The answer, naturally, is always different. But, no matter the technology or trend, the question itself has remained unchanged. That is, until the era of Internet of Things changed everything and determined that the next BIG thing would be a combination of many BIG things

Whereas past revolutions were set ablaze by a singular technology, IoT is ignited through a plurality of capabilities, frequencies, sensors, software, data, and devices. And, while other technologies were bolstered via a killer app, IoT breaks the mold by way of a killer combo — turning every object into a killer app.

Let me illustrate IoT’s dramatic departure through recent examples, and metaphors. True to its viral nature, social networking was a movement that caught on slowly and spread suddenly. Mobile, conversely, was a massive tidal wave that hit hard, fast, and fierce — seemingly connecting humanity overnight.

But IoT is more akin to the perfect storm

Far from an isolated incident (or single technology), IoT is a series of several forces (many capabilities) that have simultaneously been gaining momentum. Their inevitable convergence will make for a truly historic event in size, scale, and economic impact.

The perfect storm is particularly apt, given that IoT will be unleashed upon the physical world, ultimately leaving no geography, industry, sector, place, process — or thing! — untouched or un-networked. Further, as IoT isn’t one thing, but a mounting collection of components, each element has required time in order to increase in sophistication, decrease in size, and lower in price. Welcome to IoT’s new world order of the next BIG thing(s).