Like many parents/husbands, I often get "dragged" to the mall to walk around, especially in the winter months.  The amazing part is that we often don't even bother to buy anything, but that is for a different rant... 

One of the ways I occupy my time is to assess the viability of some of the businesses, especially the ones that are not chain stores. I wonder what kind of money they make, how much it cost to open it, how much it costs to operate it, stuff like that…I guess this just comes natural to me as I am a bit of a serial entrepreneur. 

One of the main reasons why any entrepreneur is successful is actually their "gut".  I don't mean if they have a six-pack under their dress shirt, but rather do they have the ability to see things that most people do not, or at least before most people do.  This is why analyzing businesses comes easy to me, as analyzing different opportunities is what I do for a living.  I am able to do this by using my experience (or "gut"), and I have managed to be relatively successful because of it. 

However, you don't have to be an entrepreneur to have a "gut" instinct about things, such as your job.  Experienced nurses seem to know when patients are about to take a turn for the worse before anyone else does....pilots often seem to know when there will be turbulence even before the radar shows....and, detectives often know to investigate a particular person/theory even when the evidence may say otherwise. 

I call this "Spidey-sense" after the popular comic book character.  Some people also call it the ability to "look around corners" and being able to predict what may happen accurately, even without having the full list of information.  

This got me to moving to an extreme data-driven business world going to hurt our ability to sense things as we have in the past? 

Sometimes, the data is wrong

I have referenced Top Gun a few times in the past.  There is a famous line about how pilots have stop using their "Dog-fighting" skills (skills that pilots formed before all of the modern day telematics/electronics on board), lessening their skill level.  To a certain extent, I think the same things have started to happen with airport security.  As we rely strictly on machines/data, we've reduced our use of experience and wisdom. In my opinion, an experienced screener may be just as effective asking people questions about the contents of their luggage versus putting it through a screening machine. 

As we move further into the world of M2M, I do fear that not just pilots/airport screeners will be losing their Spidey-sense, but perhaps others as well.  Will auto mechanics stop using their intuitions completely and just rely on data from the on-board computers?  How about doctors....are they just going to read levels from machines or are they going to continue to use their guts when it comes to diagnosis? 

So, are we going to balance the use of IoT with experience?  

The Bottom Line

It is tempting for companies to move strictly towards a data-driven model as they implement IoT.  The theory is that it would allow companies to do more with less, while also allowing them to reduce the cost of each resource (by using less experienced people).  However, we need to start to think of IoT as a tool and not a replacement of good people.  Like any tool, the goal is to make your valued resources more valuable.  We need to continue allowing skilled people to use their Spidey-sense while using IoT as a method of verifying their beliefs.