41 min read

🎧 #096: Cory Clarke on why View assembled the full stack

“The big caveat is that it's a fully vertically integrated stack, but it's composable and open."


—Corey Clarke

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Episode 96 is a conversation with Cory Clarke, Senior Director of Product Marketing at View, Inc.

Summary

View is known as a smart window company, but with their acquisition of IoTium and RXR Realty’s WorxWell product last year, they’re expanding into a more comprehensive full stack of offerings.

We talked about Cory’s work at RXR Realty preacquisition, which was super interesting to hear about technology development from the landlord’s perspective. Definitely stay tuned through to the end where we unpacked how landlord’s might begin to measure occupant experience.

Then we dove into View’s product strategy and how and why they’re expanding beyond windows. Cory talks about how their stack is made up of open and composable parts, so we break down what that means.

Without further ado, please enjoy the Nexus Podcast with Cory Clarke.

  1. View (1:31)
  2. RXR Reality (5:32)
  3. WorxWell (24:27)
  4. IoTium (25:15)
  5. M&A Roundup with Joe Aamidor (29:13)
  6. Ologies Podcast (52:23)
  7. Jane McGonigal's Imaginable (53:55)
  8. The Tim Ferriss Show (54:15)

You can find Cory on LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

Highlights

  • Summary of Cory's work at RXR Realty (8:50)
  • Cory’s contrarian take on the future of tenant apps (19:10)
  • Why View bought WorxWell and their product strategy today (22:05)
  • How landlords can measure occupant experience (44:36)
  • Carveouts (52:15)

Music credit: Dream Big by Audiobinger—licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Full transcript

Note: transcript was created using an imperfect machine learning tool and lightly edited by a human (so you can get the gist). Please forgive errors!

James Dice: hello friends, welcome to the nexus podcast. I'm your host James dice each week. I fire questions that the leaders of the smart buildings industry to try to figure out where we're headed and how we can get there faster without all the marketing fluff. I'm pushing my learning to the limit. And I'm so glad to have you here following along.

James Dice: This episode is a conversation with Corey Clark senior director of product marketing at view, Inc. View is known as a smart window company, but with our acquisition of and RXR Realty's works well product last year, they're expanding into a more comprehensive, full stack of offerings. We talked about Corey's work at RXR Realty pre-acquisition, which was super interesting to hear about technology development from the landlords for.

Definitely staying tuned till the end where we unpacked, how [00:01:00] landlords might begin to measure occupant experience. And between that, we dove into the views product strategy and how and why they're expanding beyond windows. Corey talks about how their stack has made up of open and composable parts.

So we break down what that means without further ado. Please enjoy the next podcast with Corey Clark. Hello, Corey. Welcome to the nexus podcast. Thanks for coming on. Can you start by introducing yourself, please?

Cory Clarke: Uh,

Sure. Thanks for having me. Um, Corey Clark. I am a senior director of product management at view, Inc.

James Dice: All right, we're going to unpack what view does um, I'd love to hear about your background first though.

So typically do a deeper dive on people's backgrounds. So people know, where you're coming from, what your expertise is, how you got here. So can you talk about yeah, your, your background?

Cory Clarke: Sure. Kind of had a pretty wandering path here. Uh, So started in architecture undergraduate graduate school architecture, seven years of school, loved it.

I love buildings. I love the idea of like designing experiences.[00:02:00] It is a very noble profession. But if you have. Actually been in architecture, it's pretty poor pay. It's not the best base scale. And you know, there's a lot of challenges there. I think, we can unpack it later, but one of the things that they, it's actually really hard to measure the success of your work and, and the effectiveness of it.

But fortunately when I was graduating it was early in kind of the.com era. I also kind of have a side hustle of doing like web development and was kind of fascinated by digital experience as well, and kind of scratch a lot of the same itches. It was 11, same, challenges and approaches, but slightly faster turnaround instead of, three or four years between design and getting somebody to experience your product.

It's a couple of weeks. So, uh, ended up going to work for a startup instead doing like early online gaming and 3d gaming and online communities also had the experience of kind of building a startup and going through the.com bubble burst. So shutting it down. So, which was an interesting experience and basically from there kind of ping [00:03:00] pong between digital and physical experience stuff.

So, actually did do some architecture work taught at Columbia university for a while as a, as a professional architecture did a lot of R and D there mostly around digital fabrication to help set up their fabrication lab doing like large scale 3d printing CNC, manufacturing, waterjet cutting worked for the prefab industry for while developing software to automate designs for flat packing.

But then also did pure digital work. Ended up doing a lot of digital marketing, digital product development. So built the e-commerce sites for Mac cosmetics and estate state law. A lot of apps for like Nike and converse. Wow. Waldorf Historia. So a lot of consumer based stuff even like a data science platform for McDonald's and a lot of B2B everything from like the first Watson health app to did the knock for, for all their data visualizations of their kind of, content delivery networks.

So yeah, a lot of just pure digital products. And eventually tried to find a way to like, [00:04:00] do it together. Like that was the dream where I could kind of also do a little bit of physical and, and really impact space, but the additional as well. And so, the first thing I found, it kind of seemed like it could do that was that I went to work for, we work in their enterprise technology team.

So basically just product lead on enterprise technology, which to them was trying to take all the kind of IP that they'd built in the coworking. Space and figure out how to package, and sell it to third parties. So not co-working use cases. So, and that was bundled with design services and operating services.

