4 min read

"This framework is incredible" [Nexus Newsletter #135]

“This framework is incredible for understanding the difference between technologies.”
—Nexus Foundations student

Hey friends,

In Module 4 of the Nexus Foundations course, we provide students a simple framework to use when researching new technology in our space.

At this point in the learning journey, the students have done the hard work required to understand key stakeholders, develop use cases grounded in human workflows, and assess the existing systems to understand the integration requirements.

In other words, they now have identified The Gap—that void between their existing systems and the use cases for new technology.

So how can new technology fill the gap?

Well, let’s first acknowledge that getting to this point is actually pretty rare. Most companies don’t do this work upfront. What I hear the most is that people jump straight to new technology because they don’t want to get left behind.

Everybody is talking about AI, digital twin, analytics, etc, so we must need that too! Let’s do a pilot, they say…

That’s a reaction, not a decision, and certainly not a strategic decision. There are a lot of meetings in our industry that happen just like the meeting in this comic strip…

Making this problem worse is this phenomenon I’ve noticed where we often aren’t actually talking about the same things. I can’t tell you how many one-hour meetings I’ve been in where the first 55 minutes are spent getting on the same page…

What does the technology do? How does it relate to the technology we already have? How does it compare to the other technologies we’re evaluating?

This issue is further exacerbated when, even if we’re using the same terminology, we have differing definitions for the same words.

What do you mean when you say analytics? Energy management system? Energy management information system? Building management system? Building energy management system? Facility-related control system? IoT platform? Digital Twin?

It’s overwhelming.

Acronyms and names that can mean pretty much the same thing are getting lost in translation. Lots of time is being wasted because we’re talking in circles.

I’ve seen the consequences of this first hand: When building owners are confused, they slow down purchases, do nothing, or purchase a lousy product that doesn’t meet their needs and sets them back for years.

The Nexus Evaluation Framework is our tool to cut through that noise and confusion and answer the “What is it?” question. It's available to members of Nexus Pro...

And while the main use case is to help map out a single tech vendor, you can also use it to compare vendors, assess integration potential, share new product ideas, and more.  

How do you use it?

Let us know on LinkedIn,

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. In a month, we'll be launching Cohort 5 of Nexus Foundations.

Week 4 of the course is a deep dive on the Evaluation Framework, plus my favorite mental models, themes, and trends for understanding new technology in the industry. Students have said week 4 is worth the cost of the course on its own.

Make sure you're on the waitlist to be the first to hear when registration opens.  

✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:


★ PODCAST: 🎧 #108: Mid-2022 M&A Roundup with J³—This episode is a conversation with Joe Aamidor of Aamidor Consulting and Jeanne Casey of Nuveen. If you add James in, you get three J’s or J³.

This is the second installment of our M&A Roundup series, recorded in late June 2022. This time, we heard about general trends in M&A, then unpacked the two most interesting recent acquisitions in the smart buildings industry and dove into why, our reaction to them, and other trends they’re related to.


★ FROM THE ARCHIVE: The MSI is a symptom, not the final solution



  • New Member Orientation: Nexus Founder, James Dice, hosts an introduction to the Nexus Labs Community and how you access and take advantage of all the resources that come with your Pro Membership. This is for new members or those who've not taken advantage of all the resources at the Nexus Community.
  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Independent Building Automation Consultant at Lifecycle Controls, Bryce Anderson will lead the discussion on BMS trends today and tomorrow.
  • Pro Member Gathering: Smart Buildings Manager and Nexus Pro member, Blake Hyde, will join us for a conversation on Cadillac Fairview's Smart Buildings Program.

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.


★ ON LINKEDIN: Nexus Lore, condensed to a 10 slide deck


★ READ OF THE WEEK: Electrifying Everything by Energize Ventures


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!