All posts by Jeff Hadfield

Enterprise Wearables: Developer Market Opportunity

Enterprise wearables present an interesting developer market opportunity. This week’s Economist article,The Wear, Why and How,” this section stood out:

“The next stage in wearables’ development may be led by business users. It is still early days. “Everything I am seeing is trials,” says Arnie Lund, a senior engineer at General Electric. Yet wearable devices would be useful in the workplace in all sorts of ways. … Consumers may benefit in the end, but the buyers of the wearable devices will be businesses.

     For companies the cost of kitting out their staff with smartwear is less of a problem than building the computer systems needed to support such devices and process their data. This can cost $500,000 or more for each application, says Dave Miller of Covisint, a technology firm.”

Two interesting points around the wearable: First, the article suggests, rightly, that the biggest growth in wearables will come from the enterprise (“business users”). We’ve seen this in so many segments, including mobile. The buzz, the news coverage and the startups tend to focus around consumer applications. So while those applications are interesting and worthwhile, opportunity lies in the enterprise.

Second, check out the bold section of the quote above: it’s the computer systems that will cost more — and take more time — than the actual distribution and maintenance of devices. As more devices and sensors infiltrate the enterprise, the software development needs will increase dramatically. As we alluded to in this recent Quick Take, the devices and sensors are only the most visible part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Software and data — mostly cloud-based — are just as essential.

And that’s the key takeaway: the visible “wearable” is only the tip of the iceberg. The business users are just beginning, and, in turn, developers will fill huge software needs for those uses. The business opportunity for those providing developers with services and products is similar in potential. How can your offering serve this nascent need?

Four Keys to Understanding IoT (Internet of Things) Trends

This week’s Mobile World Congress event re-highlights The Internet of Things (IoT). But is it a buzzword, a trend, or just hype? Well, the phrase is all three of those things. But there are some keys to understanding that any technology marketer, or technologist, should agree on. Understanding these four keys will help with planning and perspective.

First, “the Internet of Things” is a horrible name for what’s really going on. What’s going on? As Marc Canter put it, it’s “the culmination of all modern technology that is finally uniting the online technological world and the real world.” Another way to put it – it’s combining sensors that tell you something about the world with data storage in the cloud … all of it tied together with software. So if we accept that “IoT” means sensors, data and software, well, then we can live with the poor naming. (It’s worth reading the rest of Canter’s piece in TechCrunch.)

Second, Lower-cost prototyping systems can easily be made from boards like the Arduino or Raspberry Pi, saving thousands of dollars (euros, pounds, etc.) and months of time in smart sensor and smart device creation. We recall talking to an M2M-focused friend a few years ago who was stymied in bringing hardware and software developers on board because of the prohibitive cost of custom prototype boards. After our conversation, she piloted a program to use Arduino boards with a simple, custom sub-board to serve their needs inexpensively and quickly. This is exactly what will drive the IoT future: these easy-to-use and inexpensive computing devices — not only innovated on by hobbyists, but used by professional developers to solve their real business and real-world needs.

Third, we have to rise our heads above the current IoT buzzword/marketing din and keep an eye on the overall trends. Yes, “IoT” is an unfortunate marketing term that we see stuck on all kinds of useless items already.  (See our friend Jim Louderback’s great piece on the “Internet of Crap.”) Interoperability is increasing, although still not ideal. But overall, the technology is evolving quickly, and it’s exciting to watch. We may not know what’s coming, but watching the overall trends is fun.

Fourth, and related to the last one, is the importance of understanding that IoT is more than activity tracking wearables, connected/smart home and connected car solutions. The IoT means business solutions that clarify and illuminate physical and data trends. It means the potential for technology to supplement and enhance our lives and work. And it means we could soon see devices that streamline our day — not constantly require rebooting, reconnecting or updates.

PS: There’s a cool “vision” video and page from Microsoft that you may enjoy perusing if you’re interested in seeing what this even-more-connected future may entail.

15-Minute Marketing Masterclass for Developers

In early February, Jeff spoke to a group of Salt Lake City startups about a fresh approach to marketing. The presentation design was not to give a step-by-step plan, but instead to suggest a new way of approaching marketing and inspire the largely technical audience. He was joined onstage for other presentations from Alex Rofman, Apple’s App Store head, local developer Chad Zeluff and the always prescient Morgan Reed from ACT (The Association for Competitive Technology; aka “The App Association.”). Venue: the nascent Church & State co-working space and incubator.

Here is Jeff’s presentation – not professionally filmed but still useful:


Key Trends for Developers to Watch in 2015

At the recent SAP TechEd/d-Code in Las Vegas, Jeff had the chance to talk to a room full of developers (and thousands more online) about key trends for them to watch in 2015.

We’ve found value in educating developers about trends and how to understand the larger context in which technical innovations happens. We’ve also found that developers need some help with the basics of marketing — the converse of our usual helping marketers talk to developers — but that’s a subject for another post.

Check out the video of the presentation here:


HADFIELD JONES is a consultancy built on experience and excellence in reaching developers. We help companies, from startup to global, understand, build, run, promote and measure their developer programs.

Where did we come from? Bruce Jones and Jeff Hadfield have known each other for years in the industry, from business dealings to speaking at the same conferences. When they had the opportunity to work together, they were excited to do so. As Jeff put it, “Bruce has years of experience building, launching and running world-class developer programs — and mastering developer evangelism. For the last two decades, I’ve been working on the media side, working on content, developer marketing and keeping a close eye on trends. Our strengths and experience complement each other, and combine to help our clients with every aspect of a developer program.”

As software becomes increasingly essential to our world, so do software and app developers. Thus, developers become essential to nearly every company’s success. Bruce Jones and Jeff Hadfield see the demand for developers increasing — yet developer program management, developer evangelism and developer marketing remain relatively new disciplines. HADFIELD JONES was founded to help people in companies of all sizes build developer programs and conduct developer outreach in intelligent, sustainable and effective ways.

Bruce and Jeff, co-authors of the forthcoming book, Developer Program Excellence, bring their combined decades of experience in developer programs, developer marketing and content development to help companies of all sizes reach developers effectively. In their careers, they’ve worked with companies such as Google, Ford, HTC, Intel, Verifone, Amazon, Sprint, Adobe, Microsoft, Sony, eBay, PayPal, Visa, ESRI, Facebook, Cisco, AT&T, and hundreds more achieve success in the developer market.