The Future (Utility) is here…

At a recent conference a utility CEO suggested that (like Mark Twain) ‘the reports of my company’s death are exaggerated’. Most people in the audience, also utility industry executives, laughed. I believe they laughed prematurely… Three things have happened in in…
Quick Guide to Nanogrids and Minigrids

One of the ongoing issues with the transition to a new utility paradigm, for both consumers and providers, is the required change from a centralized to a distributed framework. Utilities are worried that consumers will abandon the power coming from…
Why Are There No ‘Unicorn’ Energy Tech Startups?

Opower, the shining light of energy usage management and behavior modification, is being bought by Oracle for (what would otherwise be) a whopping $532M. Under normal circumstances this would be a great thing for the energy technology industry. But it’s not.…
Why I Won’t Live In Google/Alphabet’s TechUtopia

The news is that Alphabet/Sidewalk Labs is looking to build a city from the ground up. My first reaction when I heard this was ‘Sign me up!’ And then I started to read more speculations and the proposition became less desirable…
Tech and The Defaults That Dictate Our Lives

In 1878, Christopher Sholes was granted the patent on the QWERTY keyboard layout. He’d been granted the patent on the typewriter in 1868, 10 years earlier. His original typewriter had problems with tangling mechanical keys and the QWERTY keyboard was…
The One Missing Ingredient In Connected Home Products

My 3.5yr old son, while having breakfast this morning, ordered Alexa to play a ‘Bob The Builder’ song. That’s his world now; voice activated need satisfaction… The voice controlled product that is Amazon’s Echo has, hands down, been the most…
We’ve stopped talking about Ft McMurray…

We’ve stopped talking about the Fort McMurray fire and that’s a shame. Our short attention spans, us humans, is one of our most dangerous bugs (to borrow a software terminology). It’s worrisome because the bigger systems that govern our world…
Beyond Flint, Wicked Problems & System Failures

We’ve all heard the horrible news about Flint. Most of us probably haven’t heard of the same problem with water in St Joseph, La. I’m not here to heap blame or talk about the politics of these situations. I’m here…