So basically if you went into, we work and you're like, oh, this is great. I wish my office was like this totally. But the enterprise team would do so we did the Expedia offices. We did part of Sprint's headquarters is work for Walmart. And I own the tech side. So it was everything from the taking their occupancy solutions and figuring out how to use [00:05:00] those and in normal workplaces, as opposed to just measuring for coworking use cases uh, the, we work app, you know, that had booking and community and communications and figure out how to use that as a workplace experience app their desk looking solution.

So all of that tech and adjusting the roadmap. Maybe to, to meet those more enterprise use cases. And then it was there for a couple of years and, you've covered this enough in your guess as to what happened with we work, or you can watch the movie the various movies but yeah, left there and then went to RXR had to stand up their technology product team for commercial buildings kind of brings me to where we are now.

Okay. Yeah. I

James Dice: haven't started the um, there's a new show on apple plus I haven't started that yet.

Cory Clarke: I haven't either. I think it's I did watch the one on Hulu and it was pretty close, but didn't quite cover everything. So I feel like I want to watch the apple one is a little further into the,

James Dice: well, I mean, I have to ask you, like what, what [00:06:00] was your experience like with the whole,

Cory Clarke: with the downfall?

I mean the downfall. Painful because they built such a great team and they had invested so much on the tech side of it. They it was a little crazy, but I mean, they were trying to build everything themselves. They want to do a digital twin. I remember talking with Microsoft for a while early on about their digital twin technologies.

And we worked like, now you've got to build the whole thing ourselves, like they, but they've hired an amazing team to do it. Like the engineering lead from that had been the engineering lead on, Google authentication and it built their whole off system. Like they had just really great talent.

But yeah, right. Once the kind of tables turned there that everybody left and it was, it was kind of sad to see all those people spread to the wind. It that said it's been amazing because like everywhere I go, particularly in prop tech, there's like. There's somebody there that I know, because it was such a [00:07:00] kind of meeting of people that were interested in the technology real estate workplace.

And now they're just spread out everywhere. They're either at startups or they're, some of the bigger real estate companies or some of the bigger problems, prop tech companies. So

James Dice: got it. Got it. You also mentioned prefab. So when I was first starting my career, I was at a mechanical contractor and I remember the, when the first um, The first like chilled water plant on a flatbed truck happened, they like rolled it out of the shop plant.

I remember thinking it was the coolest thing and they started pumping out restrooms cause they did plumbing to restrooms and it was just everything in a box. And I remember thinking that was the coolest thing I haven't kept up with where that whole world is that recently, but it man. That's cool.

Cory Clarke: Yeah.

I know. I have the sip panels. If you know where sip panels, they're like it's, it's almost like structural. [00:08:00] Cardboard it's two sheets, the structural apply, held together with phone. So it's an insulated structural panel. And so you can build, one, two story construction, just like these sheets and nailing them together.

And then again, the factory that we were working in, just the giant three axis mill that would just, route out the, the slots for all the electrical, it would cut all the holes for all the windows. And then, yeah, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to pack all that into a single shipping container and how to best optimize the design of a.

Modular home and slice it up into the right pieces that you had the fewest number of pieces and all packed into a shipping containers. So weird problem. Um, Definitely,

James Dice: All right. Back to the smart bill. And so you mentioned you got to RXR Realty. Can you talk about like the work you guys did

Cory Clarke: there? Yeah, so, I came on basically like employee [00:09:00] one or two within the RXR digital lab which I feel like the digital lab is a bit of a misnomer because it sounds like an innovation lab and while it served that function the thing that made it appealing to me and what drew me in and made it different was that it's, it wasn't really an innovation team.

It was a product team and the goal was Basically to help our XR and, modern modernize their buildings it's literally transformed their business, but it was structured differently. It had its own PNL and the goal was to be revenue generating. So, we had a target of basically being revenue positive within two years and we didn't meet that um, generate revenue by building products that we could sell to RXR, but also sell to tenants.

So it would be an additional revenue stream, by selling products, attendance. And then the goal was to expand that and start selling to either other landlords or, third-party occupiers. The, the premise was. [00:10:00] No landlords, can't just be providing four walls and walking away anymore.

They really need to be focusing on services and providing optimal experience. And then of course, there's the typical smart building things as well. It's engaged at home from the building operations performance sustainability. So we had one component that was really building this data platform for that.

But we're also looking at how to use is, would provide data as an amenity to tenants. The idea that we could provide them data that was either kind of free, you know, that was off gassing from the building, like providing them insights off of the access control data that we already had to, help them understand their hybrid work model, use cases.

How many people are coming in every day, what are the highest days they're coming in? Are they actually coming in at the right times? It's like half your company coming in Monday, Tuesday and half your company coming in, Thursday, Friday and never intersecting. So really. Insights to the tenants that could be valuable.

And then also be able to provide kind of upsell [00:11:00] packages. You know, If they wanted to do space occupancy, there's additional hardware, you know, we can sell that to them. We can, they can pay us a SAS fee to turn on those features within the platform. So really have the data piece, be both an amenity, but a additional product and service that that RXR could provide.

Um,

James Dice: And how successful was that upsell to the tenant piece? That's really interesting.

Cory Clarke: We got some good traction towards the end. I think the, the real monkey wrench with everything through the last couple of years, it was COVID. So I started in January, 2019. And so that was, know, the initial goal was to hire a team, build out these products.

No, that was January, March, everything went sideways and ended up. Interestingly, it ended up accelerating a lot of our work. But under the, the kind of drivers of COVID, right. So we still ended up building a data platform initially, but it was being driven by COVID specific features, air quality.

