the cost of starting and operating a company dropping precipitously, where do Venture Capitalists fit in, if at all? How can they bring value to an up-and-coming business? As every aspect of our lives — and how we do business — changes from the impact of technology and the Internet, so must financing all of these disruptive dreams. This brings me to Andrew Chung of Khosla Ventures. He’s both an artist and entrepreneur, who breaks the mold of the stereotypical shark investor while financing groundbreaking technology that affects how we re-charge: intellectually, monetarily and literally (as in how we will power our lives).
ZigBee is fighting for its place in the internet of things against Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy and Z-wave. It has to overcome fragmentation, sneak into user’s homes and keep Bluetooth at bay. Can it do all three.
Poor ZigBee. As a wireless standard, it has long faced an identity crisis that pitted it against Wi-Fi in the home and proprietary standards or Bluetooth for low-data rates. But as companies such as Comcast embrace the connected home and thanks to anacquisition last year, the standard could get its day in the sun and a place in the home.
The post below caught my attention because of the current industry debate and competitive battle over deployment of much higher Gigabit Internet bandwidth via optical fiber to consumers, known as Fiber to the Home or FTTH, at prices much lower than they currently pay for even 50 Megabit Internet connectivity. Gigabit connectivity is already a reality in Hong Kong and South Korea, with Europe not far behind. The big cable carriers, Comcast and Time Warner, have actually argued publicly that consumers don’t want or need higher bandwidth. How they came to that conclusion is a mystery. Now Google has entered into direct competition with the cable carriers, deploying Gigabit FTTH in Kansas City and Austin, Texas to be followed by other locations, at prices a fraction of Comcast’s pricing for lower bandwidth.
This article from Gigaom serves to further underscore The Tower of Babbling Things….Competitors battling each other over control of The Internet of Things over the means, methods and, most importantly, the dozens of competing data communication protocols. Honeywell has now entered the battle, realizing the a number of small, entrepreneurial startups are eroding their market for traditional thermostats. Previous to this development, Intel and others had promoted the concept of home tabletop display consoles for energy efficiency management. The display console concept is now officially dead, as reported in the Gigaom post. Recently, Gigaom also showcased three competing home automation systems, all of which were “closed” proprietary systems.
The term “Internet of Things” is being loosely tossed around in the media. But what does it mean? It means simply that data communication like the Internet, but not necessarily Internet Protocol packets is emerging for all manner of “things” in the home: light switches, lighting devices, thermostats, door locks, window shades, kitchen appliances, washers & dryers, home audio and video equipment, even pet food dispensers. You get the idea. All of this communication occurs autonomously, without human intervention. The communication can be between and among these devices, so called machine to machine or M2M. The data communication can also terminate in a home compute server where the information can be made available to the homeowner to intervene remotely from their smart mobile phone or any other remote Internet connected device.
This IEEE Talk discusses the three biggest trends in online technology and proposes that in fact, they represent one huge integrated trend that is already having a major impact on the way we live, work and think. The 2012 Obama Campaign’s Dashboard mobile application, integrating Big Data, The Cloud, and Smart Mobile is perhaps the most significant example of this trend, combining all three technologies into one big thing. A major shakeout and industry consolidation seems inevitable. Additional developments as diverse as the Internet of Things, Smart Grid, near field communication, mobile payment processing, and location based services are also considered as linked to this overall trend.
Creating open industry standards always wins, by creating a larger market for all competitors and platforms. This story has been repeated endlessly in technology markets. You would think after so many proprietary failures, it wouldn’t keep repeating itself. HTML5 appears to be another case where an open industry standard has again created a win-win for all involved, including consumers.