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It seems like everyone’s telling you what you should do to build your smart device, huh? Well, we are tired of that. Here are some things you SHOULDN’T do, besides the obvious—like build a smart jar for your whole-wheat flour. Oh wait. Somebody did.

1. Don’t just get new hardware.

Sensors are great. As are meters, displays, and memory. But in order to make a connected device, you’ll need to think beyond those. Think of this mighty trio: hardware, software, and service. Instead of just plunking in the magic IoT button inside your device, you’ll need to think strategically about how your customer will interact with it. How will you design the software to be flexible, intuitive, and bug-free? How will you keep your app simple yet robust, keeping the relevant data available for the user and the rest of it working seamlessly behind the scenes? And how will you be ready for the immediacy in customer service that is inherent in a connected device? Which brings us to…

2. Don’t make a product.

You aren’t making a product anymore. You’re making a CONNECTED product. Which means you’re creating a relationship—a two-way highway with your customer. This means your product life cycle no longer has an end date. Your product doesn’t hit the shelves and then you wash your hands and give your team a round of high fives. You’ve got a launch date where the next phase begins. The customer relationship phase. The data management phase. The security management phase. The software update phase. IoT fundamentally changes your business structure, so you need to start building the groundwork for that long before your product leaves the factory. Speaking of what leaves your factory…

3. Don’t make IoT junk.

We’ve said before, but please don’t make an IoT product just to be part of the cool crowd. Make a connected product to improve your customers’ lives. Find out what they want from your brand. What would they expect? What would they invent if they worked in your company? To really win at this game, you’ll need to create something that becomes essential to people’s lives, not just a Crystal-Pepsi-esque gimmick.

And one more bonus! Don’t be lonely. The IoT world is changing everyday, and the things you learn today will be different tomorrow. So talk with experts. Go to shows. Find a partner that understands your brand and where you’re coming from, and helps you envision where you want to go.

Photo credit: YouTube, Pepsi