We'd want to do that anyways, [00:12:00] but you know, we weren't doing it just for kind of improving HPAC and overall wellness. It was like, is the building safe? Started? We did occupancy tracking because we wanted to know how to keep on the building because it's too crowded. Was it safe? We also did some or like one-off kind of things or seemingly one-off.

So we were using computer vision on our CCTV cameras to do mask compliance and social distancing compliance in the lobby. But all of those features. And allowed us to build out the infrastructure really quickly, and we've been able to kind of pivot post COVID. So obviously occupancy is still super valuable now using that, feeding that into other systems, our real-time energy management, things like that.

I obviously still valuable the CV thing. We've shifted the use case and now, or it's all the same kind of stack, but just a different CV model. And we're doing, is it our wait times elevator wait times? So we can [00:13:00] get more experienced metrics but it took a while to kind of make that pivot. And like people are just out, really coming back to the point that they're gonna start using these tools.

So we've got a lot of interest in initial interest in kind of contracts, but not a lot of usage. Cause it still. Yeah. What do you mean

James Dice: by CV

Cory Clarke: model? Computer vision model? So it was, yeah, it was like I remember being

James Dice: hungry. It was like September 20, 20. I remember being super impressed by how quickly you guys rolled out all of these use cases for Cobra that you're talking about.

Is it, is that because of what you just said is like, it was basically, an imperative from the landlord standpoint that you get, figure these things out or how did you guys move so quickly?

Cory Clarke: I think it was a couple things like one was, it was, yeah, Scott, I mean, the CEO really felt it was an imperative.

We had to do this in order to get buildings open and to make people feel comfortable. Um, [00:14:00] We also were really lucky because we just started this big push to build stuff and a lot of the. The groundwork in terms of like building out an IOT platform and data platform. And we're just starting to get kind of the, the use cases on top of it.

We had to pivot the use cases, but because we had already started the work, we, been installing some sensors and honestly COVID made it easier. It's like, oh, this is great. The buildings are empty. We got nothing else to do. And so we installed a ton of occupancy sensors, air quality sensors. We didn't have to disturb anyone, just do it.

So it, it did allow us to go faster on some of those things. But yeah, there was a huge imperative and a lot of the company rallied around it. The, even to the building engineers, the property managers, everyone that normally is distracted, making sure that buildings are running smoothly could kind of throw in on helping anywhere they could with this stuff.

James Dice: Got it. Okay. [00:15:00] And then sometime in the last year view, but. RXR Realty digital stuff. So can you talk about how that

Cory Clarke: that happened? Sure. Yeah. And actually wanting to correct one point from your conversation with Joe. Cause I did listen to that one about the works well thing and um, cause it sounded like in that, Joe was mostly focusing on the tenant experience at peace.

And I think that there was a lot of press early on about works well, or it was RX well for awhile because that was the kind of COVID solution. And it, because that's the thing that you show in like demos and videos, like it comes across as a tenant experience app. But oddly enough, that was kind of the one thing we didn't.

Build interesting. You know, We kind of purposely didn't build a tenant experience app cause it's like, honestly, they're kind of a commodity at this point and it's a channel, that it doesn't, you need it. You need a channel to distribute content messaging data, but we want to focus on the [00:16:00] functionality and, and the data side.

So we built a bunch of features that will work with any tenant experience app. Interesting. So we had, we needed data on weather, basically we needed a building access questionnaire and we needed data on for every building that everybody fill out this questionnaire, did they fail or pass? So we built that, but that was a feature that plugged into an off the shelf app.

We have this thing called the building wellness pulse that was basically provided anybody in our building data about. How full it is, how proud of the lobby is right now, but the air quality is good. Again, that's a feature we just embed into the app. And so our XRS even changed that providers once since then, so we have a lot of tenant facing functionality, but it wasn't a tenant app.

James Dice: How does that work from a technical standpoint when they switch out apps or you are Gnostic to the app, how does that work?

Cory Clarke: So the Scotland, so we have a API layer, so we can always be tended, [00:17:00] not provider could build something custom on top of it. What we, the, the quickest path and the other way we built it as essentially standalone like web applets.

So there's single page web applications. That's, there is a bit of a handshake with the URL to make sure that it's, James dice is actually viewing this, or Corey's doing this. It's essentially kind of a single sign on behind the scenes. So as long as the app provider has some form of single sign on token based authentication they can open up a web view, load our app.

We can easily scan it to look like that. And it feels seamless, but it's kind of a drop-in. So, yeah, it's, it's basically a link with a little bit of junk in the URL, but it makes it pretty easy to deploy. And, and to, to switch, switch between app providers and also deploy it in multiple contexts.

Cause I think the thing that bothers me about tenant engagement apps right now is like a, it reminds me of like living [00:18:00] retail in the early aughts. There's like when, when the. Boom happened. And every retailer decided they wanted their own app, you know, and they went and they built their own app because they needed to own the channel.

And then they, even, I remember there was a couple of companies that were blocking other apps in the store. Like you couldn't, if you're inside of a target store, you couldn't open the Amazon app. Cause they block it with their wifi. Like it was just dumb stuff that they were doing. Cause everyone to own the channel.

And it like since then all the retailers have realized like omni-channels the way they go. And it's like, you don't, you need to reach your customer through email, through the store, through mobile app, through other distributors, whether it's Amazon or whatever. And I, I think Like real estate is still in that early phase.

They're like, I got to own the channel as opposed to just bringing the content to where the user is. So, like the approach we took is we want to be able to get that functionality to [00:19:00] wherever they are. We push it to them in teams or email or, or whatever, and over time. But right now we're pushing it out through the.

