Why This Book Now?
Because the Internet of Things is not an elective for enterprises operating in the behavior economy. Just like the Internet was not an option, just like social media participation is not an option anymore. The platforms for new behavior that the Internet of Things will make possible, will increase considerably the footprint of the behavior economy at the expense of the old industrial model, with casualties in the rank of any incumbent not willing or able to adapt to the behavior economy. It is Polaroid who should have invented Instagram, not Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It is Blockbuster who should have developed Netflix. And so on. The fact they did not shows that these companies did not fundamentally understand that they were in the business of behavior, and they did not understand the motivation at the root of that behavior. Why users choose their products or services. It is by looking at the behavior of users that a company will truly understand what business it is really in. What is it that you have that the user wants? And why?
Apple is not in the computer business. Apple is in the empowerment business. Nike is not in the sneakers business. It is in the personal goals business. Heineken is not in the beer business. It is in the party business.
Forgetting where the economic system comes from—I want something you have and I am willing to exchange value for it—distances corporations and individuals from the perceptive reality, keeping them in the world of abstracts and theories. If an oil producer cannot connect oil extraction with Facebook or YouTube, then we cannot expect the economists to do it either. Why is it hard to connect a decline in economic activity-retail sales in a month—with five billion videos being watched on YouTube the same month in the same territory? Exactly who do you think is watching these videos? If their consumption time is taken over by an exchange that does not register on the GDP, why is the downturn a surprise?
This book describes the mechanisms by which new value is captured and created in enterprises dedicated to play a role in the behavior economy. It all starts with learning a new language—the language of ideas—and with establishing frameworks of possibility in the ideology of the enterprise. Value creation is the expansion of relationships enabled by a disruptor media and the creation of new behaviors as a result. This opens two needed capabilities for a business. The first is upstream, creating the platform services people want to engage with. The second is downstream, marketing, distributing and selling these platforms as services.
By the nature of the activities involved, the upstream and downstream capabilities are quite different in scope, inputs and outputs. The downstream calls for methodology—what do we have to do and how?—while the upstream calls for ideology—why and for whom are we doing this? In the context of enterprise, ideology is a way of being, behaving and influencing the world. An attitude. A mindset.
This is also a book about enterprise in the true sense of the word. 'Enterprise' means a bold and courageous undertaking. What is the difference between a business and an enterprise? Business takes care of the day-to-day mitigation of the affairs of the company. Enterprise is an undertaking that aims towards permanently outdoing its latest accomplishments. Businesses are run by pragmatism, enterprises are run by poetic visions. The incomparable Steve Jobs had it right in 1983, when he made his memorable pitch to entice John Scully—at that time the youngest president in the history of PepsiCo—to leave his position and join Apple Computer as President:
Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you
want to come with me and change the World.
This book is the culmination of ten years of practice and research in the potential of the Internet of Things; it is also the culmination of my early belief that the Internet of Things will reframe the existence of the ones enriched by it.