2 min read

#29: Your favorites so far

And my lessons learned from the first 6 months

Good morning!

Welcome to Nexus, a newsletter, podcast, and membership community for smart people applying smart building technology—written by James Dice.

This week, I’m taking a break to read, reflect, and roam through the mountains of Colorado. In the meantime, today’s newsletter is a review of Nexus’ first 6 months.


Disclaimer: James is a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). All opinions expressed via Nexus emails, podcasts, or on the website belong solely to James. No resources from NREL are used to support Nexus. NREL does not endorse or support any aspect of Nexus.

🤔 Why does Nexus exist?

If you’re new around here, here’s why I do this…

My whole career, I’ve been wanting more unbiased, in-depth content on the smart buildings industry. How is the industry changing and where is it going? Which new technology products are hype and which are disruptive?

I’ve learned it takes a lot of time to wade through marketing pitches, research papers, and shallow articles to find the signal in the noise. Nexus is my attempt at sharing my evolving lens on the industry with you—without the fluff.

How am I doing?

According to the data, here are the all-time most viewed free posts and the top podcast episodes:

  1. How to evaluate smart building technologyintroducing an ever-evolving notebook of smart building technologies and how I evaluate them
  2. #23: The next big thing?Advanced supervisory controls are hot; "intelligent building software" leaders; ASHRAE smart grid guide
  3. 🎧 #003: Nick Gayeski of KGS Buildings on FDD at scale and 5 waves of smart building tech
  4. 🎧 #008: Jean-Simon Venne on using AI to transition from reactive to proactive

📖 Lessons learned from the last 6 months

As I’ve said from the beginning, Nexus has always been an experiment. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  • #1 reason people subscribe: To get the trends and best practices for applying new technology
  • #1 reason people join Nexus Pro: Discussions/connections with like-minded industry leaders at our monthly gatherings
  • #1 piece of informal feedback: that people can’t keep up with all the content! I’m not going to apologize for that 😉
  • #1 assumption that was true: creating is the new networking. Nexus has helped me meet many of you who I wouldn’t have otherwise met. You amaze me with all the cool stuff you’re doing.

#1 testimonial that keeps me going:

I believe you are assembling a tribe of people that I want to be a part of, and my hope is that the collective can find a way to provide something better for the customer.

This is not a problem to be solved, it feels like more like a journey where we are all some of the first explorers.

💡 New from NEXUS

  • DEEP DIVE—I sent out the finale of my series on ASC: A strategic approach to advanced supervisory control (Pro members only)
  • PODCAST—Episode #10 of the Nexus podcast is volume one of a fun new series called Friendly Rants with my friend Dennis Krieger (Pro members only)

OK, that’s all for this week—thanks for reading Nexus!


P.S. in case you missed last week’s announcement:

Training is one of the major bottlenecks for our industry and I have a hunch there’s a role for Nexus. I’m looking for students interested in joining the first cohort of an introductory course on smart buildings.

If you know someone that is new to the world of smart building technology—whether they’re a new employee or a client or someone looking for a job in smart buildings—please have them email me (nexus@substack.com) or hit reply.

Oh, and the first 10 students will receive a heavy discount on tuition and lifetime access to all future cohorts.