ATTN: IoT Smart Device developers. Quick questions please?

Hello all,

Apologies in advance if this is not the right section to ask this as I wasn't sure where else to ask.

I'm currently at Techstars Startup Weekend and my team is working on a biz solution for IoT developers. If any of you have 2 min to spare, could I trouble you to answer the questions below as we're trying to gauge if there is market demand here and/or feature changes needed. Thanks in advance!

1) Would you be more inclined to develop for IoT smart devices if there was a platform/SDK for you to interact with other IoT smart devices (ex. Amazon Echo to work with Nest thermostat)

To our limited knowledge, it is very expensive and time consuming to develop a software that would speak with multiple smart devices from different brands so we would want to provide a no cost/low cost "Go To Market" solution for developers.

2) If you did see benefit in this service, what would you realistically pay for it?

Our initial thinking is to be supportive of the independent developer where we only succeed if YOU succeed. So we would have freemium/premium model where the basic tools would be free and once an MVP was established, there would be a monthly fee and the end goal being an affiliate commission model where we would earn a small monthly fee from each device you sold. Oh BTW, we would also have a customer interfacing marketplace portal where we help you sell your product.

3) Are there any other specific pain points/needs/benefits that you wish were available and how much would you realistically pay for it?

Thanks again everybody! We really appreciate your help.


IMNSHO, costs are a major driver of IoT devices, and people aren't willing to pay anything for "development aids." Businesses that try to provide for-fee products for such devices, from compilers to libraries to net-brokerages to whatever are failing left and right. (Oh, you might find some major manufacturer who's not into SW and willing to pay; some 3rd party probably made a pretty penny on the Philips Hue bridge. But ... few and far between.)

  1. Oh please no not another software trying to do it for me. There are so many little packages that are supposed to make things easier by taking away all the need for technical knowledge, even Arduino is an example. But as a rule they end up pigeon-holing a guy like me that knows how to figure out code. Most of the time there is already an API somewhere and some software trying to hide that from me just gives me another layer of stuff that I have to figure out how it works before I can get down to the business of making my project work. Maybe if I'm doing one of the few thing that they were thinking of when they designed the tool then it becomes trivial, but as soon as I am out of that box such tools get in the way more than they help. The secret to good development is to understand what is actually going on in your program, not to have all those detail hidden away by some helper program.

  2. Not a dime. Don't build your business based on people paying for your code. It will go down in flames every time. You're not Microsoft writing Windows for the average dumb computer user. You're writing a tool to be used by people who have the ability to write that tool themselves. Guaranteed that whatever you design and try to charge for will be copied into a free version that does the same things and doesn't cost a dime. After that you don't make anything. You have to find a different profit model. There are plenty out there that work, but the pay for the code model is dead, at least in this sector.

  3. Again, there you are with the how much would you pay. I won't pay anything. I'll see what your program does for me, reverse engineer it, write my own, and then give it away to everyone. This isn't how you make money in software dev these days.