The jet turbine companies’ switch to leasing is a great example of the fourth, and interrelated, IoT Essential Truth: rethink products and their roles.
TRANSFORM THE PRODUCT DESIGN PROCESS
Because the manufacturer no longer needs to guess about whether the customer likes the product and how it’s being used, product design and refinement becomes a continuous process, so that GE and others can now push a product upgrade out the door more rapidly and increase the chance that customers will be satisfied.
Software now becomes a key component of products, especially in terms of maintenance and upgrades. Tesla’s response after a product recall because of issues with its suspension is a great example.
As Wired recounts: “Not to worry,” said Tesla, and completed the fix for its 29,222 vehicle owners via software update.
What’s more, this wasn’t the first time Tesla has used such updates to enhance the performance of its cars. Last year it changed the suspension settings to give the car more clearance at high speeds, due to issues that had surfaced in certain collisions. Even better, the upgrade was done automatically, overnight, without requiring customers to go to a dealer.
Changing our attitudes about products can mean exciting breakthroughs that were unimaginable in the recent past. Consider the example of BigBelly trash bins in Chapter 1 [from The Future Is Smart] and how they reinvented a traditionally mundane product. Also, because of designers capitalizing on the IoT’s disruptive power, products that once were costly and so large that they had to be located in a permanent facility are now affordable and can fit in a pocket.