4 min read

#44: When a developer develops a SaaS overlay

The organizational digital twin, "repositioning" offices, and another ESG software
BIM is an as-built data model… digital twin is a living, breathing, ever-evolving, ever-changing, dynamic data model that constantly has new information coming into it. And it is automatically updating as that new information comes available.

—Kyle Tooke on Nexus Podcast episode #22

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.

I’m going to be keeping the newsletter short and sweet for a few weeks as I focus on facilitating the Nexus Foundations course. This might be a relief for those of you that need some time to catch up with all of our past goodies. If that’s you, hit the archive!

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

  1. 📚 What I’m reading

  2. 💡 New from Nexus

  3. 🧐 New to me


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1. 📚 What I’m reading and listening to


#92 Supervisory Control—It was a pleasure joining Jon Lester for another episode of the Buildings of Tomorrow podcast. This time we talked about some exciting trends in advanced supervisory control.


Here’s How Developers Can Reposition Office Buildings for the Future—Allow me to rant for a moment. I think this is a great article and the design ideas in it are sorely needed. Like look at this sweet rooftop park in Chicago.

But honestly, these things just seem so f*ing obvious. You’re saying developers should “reimagine” and “reposition” the office building so that it’s part of the community and allows people to socially connect? How innovative! How novel! (Gensler)

To integrate further into the surrounding spaces, building owners will need to expand their definition of “ROI” and become invested neighbors, working together with governing agencies to make the buildings in their communities active, self-supporting, and inviting.


One Of The World’s Most Innovative Developers Is Becoming A Software Company, Too—It’s been a pleasure to have Erik Ubels, who played a central role in the development of the Edge building in Amsterdam, in the Nexus Foundations course. This is a look at where Edge is headed next as a company: from developer to SaaS developer. There aren’t a ton of details on their software yet, but the website is pretty sweet.

They were telling us, it’s great to have one smart building, but what about the rest of our portfolio? We wanted to service that, and that’s when it becomes interesting — when we can compare different buildings and different types of buildings.

Let me add that this does violate one of my theories about sticking to your core business model. Developers might understand what the software needs to do, but do they understand how to grow and scale a SaaS product? Those are two different things.


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

Is COVID-19 Forcing Your Digital Transformation? 12 Steps To Move Faster—I liked this article because it paints digitization as a mindset and culture thing that pervades the people in the organization. (Forbes)

Companies start a digital transformation, but it’s never truly over. A true digital transformation is a state of mind for a company to continually evolve and adopt new digital solutions internally and externally. One of the first goals of digital transformation is to break down internal silos to create a seamless internal experience.


Prefab was supposed to fix the construction industry’s biggest problems. Why isn’t it everywhere?—Interesting article on prehab home construction with many parallels to the smart buildings industry.

It’s just a new system and most contractors want to build things the way they did on that last project.


Change is slow in the homebuilding world, (and) companies offering new building systems suffer from “imminent revolution,” the tendency to believe they’re leading some fundamental shift in how things get built but that fails to revolutionize the marketplace.

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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:

Deepki—Continuing on our ESG data collection, analytics, and reporting theme from last week, Deepki is a startup out of France that boasts 500,000 assets monitored. Big number. It’s interesting to me how they have modules for defining ESG strategy, plan, and then tracking progress.

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


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