In an iconic scene from Superman III, a drunk Man of Steel appears in the skies above Pisa — where the Zerynth HQ is — and pushes the leaning tower until its straight.

Seeing this, a local souvenir shop owner goes berserk. His entire stock of tower models has just gone obsolete. He slams them into the pavement and the tiny towers shatter into bits.

When I reflect on the past decade, I identify with the poor shop owner. Unusual market trends — some as random and illogical as the arrival of a drunk Superman — threatened to shatter and make obsolete my own mental models of how the tech business works.

Fortunately, though, the years of confusion are coming to an end. Recent developments are making me confident that a reversal is underway. What’s more, I believe that Zerynth and our customers are best positioned to take advantage of the upcoming changes in the tech business landscape.

The misguided obsessions the tech industry needs to leave behind as we head into the 2020s

In the last ten years, obscene amounts of money were poured into startups. More than $750 billion in the US but a lot in Europe, too. Amazingly, these startups were encouraged to burn through their capital in a mad dash to capture market share. Everybody believed that profits would come later; except they almost never did.

Wishful thinking and excitement were driving business, not common-sense.

Fortunately, the weirdness is now coming to an end.

The wakeup call was last year: one after another, companies driven by hype and overblown expectations staged disappointing IPOs. Layoffs and budget cuts followed.

All this can mean only one thing.

Hype, storytelling, and an unhealthy obsession with unicorns are taking a backseat.

Knowledge, engineering ingenuity, and pragmatism are making a comeback as the core factors driving the tech business.

These were the Zerynth values all along. It’s also great news for the future development of the Internet of Things, particularly industrial IoT.

A level-headed engineering mindset to bring the promised benefits of Industry 4.0

The truth is that, while the mention of IoT always excited managers, investors, and salespeople, it often left the engineers in charge of delivering the goods as the only adults in the room. They knew that even though the availability of tools and resources for quick IoT projects exploded in recent years, a lot of them enabled quick wins only by delaying risk.

Proving concepts is easy. The real showstoppers in programming for IoT come up later, and are related to scalability and security.

Those are the problems Zerynth tackles.

Zerynth was among the pioneers of bringing Python — the most popular programming language in the world — to embedded systems, thereby putting IoT development within reach of in-house developers and smaller teams.

Then last year, we merged with TOI (Things On Internet) to offer an IIoT platform called 4ZeroPlatform. The merger has immediate consequences for businesses in the industrial sector. It’s now possible to take legacy production lines and upgrade them to Industry 4.0 standards without requiring a huge upfront investment in new machinery or software.

Our next milestone: leading semiconductor vendors and distributors are just now working with us on a project we can’t mention just yet.

That said, our intention is not to be secretive. This year we are starting a series of Continuous Learning Webinars. Everyone is invited to sign up and participate.

Finally, we also redesigned our logo and relaunched our website to emphasize the consulting arm of our business. Some people like the DIY approach. Others would seize the opportunity to work with engineers who are in the top percentile in their respective fields.

The unifying theme is this: our goal is to help businesses and developers who want to use the latest technologies to make profits today, even as they pursue their vision of a future, whatever it might be. To achieve the results our customers require, we focus on our engineering capacities above all else.

So, instead of disruption, let’s focus on incremental progress, gradual improvement, and optimization to build sustainable businesses.

By all indications, in the coming decade, the market will tend to favor this approach.

In one of the last scenes of Superman III (spoiler alert), a now sober Superman flies back to the scene of his prank in Pisa and pushes the tower from the opposite direction to restore its original, proper, lean.

With everything falling into place as it should be, a triumphant orchestral score begins to play.