Justin GrammensJustin Grammens

This past weekend I had the opportunity to co-organize, emcee and participate in the first IoTHackDay in Minnesota where teams formed to build an IoT project in 10 hours. During my opening remarks, I noted that while some participants had prior experience working together, in most cases the people on the teams had never met before we opened the competition! Thus, "the cause" was more important than "the people".

This got me to thinking, was this something that would happen in other fields? Maybe, but maybe not. Engineers working on IoT solutions today are pioneers. They are focused on solving real world problems using whatever tools are available now. They tinker in their basement, at Maker Faires, in groups and events like IoTHackDay and many other places. They are not driven by a company mandate or the need to make a profit. They are artists, quite literally, as many teams used drills, saws, soldering irons, laser cutters, etc as they built their project.

Additionally, the sharing between the teams was phenomenal. Teams helped each other where they needed with no questions asked. Need a battery? Some wire? A WIFI access point? No problem! These teams shared whatever was needed with each other. Maybe it's just being Minnesotan, but I think there is something more at play here. It's again "the cause" that matters. It even showed in the team that won the competition by popular vote and their solution to help those with subconscious behaviors.

I'm excited to be a part of this small, but growing community of builders and makers who are building intelligent physical objects to solve problems in the world today. We have something unique going on. With the combination of hardware, software and the physical world, the potential to do good in the world is huge.

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