IoT, and the concept (from Mr. Chertoff) of a universal law around the world protecting the creation, use and storage of data…

I have been in everything’s a nail mode lately with my IoT posts. Mostly because it intrigues me as I watch this tableau roll out. But also because it is a core part of what I am looking at and considering at work right now.

IoT interests me because it changes the playing field more than cloud did. While cloud was an evolutionary innovation, IoT is moving towards becoming a revolutionary innovation. In my book on innovation I talk a lot about the various types of innovation. In the case of IoT it isn’t an incremental change like Cloud it is a stop, look and then take a hard right change.

Based on that it comes front of mind for me as I consider what is next and how do we get there. On the way there are a number of IoT changes that I really find beyond interesting. The first is the reality of disconnected MIDI devices. Traditionally you’ve had to connect MIDI devices to your computer either via a USB or Serial port. Now you can connect MIDI devices via wi-fi. There were two excellent Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects PUC and M1 that offer the ability to have wireless MIDI. It freed up space in my office that frankly is at a premium anyway. It makes guitars and keyboards IoT devices. (Jam Strings is another interesting KS/IG funded innovation).

That got me thinking. I went through the 100 or so KS/IG projects I’ve funded. Most of them were an iteration of an IoT concept (wearable, stayable or portable). Devices offering me a chance to connect to my home, my devices and my system from anywhere.

I know I have beaten bandwidth to death but I suspect having recently had mine changed that in the end the IoT revolution will alter how internet providers give you bandwidth. Our home network was saturated in September/October last year. Verizon FIOS changed their model to equal upload and download speeds and my network bottleneck went away. Mostly because the router wasn’t having to cache data both ways, only one way. I realize also that today I have more IoT devices than most people do, but that will also change. My initial leveling of network capacity has stabilized my bandwidth. We can consistently have three Netflix streams going at once. Now cutting the cable/satellite cord will change that over time I suspect quite considerably.

The path to IoT is going to need bandwidth. The ability and frankly incredibly valuable amount of information we can generate is staggering. The scary part is bandwidth and there is one other thing that scares me now. I talk to a lot of innovators. I love hearing the wonderful new concepts and ideas they have. Many of them are in the US, many are in other places around the world.

Recently a colleague shared a Wall Street Journal article written by the former head of DHS Michael Chertoff. It without a doubt was a brilliant article (Mr. Chertoff is one of the blogs on the site I write for I always read). He in his article talked about the fact that data sovereignty was going to potentially create a Balkanized Internet. He called for an international rule of law protecting data that was uniform and not created by each country as a unique law.

I thought about the impact of that on IoT and on innovation and it was a little scary. Today governments can seize data stored on servers. Many, seek to own the data stored on servers within their national boundaries. Google, Apple and Microsoft have all been hit with requests to access data by various governments.

In the end that loss of personal privacy is a little scary. But the other side of that scares me even more. I wrote an article talking about the fact that data laws that don’t allow for intellectual freedom will in the end begin to stifle innovation. Innovators will have to stop before marketing and determine if they can sell their product in the market or country they are considering. XYZ country believes it has the right to seize any IP that is inside their national borders.

It is a very scary thought that countries could create national boundaries the lock out the Internet for all of us.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.