Adam Lashinsky: The Internet of Things Is Real, But Skeptics Abound

Companies, like people and cities, have every right to call themselves whatever they please. I come to this conviction, perhaps, as a native of Illinois, where cities like Des Plaines (pronounced dess-PLAINS) and Marseilles (mar-SAILS) defy the sophisticated outsider to apply a French pronunciation.

Silver Spring Networks (SSNI, +1.35%), a publicly traded company that provides so-called smart meters and other networked energy-efficiency services to electric utilities, prefers to be known, at least by its newish CEO, as an Internet of Things, or IoT, company. “IoT is real, not slideware” says Mike Bell, who joined Silver Spring in late 2015. Bell has an illustrious background: a varied career at Apple before and after Steve Jobs returned to the company, followed by senior stints at Palm and Intel.