63: Submarines, IoT, and Intrapreneurship with Rob Tiffany

Rob Tiffany needs no introduction in the manufacturing world. His name might as well be synonymous with the Internet of Things, and right now, he’s a VP and IoT Intrapreneur at Ericsson.

In this episode, we cover a lot of ground, from submarines and the Navy to IoT, intrapreneurship, and saving the world. We chat about how Rob first got started in the world of IoT and manufacturing after a career in the Navy working on submarines. Rob shares some insights into the early days of smartphone manufacturing, how ‘trains as a service’ became a thing in Europe, the roadblocks in IoT’s way, and much more.

Tune in to learn more about the Internet of Things, where it’s heading in the future, and why we as manufacturers should stop over-complicating what it really means.

Make sure to visit ManufacturingHappyHour.com for detailed show notes and a full list of resources mentioned in this episode. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty.


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3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. In most cases, manufacturers overthink what IoT is. It’s usually a lot like the old systems you’ve been using for a while.
  2. A career in the Navy and in submarines specifically can teach you a lot of skills relevant to a career in manufacturing.
  3. Security and complexity are some of the biggest roadblocks to IoT and why it hasn’t taken off as many hoped.

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Tweetable Quotes

  • “Security is neck and neck in first place on why IoT is not working out.”
  • “I’d say most IoT systems look like just modern versions of the old stuff that people did a long time ago.”
  • “Think about a submarine. It is a heavy piece of machinery. And guess what? Things break, and things have to get fixed. And so, you definitely learn a lot of great skills just from spending time there.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn.

SteamChain.io is the Machine-as-a-Service solution provider helping both End-Users and OEMs collaborate, drive revenue, and grow together. Learn more about them on Episode 5 of Manufacturing Happy Hour.

Interested in generating leads through videos, podcasts, or other digital content? Then make sure to check out our 6 Strategies for Growing Your Manufacturing Business Using Social Media.

What We Discuss with Rob

  • What IoT is and why we overcomplicate it
  • What Rob learned from being in the Navy and working on submarines
  • How working on submarines provides so many transferable skills for manufacturing
  • The early days of IoT and building the early smartphones
  • How ‘trains as a service’ became a real business proposition
  • Why Rob loves IoT
  • The challenges and roadblocks to IoT
  • How Ericsson encourage intrapreneurship
  • How Rob is helping to “save the world” with the Moab Foundation

Recommended Resources

Connect with Rob

LinkedIn | Twitter