Rocket Wagon Venture Studios was launched in early 2019. I was approached about this over a year and a half ago and found the venture studio model most compelling. Specifically, having run small venture-backed companies for years, the venture studio model made complete sense. The odds of success should grow immensely when you form an experienced team of entrepreneurs that become an extension of a budding new entrepreneur and take that person (or people) from the idea or early stage to commercialization. I was approached to do just that, but given my expertise, with a very deliberate focus on IoT. The more we thought about it, the more we leaned towards creating a family of IoT focused venture studios incorporating specific holistic IoT considerations, but then further adding domain-specific expertise in the form of vertically aligned IoT studios, like the New Mobility Studio or the Industrial IoT Studio or others. So that’s what we did.
Our path forward has been exciting as we ramp up operations. Having the studios vertically aligned works well for creating co-investing opportunities for players in any given ecosystem that may not be direct competitors but co-exist in a given vertical market. As we engage these discussions, we convey our vision of the Internet of Things and the progression of the market to a cyber-physical world. Key to this discussion is our consistent view of the importance of architecture and approaching IoT from a holistic standpoint. To that end, I will be the first to admit that there are many talented and passionate people and organizations focused on IoT. I have much respect for many of these people and count them among my good friends. It has become clear, however, that our approach to assessing and understanding the environment, the challenges, and directional considerations is resonating well.
IoT is not easy. The need for understanding the complexity and inter-relationships are critical. I say this over and over, IoT is a holistic proposition. It ultimately culminates in optimizing the creation of the richest underlying data set that can be delivered to the right constituent, at the right time, and in the right way. So, while AI and Machine Learning are every bit as significant and essential as the current hype suggests, they are simultaneously only as effective as the underlying data that fuels those models. These discussions underpin not only what we are doing but have also triggered common responses as to our understanding of cyber-physical transformation and the truly foundational considerations for getting it right. We are not the only ones who understand this, but rest assured, understand it from a comprehensive and holistic vantage point. We have been getting more and more requests for “having this discussion with our executives.” We have heard comments to the effect of how valuable our input would be to various executive teams when looking at their overall strategic vision. That discussion is often accompanied by commentary that executive teams often lack sufficient understanding about market direction, in the context of IoT, to make sound decisions. In contemplation of this ongoing feedback, we decided to form Rocket Wagon Venture Studios Advisory Services.
So, what will we be doing with this business unit within RWVS? Do we want to be Bain or McKinsey? We do not. We have massive respect for both. How about Gartner or IDC? Nope, not that either. We want to use our knowledge, and more to the point, our ability to convey that knowledge in a bite-sized succinct fashion, to help executives advance their understanding without taking months or years and spending millions of dollars. We aim to be more of the Pareto principle complement to higher-level consultancies. Instead of three months, a million bucks, suits and dinner at the Palm, we are looking at a half-day workshop, periodic ongoing advisory, jeans, and Starbucks. Our business is not consulting; our business is on helping create the gold standard of cyber-physical companies for the future. Our advisory services are “value added.” And, they are indeed valuable. Highly valuable.
We will be publishing more information about this on our site. We are beyond pleased to have Christopher Bonanti, a powerful and seasoned executive, driving this business unit forward. We expect that these services will be highly complementary to our core business of venture studios. If you read this and think we might be helpful, let us know. We are passionate about what we do, and this is an exciting additional element to our organization.