I see, just

James Dice: curious, this is off scripting, but like what, where do you think the whole tenant app space is going? Because I see it from just like a neutral third-party, a lot of what we cover on nexus. We we've covered tenant apps, but not in detail. Like we have other technologies. And what I see from the outside is like, number one, I hear about a new tenant app company every day.

It seems like. And then number two, yes, there are all these landlords that are building their own thing. And, but they're not like hyped up tech startups, where you're hearing about them all the time. It's just kind of like happening. Where do you see that space going? Long-term

Cory Clarke: I feel like it's going to consolidate on a couple.

And I actually feel like they're going to be effectively free or ad-ons like, I know there's a few out there [00:20:00] that are. Like as they get more and more like transactional functionality in them, I think they can basically pay for themselves off the, like, just clipping the, the credit card transaction, if they actually act as payment processors.

So they're getting a cut of that 3% that normally goes to the credit card that I, yeah, I kind of see them just becoming free. Like I don't see real estate companies paying for them or their, VTS. It was smart of them to, they take rides, they take late and that it's valuable to them as a data source.

I, I, I could see over time, it's just, kind of a free thing on top of ETS. Cause that's, what's really generating the money and they really getting value out of the insights that they can glean from, from the app. But and I think. The landlord will pay for the leasing insights paid for that little for the app itself.

Yeah, I dunno. I could see it going that way, or I also kind of baffled that there's not any real [00:21:00] open source in the PropTech world and you know, or it's like, yeah, everybody needs a website. I can go. If I'm a huge company, I will go pay for like, one of the big platforms. But last I'd heard, it was like 30% of the internet, like websites are on WordPress because it's free.

It's open source. Like there's no WordPress for like 10 X, but there just should be. And then I think a lot of landlords would probably pick that, and then if you really want a lot of value, a lot of functionality, then you, you go buy something, but I'm kind of surprised. I don't know if it's still the kind of everybody thinks they can make a lot of money.

Cause like prop tax, like the, the last like yeah. Unclaimed territory or and it's such a huge Tammy, like it's like billions and billions and billions of dollars. Like I just get a little bit of that. I can make a lot of money, so no, one's open-sourcing but if someone or a couple of real estate companies just put their heads together [00:22:00] and said, screw it, let's build this thing.

And open-source it kind of collaborate the market. Totally. I

James Dice: appreciate you pontificating there. That's that's fun to hear a smart person just think out loud. Okay. So Joe and I had it wrong about the tenant app piece. Can you talk about what you guys then had that view purchased and how that, how that went down?

Cory Clarke: It's challenging because everyone looks at them and sees them as a class company. But I think it's similar to like looking at Tesla and seeing it as a car company. Like, their goal is to, is to transform the built environment.

But the only way to do that in I think right now in real estate is to build a vertically integrated solution. In the same way that Tesla is like, okay, we want to basically transform, not even just mobility, but we want to transform the way that people use energy. And but to do that, we need the full solution.

We need a car, we need chargers, we need batteries. Like it needs to be fully integrated. You can't just build an electric [00:23:00] car. If you can't charge it, can't just build batteries. There's no cars for them. Edison did the same thing. Amazon kind of had to build a fully integrated stack to kind of really transport retail and so View,

I mean, they started with glass and it was kind of the, their point of entry, into smart buildings, and it checks a lot of the boxes that people want with a smart building in terms of improved experience, sustainability, reduce energy consumption, better kind of productivity within the work environment.

But to get that to work, it's a piece of glass you run current through it. Basically, the malian around it needs power and network. So then effectively covered the building in a mesh network. And so they had to develop a full kind of network management solution or full building network.

And then all of those windows are IOT devices. So they built a full data platform with visualization aspects so that basically a digital twin, it can take real time data from the building. It takes [00:24:00] contextual data where the sun is at any point in time, the shadows for the buildings around. You have the controls in it.

I can turn my windows on or off. So they have that full stack of basically the data platform, visualization, network, and IOT and yeah. The glass kind of let them build that. And now they're looking to kind of expand that across other use cases. So the acquisition with WorxWell was to provide the insights layer on top of that.

So, they have the digital twin it's. Collecting all this IOT data. They want to find other ways to visualize it and understand it. And they liked the team and a lot of what we built, because it was purpose-built insights for real estate, and that's part of the reason I was still sitting in the RXR office, even though I work for you is because basically we're embedded in a customer.

I can go talk to a prop property manager. I can go talk to a building engineer. Like I can get like really test the stuff that we're [00:25:00] doing in context. So they wanted that insights piece. And then they also made the acquisition of by odium which is, basically brings security to that building network.

But also I was excited coming into view about IOT because it's the. It's basically the solves the data connectivity problem and buildings. So it's a IOT, it's a security appliance, but in the basement of your building, you plug in your OT network, your it network, it secures the whole thing with zero trust security.

Make sure that all of your IOT devices are safely protected. But it also has edge compute and can do a software defined wan. So what that means is you can easily with that device in one click, like open up a secure tunnel to your cloud and get data from your BMS out or any of your sensors directly out, and you can run applications at the edge.

So it support sky [00:26:00] spark work with Niagara supports, mapped thing works and run any application on that device. Extract data out. So, between works well and I ODM they're basically they have the kind of data pipeline and the insights layer, and then they already had that chunk in the middle, which was like the I don't want to say digital capabilities, like data platform with 3d visualization and all that.

And then the last piece that they've been developing separately was actually censored. So you kind of can get, if you don't have data sources, you want occupancy or air quality they can have their own sensors in house for that piece that either can be embedded directly in the window, mullions or standalone.

