The IoT is a complex ecosystem that is not yet dominated by any major players. by mapping the relationships between platform providers and component providers, I found parallels to the emergence of the software industry, which suggest five critical lessons:
1. Watch for fragmentation. This creates opportunities for specialization.
2. Track partnerships.
3. Understand where dominance outside IoT could be extended to IoT.
4. Think infrastructure first.
5. Use APIs to figure out ways to create customer value. Make sure there’s an app for that.
The software industry took multiple decades to emerge. With the use of APIs, the IoT ecosystem should emerge faster than the software industry. In the software industry what emerged finally was divided technical leadership, where multiple companies dominated (Oracle and Microsoft in databases and Window and Unix in operating systems). Similarly, in the IoT ecosystem, we will see firms dominate in essential areas such as chip sets, operating systems, storage of large data sets, analytics, and visualization.