In March I followed the invitation from Bosch Software Innovations to attend their Bosch Connected World event in Berlin. It’s one of the biggest IoT events in Germany and a mix of conference, exhibition and hackathons – very innovative and full of high class speakers from around the world.
I was there in two roles. First, as business model expert to help the attendees to understand the impact of platform economy in the world of Internet of Things. And second, as a hackathon coach to help the teams to build viable business models around their sensor driven solutions. It was a lot of fun.
IoT & platform business models
Together with Veronika Brandt, head of IoT business consulting at Bosch SI, I showcased the “IoT Business Model Builder” to the audience. Our methodology to go straightforward through an innovation process for new IoT business models. It was a great success. A lot of people were interested and we had great talks. Obviously there is a big demand for such a methodology which totally focusses on the business side of IoT. In the last 2 years companies looked for incremental improvements in their manufacturing or supply chain processes, but now shifting their search to new growth opportunities based on IoT. But this is not as easy as it looks like. You need a rigorous innovation approach to spot an idea, refine it and implement it – in an agile way which considers the voice of the customer, continous validation and therefore lowering the costs of failure. The “IoT Business Model Builder” is such an approach and based on the feedbacks from the people we talked to a great approach.
For me the hackathons were virgin soil. I never was a hackathon-coach before and therefore I realy looked forward to experience the teams, their ideas, the athmosphere and, of course, the results.
Together with Veronika, we helped the teams to also focus on the business part of their solutions. Therefore the teams needed to scribble their business model on the “IoT idea canvas”. This helped them to shape the mostly what-can-be-done solutions into a customer-problem-solving solution. It’s not just about connecting sensons, it’s more about finding a problem worth solving. And to understand how you can monetize it. With our IoT business model patterns we inspired the teams to look from different perspectives on the business or to place them into larger ecosystems (platform thinking).
In total there were four hackathon tracks with about 10 teams each. When you see so many young people hacking, you realy see IoT becoming reality. It was amazing how fast and easy they connected the sensors and cloud services, coded new user interfaces and used machine learning to build strong algorithms. Crazy 🙂
The third big thing about the BCW was the chance to listen to over 100 great speakers at 5 stages. A tough decision. Luckily I needed to be at the Hackathons and at the Caravan to show the people the IoT business model builder – so at the end I only could listen to some keynote speakers. But those were inspiring and I learned a lot about autonomous driving (AD).
First: the industry is more advanced then most of the people think. The message was that AD will hit the road in 2018 for private drivers. For industry customers it’s already available – e.g. for truck fleets!!!
Second: maybe the most important from a business model perspective – AD is such a big and complex thing that the only chance to win is in building an ecosystem platform where hardware and software companies team up to develop solutions together. Without a win-win approach nobody will win. Like Elmar Frickenstein, Senior VP Autonomous Driving at BMW AG showed in his keynote. BMW is currently building a platform, open for more and more partners to join.
Personally I really liked the keynote of Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-Founder and CEO of NVIDIA. With my history in the semiconductor industry I could understand what kind of effort NVIDIA invested to come up with this beautiful 8-core chip for autonomous driving. It seems that NVIDIA goes full-in at this sector to become the new standard for deep-learning and artificial intelligence chips. Amazing.
The event is a perfect mix to see, learn and experience the latest buzz in the world of industrial IoT. With over 2.500 attendees, +100 speakers and +500 developers its becoming a must-attend event for all IoT interested people. Can’t wait for next year :-).