How to get around challenges in IoTs

NEW YORK--How do you get around the challenges in IoTs (internet of things)? The challenge for IoTs is not so much the how but why it’s not prevalent yet.


NEW YORK--How do you get around the challenges in IoTs (internet of things)?

“Try to invert the problem,” said Adam Sager, CEO and co-founder of, which produces home security in one portable device. “Ask what are the problems not being solved today.”

Using an Internet provider’s simple problem, he asked how many people make calls to their Internet provider and wait many precious minutes only to be told of the same solution—unplug and reset modem. “Why can’t this to be texted to you?” There are so many simple things that can be done that have not been done yet.”

Sager was one of three other panelists that consisted of Ed Maguire, managing director and senior analyst of CLSA Americas; Christina Mercando, CEO & founder of Ringly; Zack Schildhorn, partner of Lux Capital and Alex Winter, CEO & founder of Placemeter who arrived later in the meetup last February 19 at Orrick at CBS Building.

The challenge for IoTs is not so much the how but why it’s not prevalent yet. “It’s hard to pick big winners,” Sager said, who cited so much noise in fitness trackers.

Maguire offered a half-glass-full insight for those who want to get into IoTs, “There are no sweet spots in IOTs. It's very open; no chokehold…unless there is some IPR (intellectual property right).”

Sager and Maguire agree on how smart light bulbs are gaining traction.  

If you’re interested in the space, Sager is optimistic about how it’s “quick to prototype” (your idea) and how “you can scale infinitely quickly.”

Case in point would be how Mercando built the software first – even without experience. In hindsight, she thinks it’s wise to have someone with experience.

In the beginning, she admits to not having people with experience, so she went to Silicon Valley and later had her fashion ring wearable made at PCH. It didn’t even matter if PCH has never done any wearable ring, but it eventually produced it for Ringly.

“Now we have people who are knowledgeable about what they do,”

In discussing work with contractors, Schildhorn of Lux Capital said it’s important to factor in contract manucturers, timelines and tooling.  “Determine what the needs are,” adding how language and culture play a role in the communication process.

“The more you control the better your product comes out in the end,” he said.

The panel agrees how innovation can move (things) quickly. But they are skeptical about security. “Password is so broken. It's going to get worse before it gets better.”

Schildhorn thinks the sensors we use now for IoTs may only last for two years, also because of how innovation changes everything quickly.