Category Archives: Uncategorized

Product Oriented IoT and System Oriented IoT

product-and-system-iotIt can seem like there is too much noise on IoT. But caught in the noise are some real signals that IoT is coming of age, with Amazon Echo being the latest and greatest example. Bill Gates’s quote below on change is apt for IoT.  Continue reading Product Oriented IoT and System Oriented IoT

The Disruption Posse – Alphabet, Amazon and Apple

I am officially naming the 3 companies, Alphabet, Amazon and Apple, as the “Disruption Posse”. They have gotten into the habit of smelling poorly served markets, complacency and in all cases a belief that they can make significant contribution to enter new markets with compelling products/services. The incumbents should be in for a rude shock and prepare for eventual obliteration of normal (cushy) business models and operations when they sense a possibility of any of these companies entering their markets.

The reason why I pick these the three companies to be part of this exclusive posse, and not VC funded startups, is because of their scale and market reach. Each of the companies have direct relationships with hundreds of millions of prospective customers and have the logistical and financial resources to go after large global markets.

So here is list of industries/markets that are disrupted or about to be disrupted by the Posse.

  • Media – Youtube, Google News, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Apple Music, Apple TV
  • Advertising – Google, Amazon (a little)
  • Computing – AWS, Google Cloud Platform
  • Transportation  (Very long game) – Google, Apple
  • Telecommunications – Apple, Google
  • Medicine – Apple, Google
  • Manufacturing/Warehousing/Logistics – Google (with Robotics), Amazon
  • Smart Home – Apple, Google (Nest), Amazon (Echo)

I will keep updating the list as the disruption or its possibility unfolds.

Is Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Strategy the Right Approach for Digital Transformation

I suspect Digital Transformation is at the top of the minds of executives of established organizations based on the number of blog posts (including this one), pithy tweets, dense infographics and ponderous white papers that I see these days. The Chief Digital Officer role may eventually prove faddish, but the theme itself will be a constant source of anxiety. The anxiety is primarily because of the occasional forays into various industries by the “Disruption Posse”. The Disruption Posse is made up of Amazon, Alphabet and Apple. Continue reading Is Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Strategy the Right Approach for Digital Transformation

When IoT Comes In The Way Of Good Product Design

It’s hard to design good products. Even exemplary companies like Apple get it wrong every now and then. Dieter Rams, the legendary designer who inspired generations of designers, outlined 10 principles of good design that I wish designers of connected products and IoT apply.

Instead we have this. Continue reading When IoT Comes In The Way Of Good Product Design

The Abridged Version of WEF’s Future of Jobs Report

In the age of social media it’s hard to pay attention to more than 2 paragraphs of text at a time. It’s highly unlikely that you will find the time, interest and initiative to read 167 pages of the ominous sounding “Future of Jobs” report from World Economic Forum (WEF). So we did for you, subtracted all the fluff and abridged the report into this lucid post. First a few bullet points. Continue reading The Abridged Version of WEF’s Future of Jobs Report

How To Get Manufacturing Back to America

I was reading the transcript of Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose and was struck by this particular exchange

Tim Cook: Yeah, let me-- let me-- let me clear, China put an enormous focus on manufacturing. In what we would call, you and I would call vocational kind of skills. The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we're currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.
Charlie Rose: Because they've taught those skills in their schools?
Tim Cook: It's because it was a focus of them-- it's a focus of their educational system. And so that is the reality.

I am not involved in the front lines of manufacturing any more but it seems like Tim Cook is lamenting the fact that there is real shortage of people in the US that know manufacturing and industrial engineering well. This should have been expected since most of the manufacturing moved to Mexico or China. Toyota Production System amply demonstrates that majority of the manufacturing innovation and improvement happens on the plant floor (Gemba). Perhaps we should teach Toyota Production System and its principles in all Community Colleges and in the University System as well as the following topics

  • Tool and Die Making
  • Source Inspection and Poka-Yoke
  • Kaizen
  • Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)