The IoT sector is beginning to feel like the frontier of the Wild West in the mid-nineteenth century. Yes, indeed, it was the Gold Rush where Americans, European hunters and trappers, and wealth seekers from around the world risked everything to chase their fortunes in California. Over approximately a five-year period, 250,000 miners found a total of $200 million in gold (worth tens of billions in today’s dollars).
However, the vast majority of miners arriving late to the party ended up exhausted and broke. As panning gave way to more sophisticated and expensive mining technologies, so did the individual miner to large gold companies. At that stage, success on the frontier was defined by the ability to create and defend a community, improve productivity and use of the land, development of new markets, and ultimately, the conquest of competitors. Like the Gold Rush of the 1800s, IoT has started small and gathered momentum, changing company strategy, technology and social norms along the way.
The question in front of every IoT entrepreneur and investor now is: Where will you fit into the spectrum of success in this new era, the “Gold Rush of the 21st Century?”