Small entrepreneurs empowered by M2M and the CloudSmall entrepreneurs empowered by M2M and the Cloud

 

As this company blog starts, I feel the need to explain the vision that motivated us to create Carriots. Reading Google’s blog I found the right example on how the Cloud and M2M are revolutionary technologies for small entrepreneurs to create new businesses and new products.

Nomanini, the example of a social entrepreneur’s start up:

A small company in South Africa, Nomanini, has created a nice product with small resources by using the leverage of Cloud platforms and cheap electronics. This product also improves rural communities by helping local entrepreneurs to have an extra income.

Nomanini has created this portable sales terminal to sell vouchers for mobile services in Africa:

The Lula, Nomanini's portable voucher sales terminal
Source: Google App Engine Blog. http://googleappengine.blogspot.com.es/2012/12/developer-insights-mobile-voucher-sales.html

The application behind the device is running on Google AppEngine which is a powerful and general purpose Platform as a Service (PaaS). This is how the device integrates with the application over the cloud:

Nomanini uses Google App Engine to support the backend system
Source Google App Engine Blog. http://googleappengine.blogspot.com.es/2012/12/developer-insights-mobile-voucher-sales.html

Google’s approach and Carriots:

Certainly Google App Engine and Carriots M2M Application Platform can be seen as competitors. While Google App Engine has a broad approach, Carriots is more focused on M2M Apps and aims to help you build faster and easier applications for the Internet of Things. We designed Carriots with the same idea that applications should be built on the Cloud and integrated with cheap devices and other IT systems. Our approach is to help small entrepreneurs develop M2M applications faster and easier. We want developers to focus on their devices and their applications instead of writing a lot of code. The true winners of this competition in PaaS solutions are small entrepreneurs who can build lean start-ups, faster and with fewer resources.

Small Entrepreneurs can explore new ideas:

One of the keys of success in business is to experiment a lot and develop as many ideas as possible. Small entrepreneurs around the world have lots of ideas. Most of these ideas never become a new product because the cost of development is too high. Besides, when you develop new products, you have to accept failure as part of the creative process. Since resources are always scarce, entrepreneurs and companies have to prototype new products as cheap as the can. In M2M and IOT products, prototyping is now very cheap due to two factors:

1. Open Electronics Platforms for cheap and fast prototyping:

Platforms like Arduino, Raspberry-Pi or Souliss, just to name a few, help entrepreneurs transform a conceptual idea into a real working prototype. Certainly a prototype is not a product you can sell right away to a customer. But prototypes are extremely helpful to gather feedback from potential customers and test the idea behind your product. This open electronics platforms are the lean start of hardware IOT product design. The cost of hardware development in these platforms is very low and the knowledge of electronics you need is far simpler than developing a device from scratch.

2. M2M Applications Platforms to build applications for connected products:

IOT products and services depend on embedded software on the device and on backend applications. M2M Application Platforms, like Carriots, help developers build fast prototypes of that backend application without the cost of expending in IT infrastructure. Besides if the prototype is transformed into a product, scalability is not an issue. Application Platforms focused on M2M and IOT also provide simpler and proven solutions for issues like:

  • Device Management
  • Data Protocols implementation
  • Database management for Big Data
  • Rule Engine to build Apps
  • Integration with other Web Apps

Combining Open Electronics and M2M App Platforms:

When a Small Entrepreneurs combines these two emerging solutions, he is empowered to compete with large companies with higher resources because:

  • Fewer electronics and software knowledge is needed to develop a new product.
  • Product development is cheaper both in electronics and software
  • Faster the idea is transformed into a prototype to be tested.
  • Transforming a prototype into a product is cheaper and faster.

Besides, since the cost of product development is lower, failure is more acceptable and resources can be allocated into different product development.

The IOT revolution is a Blue Ocean for small entrepreneurs:

The revolution of Internet of Things has just started and the future is full of possibilities. In fact there are so many concept ideas to be tested, that small entrepreneurs have to face a Blue Ocean Strategy. At Carriots we are working hard to create a tool that small entrepreneurs can use to create new products and services.

Our platform is open to your product development. We welcome all kind of entrepreneurs to test Carriots and let us know what is your project about.

Regards,

Miguel.

(This post is written by Miguel Castillo, CEO of Carriots.com)

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