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28 Jul

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Monthnotes for July 2016

July 28, 2016 | By |

July has been a nicely productive month: Not traveling much certainly helps to get stuff done! The primary focus this month was on in-house projects which tend to fall through the cracks a bit during travel months: ThingsCon, Good Home, Ignite.

I took stock of what happened so far in 2016 here at TWC. It’s a quick read, and hopefully a solid overview. For now, let’s stick to this month.

Understanding the Connected Home
Our ebook is available online at TheConnectedHome.org. If you want to support this and future books, there’s also a Kindle-formatted version on the Kindle store. For testing purposes we also serialized it on Medium (starting here). I’m curious to see which versions will be most popular. In the meantime, we cleaned up the Gitbook page for the book, too. Personally I’m most excited to hear from friends in large tech companies that the book has been popping up and is regularly referenced in internal discussions and meetings. That’s fantastic and pretty much the best case scenario we were hoping for: <3

ThingsCon
Phew, so much happening in ThingsCon land! We have a ton of global events happening and more signing up every week. A current snapshot of the global footprint (not including at least two very exciting locales I’m pretty confident will be confirmed soon):

You can find an up-to-date list at thingscon.com/events. We’re also starting serious planning for ThingsCon 17, where we plan to shake up things a bit. (Pssst, mark your calendars for May 31st to June 2nd, but don’t book your travel just yet.) In preparation for ThingsCon 17 and to foster our global local host community, we’re also putting together a shared weekend out in the countryside in September (yay ThingsCamp!).

We’re also starting to seriously looking into funding options: We’d like to get ThingsCon to be self-sustainable (or at least get to be in the black) to keep doing it in future years. Getting there with just ticket revenue seems tricky at best, and we don’t want to go down the road of primarily chasing industry sponsorships. Public funding and backing from foundations seem the most promising path especially given we’d like to focus—and double down on—building a values-based IoT.

Two concrete calls to action:

Dearsouvenir
Our magazine is up in English or German. (You can also win some neat trips on the German Dearsouvenir site.) It’s a great ride to see this magazine prosper, and I can’t wait to start working on issue 3.

The Good Home
Alex and I are planning for London Design Festival (LDF). For details—and updates on those details—of what we’ll be bringing to the party, follow the website and Twitter accounts. After LDF, we’ll be bringing the Good Home to Mozfest (also London) and then extend a little bit into Werkwoche Augsburg. Lots of updates to come soon!

Ignite Berlin
We’re experimenting with a new format, Ignite Specials, which we’re kicking off with a collaboration of Ignite Berlin and ViewSource Conference (Sept 12th, 2016). You can find all details about Ignite @ ViewSource here. It’s going to be the biggest Ignite Berlin yet! More urgently, the call for presentations is open: Head on over to igniteberlin.com/cfp today—it just takes 5 quick questions!

Open innovation & open hardware in Shenzhen
I’m curious to learn more about Shenzhen and open innovation, and what we can learn in the Western tech scene & industry. (Spoiler: My hypothesis is that Shenzhen’s open source-ish approach is the key to success for the future of connected hardware.) If all goes well, we’ll be there in November to see for ourselves.

Postscapes IoT Top 100
Postscapes kindly named me in their top 100 influencers in IoT (in the top 20). Thank you! On a side note, the ranking it’s based on social media rankings which I personally don’t trust much (I opted out of Klout a long time ago.), but it’s nice to be included in their hand-picked list. Much appreciated!

Writing
I’ve also been doing a little bit of writing. Boris Adryan kindly asked me to make a small contribution to his book. I’m honored and happy to add a few pages!

Got a beautiful, limited edition print of issue zero of We Seek, E-180’s magazine as an author’s copy.

Also, this quick sketch of the various arenas of IoT might come in handy next time you see a conversation about IoT go off track because the term is just so broadly applied.

Speaking of maps and clear communications: I did some cleaning up on the TWC website, esp. around client services vs inhouse (ie. self-initiated) activities. This mostly to reflect the thinking behind the masterplan that all my activities works towards.

On the side, I’ve been digging a bit into coding classes; concretely Python basics, thanks to some excellent online courses. Props to Udacity. Highly recommended.

So what’s on the horizon?
Not in chronological order: Dearsouvenir #3, Shanghai & Shenzhen road trip for ThingsCon, ThingsCamp. Talks and workshops at the German-Japanese Leadership Forum, ThingsCon Salons Shanghai and Shenzhen, ThingsCon AMS, London Design Festival, and Werkwoche Augsburg.