And, and all this stuff. The big caveat is like they built a fully vertically integrated stack, but It's a composable stack and it's an open stack. Cause it's, I think the problems I've seen you've touched on it. Some of your other podcasts, it's just like how like [00:27:00] monolithic, some of these systems are and how close they are.

And like a lot of the PMs vendors, it's like, yeah, it works. If you buy everything them and you can't integrate. So it is a composable stack and you already have a data platform. We can just put the insights layer on top of it. If you need to get data on your building, we can install a podium. You can use your own insights, don't care, but like you can mix and match these pieces.

I mean, if you have the glass and everything else, you love it. You know, You can buy it all. But I don't think like the is in this kind of weird spot where there's like a million point solutions that aren't integrated. So then. Landlords end up becoming system integrators, or there's the consolidation that's happening, where you're like kind of the Yardi stack or the DTS stack or there's these like happening, but then they're, they're kind of closed and you're not [00:28:00] able to mix and match as easily.

I think it's got to get to the point that everyone's approaching this as a more open forum and yeah, you would hopefully by the new sensors, cause they're better than everybody else's. But if you have your own for different use cases, you need it. And also even view they're only gonna make occupancy and air quality.

You need water leak detection, something else. Yeah. You're, you're gonna have to buy them. Our system is going to need to integrate them because you don't want a separate water leak system from air quality occupancy energy.

James Dice: Hey guys, just another quick note from our sponsor Nexus labs. And then we'll get back to the show. This episode is brought to you by nexus foundations, our introductory course on the smart buildings industry. If you're new to the industry, this course is for you. If you're an industry vet, but want to understand how technology is changing things.

This course is also for you. The alumni are raving about the content, which they say pulls it all together, and they also love getting to meet the [00:29:00] other students on the weekly zoom calls and in the private chat room, you can find out more about the course@courses.nexus lab. Start online. All right, back to the interview

Cory Clarke: Yeah.

James Dice: So that kind of answers the question that I had when Joe and I were talking.

And, and we'll link to that episode in the show notes for people that didn't listen to that for those of you that didn't listen to Joe and I ramble on about stuff we didn't quite know about, which is in this case, why this acquisition happened. But uh, it sounds like the answer to my wondering, and I'll just repeat what I said there, which was something like, why does a window company feel like they need to then swell up the rest of the stack?

And it sounds like what you're saying is if we go back to Tesla, I like that analogy Tesla couldn't sell an electric car because they couldn't sell just an electric car because then their customers would need places to plug them in. So

Cory Clarke: therefore build

James Dice: out the charging network. So it's full stack in order to Basically solve your customer's [00:30:00] problem without having to rely on others that aren't there yet.

Cory Clarke: Can you sort of restate

James Dice: why

Cory Clarke: the, why the full stack? Yeah, if you look at other solutions, like for example, there's a ton of insights platforms out there, but they don't really solve your problem. They just create other problems because you're like, great. I have an insights platform. How do I get data from my PMs?

Oh, crap. Now I got to buy this other thing. And every landmark becomes a system integrator. Unless you can provide something that's end to end, that goes from the building all the way up to the cloud, covers data, pipeline, data, platform, insights, hardware and software. It's, it's hard to get adoption and So I think you need that and you have to set the example, but that'd be four.

It can't be monolithic. Otherwise I work in kind of the brownfield environments that every building is. Yeah. [00:31:00] Can you talk a little

James Dice: bit about, so you're basically like creating a abstracted architecture here for smart buildings, right? So you have device layer, you have integration layer. I would call it data platform layer, where you have some sort of data model and then you have applications that do stuff and create insights and that kind of thing.

That's kind of how I think about it.

Cory Clarke: How do you,

James Dice: or real quick to the last part of that question was like, how do you think about the network layer as well?

Cory Clarke: Can you talk about that? I was going to say that was the missing layer in there, the network piece. So, in terms of what view has. It is kind of it's two, two environments.

There's one is the completely Greenfield, right? It's like your building is a hole in the ground, then it's great. That's easy. You can build your own building network in the way that you want to do it. View does actually have a solution for that because they said they have to [00:32:00] run essentially network to every single window.

It's a ton of network and fiber that all comes back to a device in the basement. That's, can manage that network. Also provide all the V land so you can have it and OT networks and split everything out. That device in the basement that's tied to the hundreds or thousands of windows is actually running the operating system.

So it is a network. Kind of O S just really called for managing buildings. So IOM was an early partner of view before they were acquired. So that's, there's the kind of Greenfield version. And then the brownfield is yeah, most buildings in New York, there's, who knows how many networks in the building.

You may not even manage them as a landlord because you've outsourced your BMS network to the, to Schneider, the BMS vendor. Also like the, the rogue [00:33:00] kind of shadow networks that happened because you had a company come in to install your occupancy sensors. They didn't want to deal with anything. So they just threw a couple of like SIM cards in there, and those are connected straight to the internet, which kind of scary, like it's just yet another vulnerability.

So that. Yeah, I think there's a lot of challenges to unpack there. If you want to first like converge your network so that you can, get your OT stuff connected to the internet that opens up a whole ton of vulnerabilities. So then you want to be able to lock that down and, and then be able to like, get those tunnels to the cloud.

