Some overstate it.
Others understate it.
Somewhere between that is its reality. What I do know is, it is much larger than we think, and the majority of industry underestimates it.
It? It is what we believe the addressable market and opportunity size is, who the customer and the customer customers are, and what "we" are collectively looking to achieve as an industry.
While new entrants to access control garner large valuations and mainstream media speaks to the massive market opportunities available that include access control, our industry continues to stick with incremental growth numbers (congrats on your 8% growth!) and conservative siloed addressable market reports (access control is larger than whatever number you are using).
We think too small (because the ruler we use measures high security only), and we rely too much on the rearview mirror. We are getting in our way.
I held a YouTube Live Ask Me Anything (AMA) last week. One attendee asked the following questions:
What does 'safety' really mean? How can we, the individuals who dream and build and innovate products and solutions and software systems, help create a more inclusive world - where spaces aren't just secured, but people are genuinely safe? How can we use our platform to empower individuals, empathize better, and contribute to a world that looks much different than our own now?
As I stated in the introduction note, this question, coupled with being called a contrarian, two conversations I had with CEOs around our market opportunity, and the response to last week's newsletter, I believe, we, as an industry, need a new shared reality. And this shared reality needs to be bigger.
I believe our industry has forever focused on only 1-10% of the "security" market, gives lip service to the rest of the market (for instance "SMB"), and has lacked the imagination to dream bigger beyond safety. Then we spend the time coming up with reasons why it can not be or how the bigger dream is "crazy."
Have you ever said to yourself or your peers the following question?
How did [insert Latch, Verkada, Smartrent, Openpath, or Proxy] get that valuation?
I know many of you have. That is the point. If you are asking that question, you are too focused on the access control market as it has historically been defined and are thinking, in my opinion, with fear or short-sightedness.
It is much more prominent, and they have unlocked a story that shows a zoomed out vision of what the market can be. The key is "can." I am not saying they will be the ones to realize it. What I am saying is, they are the ones telling the best story about what it can be. So can you. Challenge your team. Challenge yourself.
As the industry goes mainstream, I think the following way we look at our industry needs to evolve:
I do not think this new shared reality is going to be won with a technical magic button. I think it's going to be people coming together and creating a sense of community around a shared vision. I think it starts by sparking a conversation broadly. This also does not mean the opportunity for differentiation or innovation is gone. It just means we act and talk like a community on a macro level. We see the collective opportunity as being much more significant than what we traditionally have viewed it as. We align on shared interests and answer the hard questions posed to me above during the AMA.
So... what does safety really mean?