|By Marten Terpstra||
|March 20, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
I find it interesting to see how we as a (sub) industry get into cycles of things that we think matter, or want to talk about. We are all influenced by each other and blog posts trigger new blog posts and a lively discussion ensues. What is interesting is that sometimes these come in from completely different directions.
The past few weeks there have been several discussions, blogs and other references that go back to the basics of product development, creating value and how we (that collective “we” again) love to put ideas and technologies on pedestals, gaze at them in amazement and perhaps even spend billions buying our own hype. At Plexxi we have regular self reflection periods where we examine what we have, what we have coming and how we believe that creates attractive, complete and valuable solutions. And this week there were several new articles, as well as some good oldies that attempt to point out those basics that matter more than just about anything else.
Cloudborat wrote this post with his distillation of solution fundamentals into 7 steps. There is no point arguing about how many steps something takes, but its hard to disagree with the most basics of the steps in the list:
- talk to your target market
- ask them if this problem is worth solving
- listen to your customer
Everyone in our industry has real problems to solve. There are no perfect solutions, no perfect products, and things move fast enough that new problems show up each and every day that need to be solved. Finding the one problem your customer needs to have solved and is willing to change its buying behavior for is key. Customers will love new technology, will love the potential of what new technology can solve, but rarely spend real money on it unless it truly solves a problem very high on their pain list.
In a very widely referenced blog post, Marc Andreessen makes the point that the only thing that matters is product/market fit, being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market. He wrote this as part of a multipart blog that articulates his guide to startups. No matter how awesome the product, how advanced the technology, if there is no market for the product you will fail. The product fit to the market trumps all other ingredients to a successful solution or company. It’s one of those things that sounds so obvious, but obviously is not.
The team that created “Slack” sent an internal memo that provided the company’s view on what they were and what they were not, what matters and what does not. It defines what the company stands for and offers a great quote: “the best real, direct measure of ‘innovation’ is change in human behavior”. Effective products and solutions change the way we do things (for the better in most cases). Their use, the way they solve a problem transforms how we do things in our personal or professional life. There are easy examples like twitter and Facebook, and for us network folks, server virtualization and overlay networks fall into this category.
But when you look at networking as a whole, I struggle to find that innovation that has changed the way we have approached networking, changed the way we designed, built and operated networks. On his blog last week, Tom Nolle articulated several points from his surveys targeted at SDN (in whatever definition) has not passed the test of value, even if there was a clear definition of SDN. His most important point is his last point and relates back to points from the articles above: “… we just use SDN to produce the same Level 2/3 services we had before it ever came along”.
Whether you call it SDN or something different, there is a reason why we talk about devops as much as we do. While not everyone may recognize the work they do on a network on a daily basis as devops, those proprietary script machines and handy little tools could be so much more powerful when truly integrated with the network solution. What if VLAN configuration is not a task that needs to be applied to switches and ports, but could be articulated as a single network wide policy? What if an ethernet fabric just plain worked extremely well when you connect all the cables and created a few of these network wide policies? That would be transformational. That would change the way we (network folks) behave.
There is a reason why we break the normal L2 and L3 forwarding paradigms beyond just who controls the information. We don’t want to do the same in a different way. We want to allow for easy creation of network services and manage these services in a way that is trivial. We want to transform how ethernet fabrics are made. Not just for the sake of it, but to enable network services that are really hard to accomplish today that allow a true change in how we design, deploy and manage fabrics.
[Today's almost fun fact: All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" are stuck on 4:20. Almost true, in the "Bonnie Station" in the last scenes the clock is not set to 4:20.]
The post Target Market, Product Fit and other Sensible Things to Do appeared first on Plexxi.
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Jan. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 3,012
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Jan. 30, 2015 02:00 AM EST Reads: 2,997
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Jan. 30, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 2,886
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Jan. 30, 2015 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,028
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Jan. 29, 2015 06:15 PM EST Reads: 4,097
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jan. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 3,285
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Jan. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 3,037
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Jan. 29, 2015 05:00 PM EST Reads: 4,084
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jan. 29, 2015 03:30 PM EST Reads: 3,066
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,626
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:15 PM EST Reads: 3,192
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
Jan. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 3,802
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Jan. 29, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 3,118
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
Jan. 29, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,041
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Jan. 29, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,965
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Jan. 29, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,550
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
Jan. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 1,665
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
Jan. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,890
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Jan. 29, 2015 12:15 PM EST Reads: 1,821
Jan. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 7,976