And I think, I, it seems like where this is going is that like BMS has, and everything are eventually just going to be in the cloud. They'll have to be some kind of store and forward thing on site. So that internet goes out like the building doesn't shut off, but I we've seen even with some of our customers, like they're just once they have like a secure, solid [00:34:00] redundant pipe between the building and the cloud, they're just going off and picking systems, they're taking they're video recorders. They used to be running on prem. It's some old Dell box from like 15 years ago. Throw that thing out, stream the data to the cloud, do it up there. And then they have central view access control, just virtualize the access control system. Put it in the cloud. There's a back down to the panels.

Like I just see him system slowly moving up there. And the you get the fog compute There was the, I just remember like the internet, like early days, it's like I had like a server in a co-location center. It was like everybody had like on-prem stuff and then everything to the cloud.

And now everything's kind of moving to the middle where you end up with like edge compute and fog come to you where it's like a little bit loud and a little bit on prem. Yeah. I kind of see the building network being that way as well, which is like, it's kind of somewhere between the cloud and the edge.

Interesting. [00:35:00]

James Dice: Can you talk, can you just define,

Cory Clarke: can you define

James Dice: fog real quick for people? I feel like people understand what you mean by edge people understand what we mean by cloud fog. Doesn't come up as much as I'd love to hear what your definition is.

Cory Clarke: Yeah. I I've heard cloud compute define is basically like cloud at the edge.

So it's the like edge compute cloud managed or, like functions that exist in both cloud and entrance. Like the kind of.

James Dice: So like access control, I'm going to log in to my cloud-based user interface to register a new employee. And then that pushes the new employee's credentials down to the devices at the fog.

Cory Clarke: Is that how you would say, well, I guess, I guess push it to the edge, but that whole system of like cloud and edge, like, I guess heard referred to as fog compute or like distributed [00:36:00] cloud, like, is the other way I've heard it where it's like every single edge device is talking to each other. So it's like a cloud of edges.

But I think, I think in building systems, it's going to be cloud a little more centralized and pushed out into the edge, but got it. I may be using it incorrectly too. I've just heard it referenced to kind of that like. Fuzziness of between cloud and edge. Yeah.

James Dice: Or we're all figuring it out together. I can't guarantee that someone won't reach out to one of us and be like, actually the definition is this,

Cory Clarke: but yeah.

Pass that along. If someone else has a better definition and there you go,

James Dice: I will. All right. So that platform layer, right? Someone that the data plot, you called it a data platform, and then you call it the digital twin, and then you backed off from that a little bit. Can you talk about like, some people call it an operating system, right.

Sometimes so maybe we should get into definitions here as well. What do you mean by that? Sort of, what does that data layer do?

Cory Clarke: Yeah [00:37:00] I would, in the way that I define digital twin, I wouldn't call the data layer digital twin, but to me like digital twin is like something that has spatial data, This room is in this floor is in this building. You know, Sometimes the hierarchy, it has also system hierarchy data. This VAV goes to this AHU and, and all of that metadata around the building itself. This room is belongs to this tenants and is for marketing department and then is able to tie that kind of, those are all different contextual vectors, I guess, to real-time data from sensors, so that all in one spot, and so that you can also get like contextual cross system data.

So I can take my. Occupancy of my floor, plus the energy consumption of my floor, plus the square footage of my floor and get, energy usage intensity know by person. It's like [00:38:00] that to me is like a digital twin is those like various contexts and the real-time spatial data might have a cool 3d model, but I think the problem why backed off digital twin is then you also get like the, companies that are doing just like Matterport, which is like awesome product.

But if the visualization walkthrough it's, it's packaging in called the digital twin and yes, if you like, it does have contextual data and it's. Sorta got a couple of those legs, but yeah, that's why it's such a bastardized term at this point in the industry.

James Dice: It almost doesn't mean anything. And even, even when it feels like, like you just where you were using it to mean the full definition as you just described, but then you kind of backed off it because you're then worried about just it being a bastardized term, which is, yeah.

That's [00:39:00] unfortunate. So you mentioned open and composable. I just want to go back to the word composable just real quick so that people understand what you mean by that. I think I get you, but will you explain that a little bit

Cory Clarke: more? Yeah. I mean, the way I'm using it is it is a it's a stack that you can essentially mix and match, it's, it's the Oh, the cart menu, or like, the McDonald's menu.

I can order the fries. I can order the burger. I can order a drink. I can also just get a number three meal, like I, either way I can mix and match, but it all works together, but it can work independently as I guess the best way to, yeah. And you

James Dice: guys are building each component so that it could be procured and installed,

Cory Clarke: On its own.

Yeah. Like each component, has a set of API APIs and services that are consumed by the next component we've built or it can be used by third party. Yeah. And will

James Dice: you talk about how that contrasted [00:40:00] against how a lot of the other products are built in the marketplace

Cory Clarke: today? Sure. Yeah. I, I think generally, yeah, I feel like a lot are, they are modeled, I think would be the one contrast where you, you have to buy the insights and the data platform and the device and the basements, it's all together.

Like you can't just buy the device and Sunday to do your own cloud. Now that's not an option. Like, you can buy the whole thing and then only use the device in the basement, but you're going to pay for the data platform, the insights so that they are inextricable. And a lot of times it's just the way they were involved.

And, and, and so that's kind of one kind of contrast. And the other is that if they're using, like, they're either just closed, like they have no API APIs or their API is a poorly. Or that they're not [00:41:00] using standards, which is the most common problem because yeah, not a lot. I mean, there's kind of the brick standard haystack.

There's someone that's. But otherwise there's not a ton of his, backnet like, if they don't at least communicate with some standard protocols, that's the other way that they become, like, what are your

thoughts

James Dice: on. Some companies that I've worked with, they've been doing, you call them point solution, you call them full stack, whatever you want to call them.

