The charge of the IoT brigade – the place of poetry in innovation

Last updated: 28 July 2017


The IoT is experiencing constant innovation. It’s evolving at a rapid pace and is already changing our personal and professional lives, as discussed in this blog. The evolution been seemingly poetic, which is why I  thought it was time to channel the genius of Tennyson, Shakespeare and Milton and write some poems reflecting the IoT’s journey. There are also a few classics I’ve  included to demonstrate that creativity is vital to any endeavor. Prepare to be inspired…

Here’s the first one, which is all about the importance of connectivity and interoperability when constructing the IoT ecosystem.

of Web, of Things, of Innovation and Efficient Poetry

“Just protocols, security, bits and bytes,

Frameworks and servers, give no insights

Whimsical objects

That the web connects

Are tangled outputs of poetic minds”

Laurence Hanneguelle

The lesson of this poem is that you need to apply creative principles to IoT innovation. It’s not just about making a solution function properly – it’s also crucial to see the bigger picture and think imaginatively about the opportunities it could unlock.

Of computer people and albatrosses

Before you read my next poem, (I must admit we sought help from Charles Baudelaire), a little bit of explanation is necessary. I wanted to write a poem about the types of personalities involved in constructing the IoT ecosystem – and the approach that’s necessary.

If David Keirsey is to be believed, people’s temperament can be sorted into  4 categories:

  • Guardians (SJ): Concrete Cooperator
  • Artisans (SP): Concrete Utilitarian
  • Rationals (NT): Abstract Utilitarian
  • And Idealists (NF): Abstract Cooperator

Most computer engineers fall into the rational category, but I’m not! I’m an idealist.

Rationals  think, while  I feel. They strive for reasoned justification, while I tend to act on instinct.

I often take shortcuts that I can’t explain.

In other words, I am a poet among engineers. To illustrate the point, now it’s time for a bit of poetry:

“Poets are like these lords of sky and cloud,
Who ride the storm and mock the bow’s taut strings,
Exiled on earth amid a jeering crowd,
Prisoned and palsied by their giant wings.”

Charles Baudelaire

Eventually, thanks to Gemalto, I found my very own place in the innovation team, connecting dots and nodes, transforming concepts into things , weaving “webs” in the clouds.

The lesson of Baudelaire’s poem is there’s room for every type of personality when it comes to constructing a robust IoT ecosystem. If you’re more of a mechanical thinker, or someone who works by instinct and imagination, there’s definitely a role for you!

About innovation, the journey and the goal

My  next poem is about failure – and why we shouldn’t fear it.

Failure is the daily bread of innovators. Innovation builds upon uncertainty, upon dreams, upon die and retry processes.

Not all minds can handle it.

This requires a dreamer mindset, this requires some resilience.

This requires us to love the journey as much as the goal.

To further this point, I thought I’d mention an excellent poem from Paulo Coelho:

“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you.” said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

You never fail for free. You try, learn, fail, get up and start again on top what you experienced.

This requires a poetic mind.

If the IoT is to progress, developers must learn from failure and be constantly optimistic about the need to innovate.

IoP = Internet of Poets

I’ve already shown that the creative process behind poems mirrors the building of connected devices and networks. Here’s another poem on that theme from one of my friends on Twitter:

“On its web of things

Tiny worker spins the line

Hoping for profits”


  • Innovation is about “connecting the dots”. New concepts emerge from conciliation of disparate ideas.


Similarly, there are similarities between the underlying rules of poetry and the laws governing progress in the IoT ecosystem.

  • The IoT is about connecting objects. New value is created from hyperlinking unrelated objects.

What can I get from my smartwatch and car interaction? Couldn’t it detect driver’s fatigue from his heart rate and carefully stop the car?

  • Just like the IoT, poetry, through metaphors, analogies and oxymoron, makes words collide in order for new meanings to spawn.

“If you can look into the seeds of time,

And say which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak then to me”

Shakespeare – Macbeth 1.3.58

Any of those creative activities requires the ability to bring lots of different elements together. In addition, they all rely on the capacity to “think outside the box”.

In conclusion, why can’t the IoT era be an era of poets? Here’s a final poem to sum everything up…

P2M = Poet to Machine

In this fleshless world we are building,

In this world of accelerating innovation,

In this world of hyper connection,

In this world of machines talking to machines

Our companies should embrace efficient poetry.

Let’s hire some poets for weaving the web of things.

Let’s insufflate some humanity in this future of steel.


As you can see, there’s a place for poetry in the IoT. Send us your poems by posting in the comment section below or tweeting to us at @GemaltoIoT or @Gemalto.

2 thoughts on “The charge of the IoT brigade – the place of poetry in innovation

  1. I didn’t know Baudelaire was EnglishLe mondain de Voltaire
    “D’un bon vin frais ou la mousse ou la sève
    Ne gratta point le triste gosier d’Eve.
    La soie et l’or ne brillaient point chez eux :
    Admirez-vous pour cela nos aïeux?
    Il leur manquait l’industrie et l’aisance :
    Est-ce vertu? C’était pure ignorance…”

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