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Gartner predicts that by 2017, 50 percent of IoT solutions (typically a product combined with a service) will originate in startups that are less than three years old. – Source

If you noticed that most IoT companies came from startups such as the ones that introduced their early products through Kickstarter crowdfunding. Only recently, we can see bigger companies like Apple, Samsung, Google are developing IoT solutions. But who are their customers? I believed the customers are the early adopters.

But who are these early adopters? Early adopters are a larger group at 13.5 percent of the population. Early adopters are well-known opinion leaders. Because of their leadership, early adopters command attention and respect, and they function as cross-pollinators. Like bees fertilize flowers by bringing pollen from one flower to another, early adopters spread new ideas from innovators to others. IoT requires these opinion leaders to spur the industry.

IoT startups are the innovators – they are the evangelists and the believers. They will take whatever risks to be the leaders in this new business. The more reasons we can also see the early customers are also the ones that wanted to be the first industry mover that adopts such solutions even though they know the IoT solutions might not be 100% perfect. They are willing to take the risk of an 80% matured product. That’s the price if one wants to become an early adopter.

Begin by bringing on board the opinion leaders—the adventurous innovators who spearhead new practices—and the early adopters, who are not far behind. Encourage the opinion leaders to mobilize the majority of staff—the early and late majorities—to understand and adopt the new practice or set of practices.

The early adopters are known as the revolutionist, evangelist, futurist and visionary. Bring them to the IoT industry and we will see IoT become a reality. Nurture the startups because they are poised to shape the future of the Internet of Things.

About the Author: 

Mazlan-Abbas-e1468839685939Dr. Mazlan is ranked No. 20th Thought Leader in IoT by 2014 Onalytics Report – “The Internet of Things – Top 100 Thought Leaders” , ranked Top 100 in Smart Cities Top Experts by Agilience Authority Index May 2016 and ranked 2016 Top 100 IoT Influencers by Postcsapes. He is currently the CEO of REDtone IOT and is a public speaker at leading IoT events. You can get in touch with him on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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