Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsHaving bleeded entrepreneurship in the Internet of Things space, and being mentor to many IoT companies, I thought you would love to hear some of my observations, but also advice on some typical pitfalls. To start with, it is important that you consciously watch out for reaching four important milestones with your company. The first milestone is to start-- as simple as that. We are really good at dreaming up products and market success, and the IoT is particularly suited, since being so versatile. But the only thing which will really go down in history, is that you have started the company-- just do it. The second milestone is that moment of no return.
Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsAfter you have toyed around with the IoT idea, you will need to reach this point, which would not allow you to go back or stop, but only to go forward. Be it investors, government, family, or friends, commit. Commit to something which defines that point of no return. The third milestone is when you undergo the transformation from prototype to product. That is an important one, particularly in the IoT space. Indeed, it is so easy these days to have an IoT idea, and based on Raspberry Pi's, Arduinos, and open source software, build a prototype which looks very convincing. If you are skilled, it will take you 48 hours.
Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsThe problem is, this prototype will not scale, even into the hundreds, and it will not be reliable. Whether in B2B or B2C, you will burn bridges and destroy your own market. From the prototype, commission professionals to build your real product, which scales into the millions, and is extremely reliable. The fourth milestone is when you transform from being a technology driven company to being a market driven one. Indeed, since the IoT is so new, and the technology around it is so exciting, companies often forget that what really gets the business going is sales. And for this, you need to listen and talk to the market.
Skip to 2 minutes and 28 secondsThis is the most painful transition, since it often requires the founding tech CEO be replaced by a more business savvy CEO. Very few IoT companies have managed that to date, and accordingly, very few IoT companies are operational over a lengthy period. But if you consider this advice, you will very likely succeed. To reach these milestones, read up on and get as much business advice as possible. Here are my top three. First, I'm surprised every time again, how many companies have an IoT product which seems interesting, but where they wouldn't be able to pinpoint to a specific client.
Skip to 3 minutes and 15 secondsMy advice is, know the name and surname of the person who will write you the check, because he or she really needs your product. Don't stay nebulous. Be specific. Second, one of the biggest mistakes I see with IoT startups is that they only start going to market when the product is perfect. So basically, never. Don't fall into this trap. Go to market with your minimal viable product, and get a real feel. Imagine your market like a football pitch. Are Messi or Ronaldo who they are because they score from perfect conditions, they're just a few metres from an empty goal? No, because they score out of impossible situations. This is what you should aim for, score from imperfect market situations.
Skip to 4 minutes and 6 secondsAnd third, which is related to the last milestone I referred to before, is that companies fall in love with their technology. That is sometimes handy, but often problematic, because some better or more suitable technology may have appeared over time. Don't panic. Just use that better technology to service your sales channels, since what you are after is the market, and not the medal of having used your technology. So please remember, do not get too emotional about your technology.
In this video, Mischa talks through some important business considerations, including the four milestones you should reach as an IoT entrepreneur as well as some typical entrepreneurial mistakes made.
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