They've been around since like the two thousands. Right? So they've been around a long time. They've been doing this full stack thing for a long time. But when, like, in order to meet the demands of today's market, it almost seems like they would need to break up all the things they're doing into composable.

Like you guys are talking about here components with their own individual API APIs. What do you think about like a legacy tool adopting that

Cory Clarke: approach?[00:42:00] I mean, I think it's going to be, and it also depends on how they make their revenue, because I feel like a lot of these, like some of the legacy ones it's like big No, they either make all their money off hardware. And then like, SAS is like this extra revenue that they're hoping to get. So they really want that.

And then, but they, since they control the hardware in the building, they're not going to make it easy for anybody else because they want to sell you that software. You get at some park or the reverse, you're like a company that you're S you make. I think a lot of the sensor companies fall into this category.

It's like Harvard business hard. It's like the margins are crap. The margins are good on software. So like they're making, but they make the money off the software. So they're not going to sell you the hardware to just use on your own. You have to buy the software together. Yeah, like that. Yeah. It, it's hard to do in a way that I think the if you started your business making money, one particular way to like break it apart.[00:43:00]

'cause you're easily, like one thing is funding the other. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. I don't know. It's a, it's awesome. Just like, I think the legacy systems it's, if they weren't built open 15 years ago, it's still in the basement.

What are you going to do about it?

James Dice: Yeah, it is kind of one of like, one of the questions of this era of the smart buildings industry is like, how did these older architectures evolve now that different option options exist at each layer of the stack that we just talked about.

Cory Clarke: I'm also thinking to see what happens with like these acquisitions where like with like MRI, Angus, right?

Like, so RXR is Angus and Yardi.

Oh, nuts is, I don't know if MRI's going to like [00:44:00] really think the value is all, this is on one platform. So we're going to do the MRI and it's all going to be one thing and eventually not support the Yardi or are they going to keep them as two standalone products, completely independent. Like, I, I could see prospective, not wanting to enable the competitors.

Right. Like, so lock it down. But then yeah, it just leads towards slate. This kind of balkanization of the industry where you have those couple of big stacks.

James Dice: Fascinating. I did want to circle back on something you mentioned. So I just released for our pro members a like a KPI's database. And so our, our pro members are from all types of different technology companies building owners, like basically the whole industry is represented in some way. And so I said, basically, w w what, what databases can I start to [00:45:00] develop that can help them all do their jobs?

And so one of the, one of the ones is like, we just released this KPIs database. And one of the things I was struggling with was how does someone measure and report on occupant experience? Right. And so I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this, given the tools that you've built, like, what KPIs can someone use to say the experience has improved here, or the experience is not so good here?

What do you think.

Cory Clarke: I think it's a, I mean, it's a really interesting problem, particularly since, but it's valuable. Like, so many companies are spending on experience. I saw something in, I think it was the wall street journal that said like, it was like the average we're spending like two to $3 on like, experience spend like amenities, like that are like four foot, which is particularly if you can't measure the efficacy.

And most of the time, like the measurements I've seen or app engagements, like, oh, we launched that experience app and we have 60% [00:46:00] adoption, but it's kind of a, like the point of experiences and to have people use the app. So yeah, what we've been experimenting with is the, the computer vision stuff has been useful for things like wait times.

Like we spent money on a new visitor system to reduce. Measuring wait, time is valuable. Same with the elevators, wait time, like we have the destination dispatch, like, is that actually decreasing and improving that experience? And then we are doing like one of the things we built into the worst fall platform was basically pulse surveys, like, most like consumer companies and product companies use NPS scores, the net promoter score.

So the question is essentially, would you recommend this product to a friend? And if you would recommend it to a friend, you probably have a good experience. Yeah. You must like it. [00:47:00] Right. So we developed a variation on that. For the buildings, because he can't just be like, would you recommend this office to a friend?

Like you're going to come in here anyway. It's like, that's not a valuable so we were using the question or the exact wording, but essentially like, did the experience of the office impact your decision to come in today? Cause that's like, you could stay home. Like now it's choice, right? Like you could stay home when you come to the office, did the office experience impacted and we are kind of just pushing that out periodically and the way you would an NPS score.

So we kind of have this continuum of, our, the last time we did it, our building NPS was around like 20, which is good. Like it's a negative, a hundred to a hundred. So like on the positive side and we have that pulse and then we can, as we do things, we were like, oh, we're going to start hosting coffee tastings in the lobby.

We have that as the benchmark to know if, if our [00:48:00] activations are going up, like this building NPS score is I think one way it's, it's, to, to get it on an ongoing basis. It's not real time, but it provides that metric. Yeah, I'm trying to read the other stuff. Totally blanking. What else we have from an experience standpoint?

Oh, the other is that we're pulling in, we're doing some sentiment analysis on work orders, obviously tagging and pulling out work order specific to experience things like, and as well, and then looking at

the like environmental metrics that, that drive experience. So. There's humidity the temperature CO2 to some extent, but mostly timidity temperature locks noise, pressure, and the things that basically like make the office sock, if it's like too bright and shiny noisy, so constantly measuring those and making sure they're within band.

Yeah, but it's I'd [00:49:00] love to say we crack the nut. Like we're trying to focus on that. We've gotten more the, from a building level, it's a little harder we are, you can watch the occupancy of like amenities and know whether your amenities successful. And how often do you. So looking at even just like dwell time and those to know, it's like, yeah, people using the cafe, but nobody actually spends any time there it's maybe wasted too much space on it.

