My travels last week took me to Tokyo for a presentation at the New Economy Summit, a gathering of several thousand entrepreneurs, industry professionals and students, organized by the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE).

Cisco leads JANE’s Internet of Things (IoT) Value Creation Working Group, which involves 27 member companies seeking to define new business models enabled by IoT and to identify challenges which might stall deployment in Japan.

NES Tokyo Wim Keynote Crop 040715

Our estimate of the potential value at stake for the Internet of Everything (IoE) in Japan  over the next decade is nearly $870 billion US dollars, in key verticals including public sector, manufacturing, financial services, energy, and transportation.

At NES, I joined an esteemed group of speakers that included industry luminaries from the U.S. and Japan, investors, and government representatives. Our engagement began with a small group meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who shared his vision for a connected Japan driving a new culture of innovation.

In my opinion, exponential innovation will require intense and open collaboration; co-development; rapid prototyping and experimentation. If you do one thing chances of success are 5%; twenty things, a 60% chance; fifty things, a 90% chance. As my fellow speaker, Drew Houston, CEO and co-founder of Box so aptly stated in his remarks, “Having no fear of failure is the key to success.”

We’re entering into a decade of experimentation driven by an explosion of startups. It’s a time of collaborative innovation to develop new business models and new sources of revenue – a time of co-invention and rapid prototyping – a time of learning quickly, discarding the things that don’t work and continuously moving forward.

I don’t believe any one company or organization can do this alone. Success requires partnerships that can attempt many things in parallel. Linear innovation produces incremental results. Exponential innovation can deliver exponential results and help companies, organizations and countries capitalize on the opportunity that IoE can bring.

What do you think?



Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief

Globalisation Officer