Practically every store I walk into these days — from Home Depot, to Best Buy, to the Apple Store and more — features a snazzy display of home security/connected-home products for do-it-yourselfers. These attractive displays were moved right to the front of the stores during the holidays; they were so attractive that I found myself spending long amounts of time browsing the products and reading the packaging. The displays alone — never mind that the technology is so much easier to install today — would make even a non-DIYer want to try out some connected home products.

DIY products have been around for decades — centuries, even. As Bill Zalud wrote in story, “The Ikea Effect: Can DIY Work for Home Security & Automation,” published in SDM Online: “Do-it-yourself (DIY) is nothing new. Italian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a sixth century B.C. Greek structure in southern Italy that came with detailed assembly instructions, a kind of ‘ancient IKEA building.’” (Read the full story at

DIY security products have been thought of as a small, but viable niche for a long time — but this year seems different. Maybe it’s the appealing packaging; maybe it’s the easy-to-install products. Maybe it’s consumers’ insatiable appetites to control so many aspects of their lives through apps. Maybe it’s the confluence of all of these, but the time seems right for DIY security and home control to not only contribute to expanding the overall market, but perhaps increase its market share, as well.

For professional security companies, this presents both a threat and an opportunity — and some companies are already capitalizing on the opportunity, as described by Zalud. In interviewing for this month’s cover story, the 2015 Industry Forecast, Tim Whall, CEO of Protection 1, said, “Prior to 2014 we were getting leads from the Internet that we weren’t able to monetize. So now if we get a lead in an area that’s outside of our branch footprint (with our recent acquisition, we have 71 branch offices) we’ll talk about a DIY solution, and if they have an interest we will happily provide them with that system. All our systems would have monitoring; we wouldn’t sell it without monitoring.”

 I think that is the key to taking advantage of potential growth in DIY: always include monitoring. As the new year commences and opportunities such as DIY present themselves, remember that life safety and property protection is the purpose of this industry — no amount of fancy packaging can take the place of that. 

  Greet the Press

As 2015 dawns, we want to take the opportunity to introduce our readers to the SDMeditorial team. From all of us, we wish you a peaceful and healthful new year — and a prosperous one for your business.

Karyn HodgsonSenior Editor

With an MSJ in Journalism (magazine publishing) degree from Northwestern University, and more than 20 years’ experience writing for and about the security industry, Karyn is SDM’s newest editorial team member. You may have read some of her articles in SDM covering access control topics. In her role as senior editor, Karyn will be covering other topics as well, writing feature articles and exclusive cover stories for SDM.

Maya DollarhideAssociate Editor

Maya holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and worked as a managing editor in BNP Media’s custom publishing division before joining the SDMeditorial team last year. In her role as associate editor, Maya reports and posts news and manages SDM Insider in the print edition. She also manages SDM’s e-newsletters, and writes feature articles.

Tim ScallyAssistant Editor

Tim joined SDM in November 2014 following a previous editorial position at BNP Media, SDM’s publishing house. Previously he spent more than 10 years as a middle- and high-school English teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English Education from Maranatha Baptist University. Tim writes and edits technology-focused articles and columns, including SDM Products & Services and Technology Solutions & Skills.