5 min read

#41: Following Google's lead

But all my shit's in there; selling smart building tech; today's webcast with 75F
Today, I’ll be the guest on 75F’s free live webcast, "Healthier Buildings: The Future of Building Intelligence", where their CEO Deepinder Singh and I will talk about where we’re at as an industry and where we’re headed.

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Good morning!

Welcome to Nexus, a newsletter, podcast, and membership community for smart people applying smart building technology—written by James Dice. If you’re new to Nexus, you might want to start here.

Here’s an outline of this week’s newsletter:

  1. 🤔 On my mind this week

  2. 📚 What I’m reading

  3. 💡 New from Nexus

  4. 🧐 New to me

  5. 🧱 Foundations

Enjoy!


1. 🤔 On my mind this week

I have one quick announcement this week:  After ramping up the podcast to a weekly cadence, we’re ready to take the show to the next level and we’re looking for sponsors to help with that push.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I envision sponsorships that are done in an educational way with no fluff. No, we will not be publishing annoying ads. If you’re interested, please fill out this quick form to tell me what you have in mind.


👉 If you enjoy reading NEXUS, please share it with your colleagues!


2. 📚 What I’m reading

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The “All My Shit’s in There” (AMSIT) Factor—Enjoyed this article that Mike from Aquicore shared after he read my essay How Overlay Software Becomes Sticky (Pro members only).

In today’s world, integrations are becoming an important (dare I say essential?) element of the AMSIT Factor. Sure…an integration with another product doesn’t fit the classic definition of “my shit” as we’ve discussed it here, but it works essentially the same way. Active integrations that move data to or from (especially from) your tool creates a dependency that will absolutely create that same panic upon the thought of canceling. It won’t be exactly the “but all my shit’s in there” reaction — it’ll be more like “but all my shit is connected to that!”

This is why you see companies like Slack, Hubspot, and Intercom rush into the “platform” business (long after Salesforce showed its power). If your shit is flowing across multiple products and your future operations will literally break if this flow is disrupted — this would generate a very high AMSIT Score.

This made me feel like I should add some more swearwords into my writing. It’s my nature… and I’ve been hiding it from you all.

And gifs... Here’s a funny one from the article that applies to our industry. When users try to export their data:

Animated GIF

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The future BAS: A review of market opportunities and developments—Enjoyed this analysis on the small buildings BAS market from Joe Aamidor, where he builds on some of my writing. (Aamidor Consulting)

I do not believe that all services will be replaced with software. But there will be more advanced software that operates buildings, which does mean that there will be less demand for services within each building.

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Other pertinent reads from just (a bit) outside the smart buildings industry:

Google Shows the Path to a Clean Energy Future—A great write up of the inspiring announcement Google made last week. Everyone else needs to level up. (Rocky Mountain Institute)

Put simply, this means that Google will no longer match its data centers’ energy use throughout the year with 100 percent renewable energy purchased anywhere in the world. It will now match hourly electricity use with locally sourced zero-carbon energy, operating essentially on carbon-free electricity around the clock by 2030.

(…)

Achievement of the goal will also rely on continued innovation in the realm of AI and Machine learning—which Google already uses—to shift loads and increase efficiency for optimal power usage when and where renewables are prevalent.

This is what we need all building owners to do behind the meter to meet our collective climate change goals: “Be a Data-Driven Grid Citizen”. I’d argue that you can’t do that without advanced supervisory control. This is why I write so much on the topic (start here).


This installment of NEXUS is free for everyone. If you would like to get full access to all content, join the NEXUS Pro community. Members get exclusive access to the Nexus Vendor Landscape, monthly events, weekly deep dives, and all past deep dives.

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3. 💡 New from NEXUS


4. 🧐 New to me

Even though the Nexus Vendor Landscape has over 100 vendors on it, I still learn about new companies/products to track every week.

Here is this week’s discovery:

Urbanise—Yet another Aussie startup (YAAS) with an overlay software offering for multifamily and CRE facilities


5. 🧱 Foundations

The dates are set for cohort 1 of Nexus Foundations, an introductory course on smart buildings. From 10/1 to 11/19, we'll publish weekly content, host weekly live workshops on Zoom, and hold weekly office hours.

The course follows the story of Charlie, a smart building rookie who eventually grows into a smart building champion thanks to his mentor, Maureen. In their fifth meeting, it’s time to talk dollars. If you missed weeks 1 through 4, check previous newsletters for the rest of the story.

Week 5: Making the business case

“Thank God I don’t have to drink Starbucks again”, Charlie thought.

Back at their usual coffee shop, Maureen was smiling when Charlie walked in.

“This is my favorite lesson!

It’s time to bring everything we’ve talked about so far together. We’ve analyzed our stakeholders, we’ve assessed current technology, we’ve designed use cases for new technologies, and we’ve researched technologies that have the right capabilities to meet those use cases.

Now it’s time to create the business case. Tell me about the last project you tried to sell.”

Charlie looked confused.

“Hold on Maureen… I’m not in sales”, he said.

This is exactly why Maureen was so excited. She knew Charlie loved the technical topics. She knew he was mission-driven. But she also knew what he was missing.

Charlie, it doesn’t matter whether it’s internal or external, a product or a project, we’re all trying to change the status quo. We’re trying to do something new… and that requires sales. You are in sales. I’m in sales. We’re all in sales.

Charlie thought about this for a minute and looked back at his last few failed projects.

Well, I guess you’re right Maureen. I’ve been selling on creating energy savings and mitigating climate change. I’ve been selling on providing better indoor air quality. I’ve been selling on using technology to increase the rent.

And I feel like I’m making great arguments—these things are no brainers! And yet, the projects don’t move forward.

And so the lesson began. Maureen let Charlie have it.

Look, Charlie. These fuzzy, fluffy, feel-good reasons for changing the status quo won’t cut it. We have to get cutthroat.

So went on to show him what it takes to create an airtight business case. One that will actually create change and push our stakeholders off the status quo.

To be continued… 

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We're capping this (deeply discounted) first cohort at 25 students to maximize the time we can spend with each student. There are only a few spots left!

Reserve your spot now. 👇

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

If you have thoughts on this week’s edition, let us know in the comments!

—James