How We Build Our First IoT Product

Here’s how we learned to build our first IoT product. Check out the essential tips to consider in your IoT development.

When we got back from Silicon Valley, we decided to solve the problem of Senior Citizens using IoT. This product became our first commercial ioT solution which took us almost two years to build from zero into a finished product, and we started as early as April 2017.

Here’s how we learned to build our first IoT product. Check out some of the few essential tips to consider in your IoT development.

Problem Statement

We are seeing the trend of “Ageing in place” whereby more elderly people will be retiring and stay at home either alone with their spouses or with their children. They lived longer because of the health facilities but not necessarily healthier, and they might be suffering from heart problems, diabetes, or even dementia.

Their grown-up children might be very busy with their jobs or family and thus unable to monitor their elderly parents continuously. If there are emergency cases when the parents fall sick or fall, they have difficulty calling for help. Sometimes, due to dementia, they will have trouble remembering to return home.

Thus, what if we have a technology that can continuously monitor them and have a simple feature to trigger for help?

How Big is the Market?

The world population is not getting any younger. According to the latest estimates, by 2050, there will be 2 billion people aged over 60 (20 % of the world’s population). There are an estimated 3.5 million people – or 7% of the population – in Malaysia who are above 65. Japan, France, Italy, and Germany have more than 20% of people aged above 65.

Thus, the market for senior citizen healthcare can be huge.

Ageing Population Issue

The IoT Solution

The idea is to monitor the health and safety of senior citizens. Thus, we need to have sensors that can monitor their health condition and location to ensure their safety if they get lost or fall.

We choose a single device solution for the following reasons:

  • A single device is easy to carry and manage
  • A monitoring device that can be monitored everywhere and support mobility
  • Since it has to monitor the health vitals, the device must be able to have contact with the person’s body
  • A device that can easily trigger an alarm and show the location of the individual
  • Option to make or receive a call
  • A caretaker or their children can monitor them from remote

With the above conditions and requirements, we chose a wearable device with health sensors and a GPS.

  • The individual can use wearable devices like a smartwatch with total mobility.
  • Wearables with built-in sensors monitor the person’s health, such as the number of steps, heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, and fall detection.
  • GPS is a better solution to track the location either in-house or in-building and outside the building.
  • The device has data connectivity to send the information to the cloud or the caretaker and also optionally has a voice feature for two-way communication.
  • A mobile app continuously tracks the elderly parent’s health and location.
RAQIB – Peace of Mind

Go-to-Market

This market is the tricky part for a Startup that ventures into a healthcare solution. We can have two business models – B2B or B2C. But which is a better model?

We started to approach Senior Citizens Care Centers in anticipating for B2B market. However, what we found was surprisingly a simple and yet a big mistake – it’s not the kind of market that we should approach because these Senior Citizens are already 24x7x365 days are monitored by their caregivers.

Pivot is the Name of the Game

Then, we pivot for B2C marketing online via Social Media channels and participate in exhibitions or talk at conferences. Finally, it piques some interest, and people start to inquire and make purchases.

However, the market is still tiny, and we pivot again to a different market segment, i.e., Hajj Pilgrims. We approached Hajj and Umrah Travel Agents, encouraging them to package their Hajj/Umrah package with a value-added service to monitor their health and safety when performing their rituals. However, that B2B model is still not attractive enough, and we have to revert to B2C, where we target individual Hajj or Umrah pilgrims.

The challenges of both the Senior Citizens and the Hajj market are worth another article in the future. Our first IoT adventure has just started! 

Articles worth reading next!

  1. How We Build My First IoT Product
  2. How We Build Our Second IoT Product
  3. How We Build Our Third IoT Product
  4. How We Build Our Fourth IoT Product
Raqib for Travellers

How Silicon Valley Changed My View on the World of Startups

The visit to Silicon Valley companies changed my view about the world of Startups. Many started with a humble beginning. Technology was born here. Anything seems possible!

At the end of the 2016 visit, I had the opportunity to visit Silicon Valley with the MDEC delegation in the Silicon Valley Immersion Program. This trip transformed the way I look at entrepreneurship – “Anything is possible” and “Have a grand vision, and you can turn it into a reality” attitude.

I have never thought in my whole life to become an entrepreneur. All I think was to become a CTO in any big corporate organisation – that’s all. However, that business trip changed my whole life! On my return home, I decided to build a Startup in IoT – and that’s how FAVORIOT was born in early 2017.

The Inspiring Logos

For a first-time visitor, I was excited watching the Logos of famous companies on buildings, offices, parks, and shops – it’s the everyday hardware and software that we used back home. Hewlett Packard, GE, Cisco, Apple, Google, Facebook are among the logos that inspired me. My heart was beating fast to be at the place where the technology or product that I used daily was born!

