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Top of Mind's 5 Must-Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Taylor Brown on July 30, 2014 Source: e360 Blog

Taylor BrownJust a couple months ago, I'll bet 95 percent of the U.S. population hadn't even heard of the Internet of Things. All that's changed as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes the next high-tech household term. If it hasn't yet entered your household, I found the best (and least jargon-y) definition from Cisco: It's "the network of physical objects accessed through the Internet, as defined by technology analysts and visionaries. These objects contain embedded technology to interact with internal states or the external environment. In other words, when objects can sense and communicate, it changes how and where decisions are made, and who makes them."

I've been following this latest technology revolution for a while, noting a lot of conversation about its unavoidable effect on our privacy (IoT's less attractive name is "pervasive computing".)  But last week, I came across a more positive article about IoT. VentureBeat focused on the investing side of IoT, noting that by 2020 experts are estimating there will be 50 billion connected devices and IoT solutions that will reach $7.1 billion. The authors also pulled in a quote from a Goldman Sachs thesis, which states,

"Like the mobile revolution, IoT will create new companies and new categories. The importance of IoT expands beyond "pure play" enablers; as the market begins to take shape {and} continues to evolve; we expect a similar ecosystem of software vendors to develop."

Even with all this potential impact, the article cited that so far, IoT’s limitations have made it a tough space for public investors. Read more about why this is the case.

This was a pretty enlightening from an entrepreneurial investment perspective. So as I do with most articles that get me thinking, I scrolled down to see what readers were saying about it. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much conversation going on, but one comment really captured my attention. The poster didn’t focus on the VC side of the topic. Instead, he made IoT’s potential real.

He talked about how most people think IoT is about simply connecting things like your AC to the internet and you, in turn, being able to shut if off from your smartphone. But that’s just the low-hanging fruit. Here’s how the commenter put it:

“…The real power is when all these devices are talking to one another w/o human assistance via machine to machine communication, when these devices share data to the cloud and can make smarter decisions for you. When large-scale traffic data can help Google’s self-driving cars prevent any and all accidents from occurring. When large-scale food consumption data can help pinpoint the exact cause of cancers or diseases that would not have been discovered otherwise. This is much bigger than connecting s*** to the Internet.”

Maybe this kind of impact is far off. After all, the article points out that even though technologists have been predicting a “Jetsons-like connected world” for some time, these predictions have been a bit premature. But maybe this kind of life-changing and saving impact is in fact part of IoT’s potential. If so, it’s an exciting technology revolution to come, issues and all.

Here’s why the Internet of things just became very interesting

Will the Internet of Things (IoT) be the next industrial revolution? Experts are saying that by 2020, there will be roughly 50 billion connected devices and IoT solutions that will reach $7.1 billion. So far, this has been a tough space for public investors because it has limitations. Find out more about these limitations in this article.

The 5 Most Common Negotiating Mistakes

Negotiating is not always a natural skill. Let’s be honest it can be really awkward asking for something. Lewis-Fernandez negotiated contracts with the government for 23 years. She says that in order to get comfortable with negotiating, you must have the right mindset, that “The best place to practice negotiating skills are at a yard sale where the stakes are low.” This article includes the five most common negotiating mistakes from her perspective.

Should Couples Go into Business Together?

In 2000, three out of 22 million small businesses in the U.S. were couple-owned. The Institute of Labor (IZA) studied 1,069 Danish couples that started businesses from 2000-2010. This study found that one spouse (usually the woman), has limited opportunities in the labor market. It also found that when couples started businesses together, it led to a significant income gain for both spouses. Obviously starting a new venture (meaning a business here) with your spouse has its challenges. But this study does reveal that there can be financial benefits.

Angel investors and government grants dominate British tech investment

The tech sector in the UK is much more reliant on angel investment than the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of tech executives in the UK reported angel investors as a source of financing in 2013 compared to 41 percent of tech entrepreneurs in the U.S. (according to the Silicon Valley Bank annual innovation economy report). The UK still sees less money from private equity and corporate investors than the U.S.

Top 10 Most Successful One Person Startups

Some of the most successful businesses today were started by one person that had a dream and a passion to execute on that idea. When reading this article and looking at this list below, I realized that no women were listed. Therefore, I get really excited when I see female entrepreneurs out there and initiatives to create more female entrepreneurs.


Tags:  Top of Mind, 5 Must Read Articles in Entrepreneurship, Internet of Things, Cisco, network of physical objects connected by embedded technology, privacy, limitations for public investors, large-scale traffic data, Negotiating Mistakes, Couples as Co-Founders, couples going into business together, angel investors dominate in UK, British tech investment, one person startups, successful startups

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