Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Peter Silva, William Schmarzo, AppDynamics Blog, Scott Allen

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Open Source Cloud

Mobile IoT: Article

Should RIM BlackBerries Be Rented?

Is the U.S. Mindset Fundamentally Different From Europe's?

So I was sitting under the hot lights at SYS-CON Media’s headquarters in Montvale, NJ recently, trying to mind my own business but expecting to get hit with some sort of surprise question by my SYS-CON.TV colleague Jeremy Geelan.

Jeremy, who serves as Publishing Director of SYS-CON, brings a wealth of journalistic and technological experience to the game, backed by the sort of elocution one would expect from a former BBC producer. And as a European, he often speaks from a viewpoint that, simply, can seemingly be designed to rub a solid U.S. citizen the wrong way.

He also likes to spring things on me. He and I were taping a SYS-CON.TV segment and talked of several recent developments in the IT business that particular week. Several minutes into the discussion, I could see by our clock that our time was almost up.

Then it came. “As an American, Rog,” he says, and the rest of his question became a blur. I dislike being characterized as “an American” or any other subset of humanity, be that subset aging bald guys, sports fanatics, or left-handed dog-and-cat owners.

As I tried to listen, I divined that Jeremy was talking about the increasingly popular concept of renting things of everything from bicycles to Blackberries in typically pioneering, savvy Nordic places such as Scandinavia and Finland. “Would such a concept work in the U.S.?” he wanted to know.

Or, listening between the lines, I think he was asking whether I would feel such ideas to be utopian, EuroWeenerish, even Communistic down to the depths of my red-white-and-blue being.

I couldn’t give him a short answer to this question, but did point out that new ideas are often adapted in the U.S. just as quickly as in, say, Finland, but usually in select places. The tiresome blue state/red state stereotype has some merit, and one can find what many Americans consider to be radical ideas being freely adapted in resolutely blue citdadels from Greenwich Village to Madison, Wisconsin to Berkeley.

That doesn’t make the ideas wrong or impractical. The first bans on smoking in San Francisco and Berkeley were considered lunatic fringe at the time, as were countless other issues and trends, some controversial, some not so. This will continue.

But the larger point that I failed to make, being as blessed as anyone with the ability to say the right thing a few days after it should have originally been said, was that the U.S. (and the U.S. market) should never be viewed monolithically.

Big Country
It’s a big country with a very large economy, and one can succeed by appealing to a very small percentage of it.

For example, 5% of the total U.S. market still represents a GDP that would rank in the Top 20 Worldwide, in between Taiwan and Australia. And appealing to only 1.3% of the total U.S. market lands you a GDP the size of Finland’s.

So, surely the idea of rented Blackberries—which despite my non-aversion to rented cars or flying in the same well-warmed airline seats as who knows who—sounds to me a bit like rented bowling shoes (yuck), could very well succeed in the U.S., even if almost 90+ percent of the population thinks it’s a bad idea.

The variety of opinion in the U.S. on all matters is diverse (or divers, as Jeremy would have it spelled), much more so than most people (including many Americans) think. This is due not only to the country’s multicultural stew and capitalistic orientation, but also to its federated nature.

By federated, I don’t mean the federal, unifying aspect of the U.S. government, but the fact that the country is a federated collection of states, which are in turn a collection of townships and counties, which in turn are broken into endless numbers of local and regional governmental and regulatory entities. In other words, an amazing percentage of the country’s laws and regulations are decided at various local-leaning levels.

Try explaining to an international visitor sometime why it may be OK, for example, to possess marijuana according to a city ordinance, sort-of OK by state law, and definitely not OK by federal law, and don’t forget to factor in littering laws that might be in effect if you try to consume said weed in a regional or county park that falls within the jurisdiction of a unified fire protection district and urban sanitation zone, or worse, in a business park patrolled by private security.

So as I said, it’s a big country. Lots of jurisdictions. And this "loosely coupled" mindset extends to the business world, with lots of segments, sub-segments, niches, and segmented sub-niches within almost any product or service category. Knock yourself out if you want to start a service to rent out Blackberries. Just don’t expect to take mine unless you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
trickster 11/04/05 08:58:23 PM EST

this blackberry idea is a communist plot. who owns the hardware in this scheme? the government? bad idea.

@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Traditional IT, great for stable systems of record, is struggling to cope with newer, agile systems of engagement requirements coming straight from the business. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, William Morrish, General Manager of Product Sales at Interoute, outlined ways of exploiting new architectures to enable both systems and building them to support your existing platforms, with an eye for the future. Technologies such as Docker and the hyper-convergence of computing, networking and sto...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, discussed the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filterin...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Early adopters of IoT viewed it mainly as a different term for machine-to-machine connectivity or M2M. This is understandable since a prerequisite for any IoT solution is the ability to collect and aggregate device data, which is most often presented in a dashboard. The problem is that viewing data in a dashboard requires a human to interpret the results and take manual action, which doesn’t scale to the needs of IoT.