Does the Internet of Things need its own Idols?

In previous posts …

this time it is the turn for “The idols of the Internet of Things”.

Idols of my youth

One of the reasons I decided to study Physics, was the influence of the book “Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations” of Nobel Prize in PhysicsWerner Karl Heisenberg. I wished I lived in the times of  Albert Einstein ,Niels BohrMax BornArnold Sommerfeld, Wolfgang Pauli, and many other “idols”  of my youth. When I think about these idols so close of my own heart, I give more significance. These idols of the past were special for me.

But when my career as a Physic scientist turned into a Software and Telecommunication Engineer, and I searched for new technology idols. I do think that there is something really unique about contemporary technology idols. There are successful entrepreneurs.

Who are worthy technology idols?

It is not that long ago that we were first discovering personal computers. It has only been 20 years or so since the personal computer revolution and still in our collective memory we keep  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the technology idols of the last century. Now we have people like Elon Musk that is solving three very real problems in entirely different industries; payments, space exploration, and electric cars, or people like Mark Zuckerberg that is bringing everyone online. We can say that technology idols help us see technology in a different light.

“There is something almost magnetic that draws us to follow our technology idols”

But let us be critical with ourselves and make sure we call technology idols only to those who are worthy. Maybe is an abomination to have idols nowadays and we don’t want to fall into imitating some of them. We must recognize that technology idols are controlling us and that we live in a world where they can manipulate us. We could have the false belief that we are free to choose, but no matter how many choices we have, looks like we are forced to follow them.

Why are technology idols a powerful temptation?

In recent years I have been thinking about the issue of technology idols, why we need for them and why this is. I have come to the conclusion that many people are frustrated of their own professional lives and need to put their own needs and longings into another person. Psychology describes this but as I do not accept psychology as it is not a science that can be proved. I have myself tried to analyze this phenomenon.

I have come to understand a few of the reasons behind this behavior through of some observations of colleagues and friends but mostly by analyzing myself. Was it a way to escape from myself and my inner values?.  Was it nothing but a short of a brainwash to dream with a better and happier life. This is not like I see it now.

You do not have to feel like a victim of a mass psychosis where you were just following in the footsteps of others in search of something that was not there at all. I now feel freed from this and have managed to return to what I see as my authentic self that is not influenced by other people.

Following a technology idol is like when people start smoking just to be with the crowd that smokes. It is about group pressure and a vain attempt to try and be cool.

I would never ever recommend anyone to have a technology idol and I would urge younger generations to invest in themselves. But if you are someone who needs a model / idol, my advice is that when choosing think that:

“Just because some people have the power and money is not enough to consider them your technology Idols, most important they must have the conviction”.

Does the Internet of Things need its own Idols?

Considering how much we use the Internet of Things term it would be helpful to look at how it got started and who were some of the important people and projects that helped move it from its first glimpses into today’s trending topic.

In spite the Internet of Things term was coined by Kevin Ashton executive director of the Auto-ID Center in 1999, we have seen a disproportionate interest since The Internet of Things began to appear to the public at CES 2013 and a burst of enthusiasm since we saw IoT for the second year in a row in the top of “Peak of Inflated expectations” in the famous Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Dimitri Carbonnelle suggests that in 2016, the Internet of Things joined the teen age, however main players in the field today have major challenges to make IoT enter adulthood.

There is no doubt that there are many opportunities around the Internet of Things but also challenges to face including privacy concerns, security, costs, standards, regulations, networks, thousands of platforms, and the list goes on. If you analyse all predictions and visions of the next stages of Internet of Things in my previous post “What will 2016 Bring for the Internet of Things?, I am convinced that you will agree with me that definitely the Internet of Thing need a miracle or idols.

For the sake of competition and innovation and as the Internet of Things is such a broad concept ranging from wearables to predictive analytics from Industrial Internet to Smart Cities, from Platforms to LPWAN networks would be better to have at least two idols and if possible antagonistic.

For pretty much the same reason behind any other technological evolution or revolution: Internet of Things needs its own idols.

Where are the idols that the Internet of Things need?

If we have learned anything in the era of the Internet, it is how quickly things happen. So it is hoped that once people recognize an IoT idol will follow blindly causing an avalanche of unpredictable events.

Assuming that IoT idols will help to fight against challenges and pessimism of erroneous predictions, then, someone in the Headquarters of Tech Giants can be tempted to create the coveted IoT idol. In my opinion none of the current CEOs of the Tech Giants, neither any of their staff will be idols for the new generation of millennials and for the veterans like me. I am afraid, but we do not admit changing people into something they were not from the start. Those people never will be good IoT idols. IoT startups and entrepreneurs being uninterested in old technology idols as they are concentrating on themselves to become famous one day.

What about find the IoT idols among the directory of IoT companies? After analysing during recent years some of the best CEOs and CTOs of this industry and meet face to face with many of them, i just can say that maybe. They are enthusiast but until now none of them have achieved public recognition for invent a new business model or a revolutionary technology. 

In the age of social networks and their impact on our information society, we would think that maybe we should look for IoT idols among  The Top 50 IoT People to Follow on Twitter or among The most influential tech leaders on LinkedIn or among the groups of  IoT evangelist, IoT’s Top Influencers, IoT bloggers or  IoT Speakers that have fans/followers all over the world. They are enthusiast but I consider them more as chroniclers or apostles of our time.

Perhaps we do not need to search for IoT idols, What if ? they already are among us. if we already have been fortunate to meet some, or hear or read his/her blog. Be alert, an IoT idol  may be closer than you think.

Thanks everyone for your Likes, Comments and Shares.



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