Like you could have just had a coffee machine or a barista cafe. So, looking at dwell time and amenities and then within the tenant space is when we, we did a lot of pilots where we're deploy like space level occupancy sensors. And that gives us more metrics around kind of experience.

We're looking at like how often there are, there's basically more than one person in common areas are within six feet of each other. And again, this is kind of built it for COVID for social [00:50:00] distancing, but then we did the reverse and basically used it for collaboration. So like how often is collaboration happening outside of meetings?

As a gauge of like the value and experience of the, the office, like here we go, I'm coming to the office now to, to meet people and collaborate. If I'm just going to spend eight hours in a spreadsheet, I could do that at home. So like to measure it, occupant experience, looking at like the level of collaboration, how often are people together?

What is the average, like interaction time outside of meeting rooms, within meeting rooms kind of the same, but looking at those separately. Yeah. And then usage of like, things like the sofas and kind of the things that you've invested in from a creative standpoint. It's hard because it's also, you don't want to really been trying to keep it as privacy centric as possible.

So no identifiable information, things like that. So. [00:51:00] It's hard to get up without.

James Dice: It's also hard because you just named like 25 different things. And so it's like, how do I get that into the challenge? I'm assuming is how do I get that into one or two metrics that help me understand, over time?

Cory Clarke: How the Cisco yeah. Like we have developed a couple high-level aggregate metrics, like one for health, one for safety, one for like, essentially like productivity in terms of like how effective the spaces for productivity. We are starting to try and work on one for like a building experience level.

Cause it, yeah, your wait times have gone to crap or, you're leaving just occupancy has dropped below. What is the typical norm that may be an indicator. You know, And we're bored with somebody. Who's a lot of stuff we're trying to figure out how to do some scoring and have like a high level KPI because it's otherwise it's like 20 or 30 metrics and you're kind of tracking them off.

Yeah, [00:52:00]

James Dice: totally. Oh, thank you for that. I mean, that was kind of how I was thinking about it and I'm like, here's the data that we could possibly get and here's the things that it could indicate, but it's pretty complicated. It seems like. So thanks for validating that well, let's end off with some, some carve-outs I'd love to hear.

What, what book, movie TV show podcast or others you would, you would recommend the audience checks

Cory Clarke: out? Sure. I've been listening to one called ologies of your familiar, like it's a podcast. Yeah, because I listened to the first, like the times like the daily, but then I don't know. There's certain times where like, COVID gets you down after a while.

You're like, I just can't hear another one or the Ukraine more. And you're like, I want to know what's going on, but I don't need 30 minutes every day. So the , so it's a, it's one woman that just interviews, different ologists people that study stuff, but like super obscure. Like the one that got me hooked was a friend of mine was telling you about the, what unpacked fish allergy.

So it's a guy that just studies hagfish, which are these like, [00:53:00] weird like basically like prehistoric, like worms that can produce a ridiculous amount of slime and a couple of seconds, like that is their pure defense. It doesn't produce so much slime that they can not be bitten or they don't produce the slime that fills.

Fishes gills and everything. And they spit them out. But when they have like one on like, there was one on Bullvine neuropathy, which is basically a study of like animal headbutting. Like it's this really niche ologies, but super fascinating. Cause it's like one person that's been looking at this.

20 years and just that, that focus but also just the, the oddities of like they come out of it. So, yeah, it's good. Like infotainment, like education. Okay.

James Dice: A lot of that, we'll put that in the show notes for people that want a distraction. So mine is this book called imaginable [00:54:00] and the authors Jane McGonigal just started listening to it.

I heard her on the Tim Ferriss podcast, which I have listened to for a really long time. So she is. The game designer and futurist. And I'll just leave this for people as a teaser. She did a game simulation in 2008 on what people would do if an airborne pandemic came in 2020. And so they gamed it out and they surveyed people.

And like, how would you react? Would you go to school? What'd you go to the office? What if people put mask mandates, would you wear them? They had questions like, like real questions like this in 2008. And same thing with the sort of fake news misinformation. They had a simulation around that in 2010.

And again, it was. If this happens in 2020, how will you react? It was like, it's extremely, extremely, extremely [00:55:00] fascinating. So I guess we'll put, we'll put this interview in the show notes with Tim Ferriss, but also the books called imaginable. I just couldn't help myself. I had to know how she did that.

And was it, yeah, it's

Cory Clarke: really fascinating. Was it accurate? Like, did it predict? Yes. Yes. So, so

James Dice: when the pandemic first came, you know, January, 2020, she was getting phone calls from people like CEOs, policymakers like, Hey, I heard you did this study 10 years ago. What should we do? And the stuff she was telling them to do is.

You should know that people are not gonna stop going to weddings and people are not going to stop going to church. And people are not like you have to shut those things down immediately, or else you can't leave it up to choice because that's where we get our sense of community. Our sense of self from is these events.

And so a lot of like the early, like we have to shut this down laws, I think at least [00:56:00] some of them came from people consulting her and saying, what should we do based on your, your game that you made 10 years ago, really, really, really

Cory Clarke: fascinating.

James Dice: So I'll leave people with that. I'm not done with the book yet, but I definitely recommend the book.

I'm like 20% of the way through it. So anyway, Corey, it's great to come on the show and great to pick your brain a little bit. So

Cory Clarke: thank you. Thanks.

James Dice: All right friends, thanks for listening to this episode of the Nexus Podcast. For more episodes like this and to get the weekly Nexus Newsletter, which by the way, readers have said is the best way to stay up to date on the future of the smart building industry, please subscribe at nexuslabs.online. You can find the show notes for this conversation there as well. Have a great day.