Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo – read, despite the dodgy title

The Christmas break often provides me with some time to catch up with my reading list, and lost amongst my ever-growing pile was Jurgen Appelo’s Management 3.0. Now, I very nearly did not buy this book, as am often put off by titles that smack of pompous management jargon, and “Management 3.0” flies very close to the wind on that front. However am glad that I rescued it from the pile of the great unread, as it is quite a … Read more…

Lean Enterprise – Lean Startup for Grown ups

We have already seen how Eric Ries’ Lean Startup established the language and a culture of predominantly mobile-app start-ups over the past five years. The reality however, is that most of us do not work in start-ups where business models are unknown, and regular pivots are required to find out what works. Instead, most people in the tech field are employed for companies with established and (normally) profitable business models, and business processes tuned to support those business models. These companies are often large, … Read more…

Frugal Innovation – Doing more with less

Frugal Innovation – “the ability to do more with less” is the title of a recent book by academics Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu. This started off as a book called Jugaad Innovation (from a Hindi word meaning an innovative fix), examining innovation facilities in developing countries, but then found interest in developed economies as companies tried to adapt to consumers’ more spendthrift ways as well as an increased importance being placed on sustainable solutions. Frugal innovation as proposed by the … Read more…

Postscapes – A one-stop-shop of IoT knowledge

I have referred to this site in previous posts, but I have been remiss in providing it with the credit it deserves. Postscapes is probably the most reliable and comprehensive guides to the Internet of Things landscape, covering news, companies, and events. For anyone interested in sourcing a supplier, or getting some guidance, this is an essential stop. The open-source / maker space is well covered, including Arduino, Raspberry Pi and crowdfunded projects, and applications are categorised into body (i.e. health), … Read more…

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries – Four years on

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is the book that spawned a movement, and is widely regarded as the start-up manual of choice by would-be tech millionaires. This is the book that popularised the term Minimum Viable Product, introduced the term ‘to pivot’ and espoused the concept of validated learning as the main measure of progress for tech start-ups. However, notwithstanding its success, I feel that Ries’ approach could be a bit more nuanced. Agile software development lends itself very well … Read more…

Big Bang Disruption – L Downes, P Nunes

Touted as one of the ‘must read’ business books of the digital age, this is an important book, even though it does not quite meet the levels of hyperbole on the cover – “Everything you need from business school in one very direct book”. Instead, this book describes the nature of digital disruptors very well, particularly the economic and technology drivers and the impact they are having (both deliberate and accidental) upon incumbent players. The authors prescribe a number of useful … Read more…

50 Smart City Applications

Libelium, a manufacturer of sensors and connected devices provides a useful list of case studies and applications for smart sensors, covering urban applications, environmental monitoring, water management, smart grid and energy distribution, security applications, retail, logistics, industrial control and agriculture. Top 50 Internet of Things Applications – Ranking | Libelium    

Mapping the IOT Ecosystem – 612 companies at a time

One of the most ambitious attempts to pull together the key players in the IoT space can be found in TechCrunch, courtesy of Matt Turck of FirstMark Capital. Originally compiled in 2013, their ecosystem is divided into verticals, enablers and building blocks. Like any attempt to make sense of such a complex web of players, it is imperfect – see ARM, Amazon and Sony grouped rather randomly into a ‘Corporates’ bucket. What is startling is that this version has increased … Read more…

The weird and wonderful world of Beacons

Aislelabs, a technology company specialising in big data analytics for retailers has just published what they are calling “The Hitchhikers Guide to iBeacon Hardware”. In 2013, Apple introduced support for Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) (or Bluetooth Smart) in iOS7 as a means for providing finely-tuned location information indoors. The idea is that if you pass an exhibit in a museum, a display in a shop, or approach a check-in gate at the airport, the appropriate app will trigger. In the … Read more…

The Periodic Table of IoT

CB Insights, an analyst firm specialised in tracking technology companies, investors and acquisitions has pulled together a rather novel way of representing the IoT ecosystem. It presents companies, VCs, private equity firms and acquirers in a conveniently colour-coded “Periodic Table of IoT”. As in the periodic table from our days in chemistry class, the characteristics of the ‘elements’ vary as we traverse the table, in this case from the technology firms in individual verticals such as wearables, connected home and … Read more…

Goldman Sachs on IoT

Perhaps an unlikely source for a top-level intro to the Internet of Things, but Goldman Sachs provide a fairly serviceable “IOT 101”, describing it, in a not very understated way as the next Mega Trend. The report does however, correctly pull together all the key technology advances that have allowed this ecosystem to come to being, as well as provide an overview of all the key verticals. Of more direct interest to the general Goldman Sachs readership are the main … Read more…