The History

For any computer enthusiasts, the Computer History Museum at Mountain View is an excellent place to visit. You can see how computer history began here, starting with the vacuum valve to integrated circuits and the first PC and Apple computer. What you see in photos can now be seen physically, and that already amazes me. Imagine the power of our computers and smartphones begin with a small step from the brilliant minds of the inventors and innovators of Silicon Valley. For a first-time visitor, I was excited watching the Logos of famous companies on buildings, offices, parks, and shops – it’s the everyday hardware and software that we used back home. Hewlett Packard, GE, Cisco, Apple, Google, Facebook are among the logos that inspired me. My heart was beating fast to be at the place where the technology or product that I used daily was born!

Birth Place of Unicorns

Many Unicorns started with a humble beginning, and some started at Plug and Play Tech Center. For example, Dropbox started from within a small cubicle in Plug and Play, and it has now valued at USD 10 Billion. Other examples are PayPal, LendingClub, Guardant, Hippo, and many others. Seeing that logos on their walls made you believe, “If they can do it, why can’t we?

Plug and Play

Pitching Valley

We had the opportunity to pitch in front of investors at Hero City, Draper University. It was a very nerve-wracking experience – even though we had practiced the pitch many times before arriving in Silicon Valley. It seems to pitch is like an everyday thing here, and you can either pitch on an official platform or pitch to an individual investor after the event. Personally, the term “pitch” is synonymous with a short talk to convince investors about your Startup.

Sharing Culture

Almost all the people we talked to here are amicable and keen to listen to our ideas and give constructive feedback. They are more than willing to recommend us to other parties if they see their peers or friends benefit from our solutions.

Startup Ecosystem

The place is always bursting with new ideas, and no one seems to get worried if their ideas get stolen or not. Maybe it’s because many of these ideas are not unique to them, and they would instead share with others so that they can help to improve the ideas further. There are so many Startup Founders and Investors, and you might be lucky if you happen to have lunch or dinner in a restaurant and meet them.

The highlight of the visit is the walk-around on Google and Facebook Campus. It’s like a small Google or Facebook city!

Google Campus
Facebook Campus

Anything is Possible!

The energy, enthusiasms, and excitement made you believe that your ideas could soar higher and conquer the world. Age doesn’t matter anymore – anyone can start their entrepreneurship journey with a small cubicle or co-working space. Ideas can spark quickly and maybe can fuse with other ideas to make it better. The conducive Startup ecosystem of supporting each other made you believe that you are not alone in this world, and everyone here seems to be open enough to help you.

I will share the rest of the entrepreneurship journey in another article – why I choose the Internet of Things (IoT) as our business focus and why we build the first IoT solution that we think can conquer the world!

Silicon Valley USA 2016 Trip

Why IoT Adventure Book?

When I have this idea to write another E-book on Internet of Things, I was trying to figure what’s the best way to share my IoT journey.

Earlier, I have published two E-books – Your IoT Journey (815 downloads) and IoT Notes (1445 downloads). Both of these E-books I have made it available for free. Initially when it was first launched, it was offered at a price below USD 2.99.

In the latest E-book, IoT Adventure, it will go deeper into the business of IoT. Mainly it will be from my personal experience venturing into IoT entrepreneurship.

IoT Adventure – Your IoT Adventure Begins Here

IoT Adventure Contents

It will highlight several things (list is not exhaustive):

  • Why is IoT as the main business?.
  • In which area should we focus in IoT since it covers a very vast area.
  • Who and where do we find the customers?
  • Do we really have IoT killer apps?
  • How do we build the first IoT product?
  • What are the things we need to avoid failure?
  • How do we market our IoT product?
  • How do we price our solutions?
  • What are the business models?
  • What kind of support is required?
  • How do we grow our IoT business?

You can check more of the IoT Adventure contents here.

Personally, it has been a very exhilarating adventure when I decided to embark on this journey. We have failed and learned a lot and it’s about time to share some of my experience so that we can help new IoT entrepreneurs to be more successful in their mission to solve their customer’s problems.

But I also would like to open to comments from the readers to share their thoughts and experiences about their IoT business too and how it can help the whole IoT ecosystem to spur and grow exponentially.

Sign-up – Please inform me of your new IoT Adventure eBook!

The path in building an IoT business is not straightforward – especially when it involved many IoT Ecosystem players, new market and mindset transformation.

Dr. Mazlan Abbas

18 Tips – How to Use Twitter to Drive Traffic to Your Blog

Your Blog can be considered a “dead” blog if there’s no traffic and no one is reading or aware of them. A lot of bloggers stopped half-way and abandoned their blog when they didn’t see any traffic or activity.

However, in the era of social media, we have many channels to promote our blogs, which includes Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. However, in order to drive tons of traffic, we need to do this the right way. Below are some of the tips and formulas.

  1. Use short and provocative tweets
  2. Include an intriguing quote from post
  3. Include statistics
  4. Make use of #Hashtags creatively
  5. Use @mentions
  6. Retweet mentioned blog content
  7. Ask for a Retweet (or RT)
  8. Use visually appealing images
  9. As a question related to your topic
  10. Tweet about your blog-hosted contest
  11. Promote your tweets
  12. Include a blog link in your bio
  13. Schedule your tweet properly
  14. Include a strong call to action
  15. Tweet the link more than once
  16. Create “Click to Tweets” within your article
  17. Retweet or thank anyone who mentions your Blog
  18. Pin your latest blog post to the top of Twitter Timeline

Not only your Blog will have more traffic, but your own Twitter account can also attract more followers. Your Twitter will be seen to be more engaging with relevant content sharing.

