To start, this blog post was created after reading one of the many great articles from Kara Swisher.  If you are a fan of technology, you need to read her stuff … 

For those of you who are under 21, this will end up being a bit of a history lesson, as you likely don’t remember what life was like without Apple being one of the most dominant companies in the world.  To you, life always revolved around iPhones and iPads. 

Going back to the late 1990s, there was actually no guarantee that Apple would even survive as a company.  However, the team at Apple helped to launch many key new areas of growth for the entire world of technology (including legal streaming music, the emergence of the tablet and most importantly, the building block called the iPhone that launched key apps like Uber, Yelp and more).  Sure, Apple was far from the only company working on these things (Google and others played a big part), but they really were the catalyst to many key growth areas in technology over the past decade. 

Fast forward to 2019, and the “shine” is definitely off of Apple.  You kind of got to see that when value investor Warren Buffett took a big stake in them.  They are still one of the most dominant companies in the world, but I don’t think anyone expects them to lead the next wave of technology development anymore. 

So, that brings up a question … what is going to be the next catalyst for Technology growth?  My vote is that it will be IoT, and here is why: 

Breadth of growth possibilities 

The iPhone was far from just a consumer device, although, that is where a lot of the technology that leveraged the iPhone played.  It played a key role in the further expansion of Corporate E-mail, as well as businesses moving phones into the mainstream of their IT offerings.  Similarly, IoT has the possibility of huge growth in both the consumer and corporate markets, something that not all technology advancements offer.  It will power things like Autonomous driving, AR/VR and the advancement of robotics. 

Chance to change people’s lives 

Yes, you will hear people telling you how Uber has changed their lives, but has it really?  I think it has helped to increase how easy it is to ride-share, but people lived well without it.  IoT may be different, as it helps keep people safe and healthy so much more, it truly can be life-changing.  In terms of business, its power to save money and increase productivity cannot be overstated as well. 

Easy to understand and solving a real problem 

Too many pieces of technology fail because of two reasons … people cannot understand how to use it and they don’t see a value.  Apple products generally excel in the first area, allowing other companies to create the second part, so it worked well.  IoT stumbled at first in both areas, but the development of platforms like Alexa/Google Home are making IoT easier for the masses.  This has led (and will lead in the future) to more investment in solutions that solve real life issues. 

Infrastructure is almost here 

Today’s backbones for IoT are good … Wi-Fi and 2G/3G/4G served as good ways to connect devices.  CAT-M and 5G (for the right applications) are better, and this should increase the level of complexity and usability of solutions.  As an example, the lower latency that is offered by 5G will open up IoT to many applications that could not use wireless in the past. 

In short, IoT has all the makings to be the focal point of much of the new technology development for the next decade and will easily replace Apple’s lineup today.  It will be interesting to see how many Trillion dollar companies come out of this IoT growth …