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Why your IoT project has a 95% chance of failing: The Valley of death

There are many articles, white papers and books written about the enterprise’s Valley of death.
The Valley of death is one of the biggest reasons why innovations fail.
It is related to technology readiness, market readiness, society adoption and financial viability.


Here’s one of the most important lessons from the Valley of death

Gather as much insights and experience as early as possible into your project.
At least if you want to turn your idea into a successful and profitable solution.



Our statement above seems too obvious to miss (or to write an article about).
However, in 95% of the cases, the pure enthusiasm and passion will tend to blindside the obvious.
Let’s give you an example: an engineer has found the best algorithm in the world that allows him to predict bearing failure.
10x better than any other algorithm. However, he didn’t consider the needed sensors were also 10x more expensive.
A second example: a robot can be more intuitively programmed, allowing for 5x faster deployment.
Unfortunately, the program is only considered 90% market-ready as the code is too difficult to transfer.
A third and last example: cars can drive fully autonomous but people are not ready for algorithms making critical decisions.


There’s good news for you.

A number of “Valley traps” are evolving in the right direction:


  • More and more MVP awareness! A number of experienced institutions teach about minimum viability testing
    and creating visibility into market readiness or adoption level. This ensures wise use of development and testing.
    It also helps finding your first customer or some friendly customers which are ready to lend a hand in return for
    a product or service which more tailored to their needs.1


  • Money everywhere! Capital is more accessible in a lot more forms and variety than 5 years ago: crowdfunding,
    incubation labs, smart “business angle” capital, innovation funds, bank initiatives to startups and scale-ups,
    research center programs, government funded initiatives, VC’s, private investors, …2


  • Starting a venture is cool! Attractiveness of starting a venture (or readiness/acceptance to fail) is definitely also
    evolving in the right direction. The number of starters has been on the rise for the fourth year in a row.
    Last year a report from Unizo highlighted 20% more entrepreneurs over the previous 3 years.3


So, what else do you need to avoid being blindsided

Surround yourself, your company and your idea with the right info and with the right people.
And do this as early as possible.
It is often considered that marketing, sales, after-sales or operations are functions which can be added “later”.
However, minimal viability testing of your idea, concept or venture with these business domains is critical.
Eventhough you are testing your idea/initiative externally, these intrinsic “internal” elements will learn you a lot.
More importantly, it will help you cross the Valley of death by avoiding issues with respect to:

  • Scalability
  • Manufacturability
  • Robustness
  • Quality
  • Customer service
  • ...


Include DevOps methodology in your project from day 1

DevOps is all about combining intelligence from development and operations.
If you do this from day 1, you ensure yourself to actually make, deliver, deploy and scale.
Having this DevOps competence from day 1 is as important for start-ups as for larger corporations.


Unitron Connect can help you overcome the Valley of death in your IoT project.

From hardware development to sourcing, producing and testing.
From day 1, we can provide you invaluable expertise in design for manufacturability, scalability, robustness, etc.


Are you in the Valley?

Reach out to us right now: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
More Info:
We’ll be glad to help you.


1 Eric Reis (


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