As of today, my Twitter handle @mazlan_abbas has only 4,162 Followers. Let’s see how the tips above impact Mazlan Abbas Blog and my Twitter.

The 18 Twitter Tips that will help to boost your Blog traffic.

Year 2022 – The Death of Blogging

Yes – there’s a truth in this. That’s what they said a couple of years ago. However, there are many type of blogging such as personal journal, lifestyle, travel, health, technology and many others.

The trend for personal blogging have decline. People might no longer have interest to follow an individual daily activities, their families, trips etc. This type of content can easily followed via their social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram.

Entertainment vs Educational Blogs

However, blogs which covered specific topics that solve the reader’s problems would be the ones that have longer lifetime. The topics are more educational as compared to entertainment.

The contents for educational type of blogs can remained evergreen as people still searched the Internet for solutions.

So yes, people still read blogs. Multiple times a day, even! It just looks a little different because the content of blog posts has shifted from being writer-focused to being reader-focused. Blogs that focused on value to readers will have a higher reading rate.

This is something which I need to decide when I created Mazlan Abbas Blog – should it be personal blogging or a blog which is more educational such as the one I created at IoT World Blog.

Today, is my third day of blogging, and I will always monitor the traffic to see how the contents impact the traffic to the blog.

3-Days Stats
Demographics of Visitors

Why should you read and follow this Blog? If you want to read IoT contents, you may visit IoT World Blog, but here you will get constant updates about my journey in developing projects such as my Startup, FAVORIOT, Podcasts,, YouTube, Online marketplace and E-Books.

Sharing Platform

Along the way, I will share the ups and downs or probably some tips that we should avoid in building such projects. I hoped this will also become a platform to listen yo your ideas and thoughts too. Please leave you comments on the posts.

Are you ready to follow me on this journey?

The Year I Started To Blog

I don’t quite recall when exactly I started blogging, but I remember the early days I used to Blog in Blogger.com and have created more than 10 Blog sites. Many of them are no longer active except a few which I normally auto-post from YouTube.

My Gadget Blog

One of my favourite and can be considered as a popular Blog is My Gadget Blog. I started to blog in 2010 and the contents are mainly from my interest in electronic gadgets which I purchased (nothing get sponsored). I love to Jailbreak the iPhone as early as iPhone 3G (but stopped doing that jailbreaking after 2014). May tips are shared among readers and that was the time, the site became very popular.

Stats for My Gadget Blog

After several years of creating and experimenting with different blogs, I finally decided to take seriously and bought a domain name iotworld.co which is the starting point for my entrepreneurship journey into the tech space i.e Internet of Things. It was in 2016, when I started to blog this topic quite seriously. It covers many aspects of IoT including its definition, applications, benefits, challenges, tips, the country’s IoT challenges and many others.

IoT World Blog

This Blog has partly helped me to be recognised as an IoT Thought Leader. The idea for this blog is quite simple – to help others in their IoT journey. How to prepare themselves with this emerging technology and the impact of business disruption in IR 4.0.

Stats for IoT World Blog

The best thing about this blog, it also provide me with other opportunities to create contents on other social media channels such as YouTube, Podcast and TikTok. Furthermore, it has given more visibility and exposure to get myself invited as Keynote Speaker in conferences, seminar and webinars. Some of the contents of which I have created earlier has been turned into eBooks (Your IoT Journey and IoT Notes) – which I have given the subscribers for free.

Welcome to Mazlan Abbas Blog

This is the first post to indicate the opening and launching of Mazlan Abbas website dated November 17, 2021.

Dr. Mazlan Abbas

I was listening to Pat Flynn podcast and was inspired by his work work on Smart Passive Income. It all started two weeks ago and I have just finished his 22nd Podcast. He had over 500 podcast which he published almost every week.

Although, I have my own Blog called IoT World which I have created many years back, I have always wondered whether I should create my personal website using my name. I checked and noticed the domain mazlanabbas.com was not taken and that’s when I decided today to buy the domain and use WordPress as the hosting site for the Blog.

There’s always pros and cons of having our own name as the domain such as we will not be able to sell this domain name later as compared to niche sites. Furthermore, I have many other things which I would like to share but unable to do that on my IoT World Blog.

I have created many other personal or hobby sites such as:

However, all of them did not have it’s own domain name since it’s a free. And I found it’s difficult to manage multiple sites. Thus, I decided to (as of today) to manage only two sites which I have interest and passion. One for Internet of Things (i.e. IoT World) and the other is this Mazlan Abbas blog.

I will keep on posting the progress of this site as I customised it’s theme and content. As usual, currently this site does not appear in the first page of Google yet when we do a search on “Mazlan Abbas” (which it should). And also no one has yet subscribe to this Blog yet – something which I would like to measure the number of followers too.