4 min read

Inextricably intertwined [Nexus Newsletter #94]

Hey friends,

Before we get to this week's goodies, I'd love your input...

Last week, a commenter on LinkedIn suggested that Nexus should stick to covering technical rather than social topics (like DEI).

I responded that in our industry, technical and social topics are inextricably intertwined.

Let me expand on that...

First, all smart buildings technology use cases either attempt to create better human experiences OR they depend on humans to implement them and make them successful. Or both.

In our Foundations course, we use the analogy of a skateboarder to convey this dependency:

The human and the skateboard are a team and the outcome (like a sick kickflip over that rock!) depends on both of them.

Second reason: Everyone in the industry is hiring or trying to hire. And they're largely competing for the same pool of performance engineers, integrators, operators, product managers, etc. We need that pool of humans to grow for the technology to get sold, deployed, used, maintained, etc.

Third, and finally, for many tech use cases, we already have the technology developed. Now, it's about scale. And besides hiring, scale depends on solving problems that are 100% social in nature: aligning incentives, change management, etc.

My opinion: calling technical and social issues separate is just the siloed thinking the industry is trying to get rid of.

Do you agree? What am I missing here?

Hit reply and let me know.

—James

P.S. Speaking of hiring: this is the last week of our jobs board launch promo. Post your first job for free and get it front of thousands of smart buildings nerds.


✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything we published this week:

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #069: Dana Guernsey on building a grid-interaction platformWe talked about how platforms like Voltus are filling the gap between portfolios of buildings on one side and the electricity markets on the other. Each has its own complexity and Voltus is out to smooth that away for building owners in order to capture the value of each building's demand flexibility.

"Supply is becoming more and more intermittent, demand is becoming more and more flexible.​The whole thing is just getting up-ended and for building owners, they can't just close their eyes and not realize that the building is very much part of that."

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LIVE BROADCAST: We're turning last week's live broadcast on DEI into a podcast episode, so stay tuned for that!


🔎 Signal vs. Noise

Only the best smart building resources we consumed this week…

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ADVANCED SUPERVISORY CONTROL: When will AI / ML Become Useful in Buildings? 5 years? 10 Years?Bryce Anderson walks through the gap between what he thinks the ASC companies are currently building and what we need them to be building. He says in the comments he created this with BrainBox AI in mind. His two main points:

  • BAS companies don't need help from ML in optimizing one control loop. They need help optimizing the whole building. I'd add that they also need help with grid interaction and prediction.
  • On the projects he's working on, ASC (and other overlay) companies and BAS companies are adversaries. They don't know they're actually on the same team. Agreed there.

Love the bleeping at the end... I laughed out loud.

Pairs well with: Our 2020 series on the latest trends in advanced supervisory control.

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TALENT: Workforce Skill Development for a Smart Building FutureGreat discussion from the recent SBX conference on growing our industry's talent pool, building new skills and abilities for all who bear the responsibility for making buildings work better.

"There are no shortage of challenges here..."

Pairs well with: The Clean Energy Career Maps

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DECARBONIZATION: Better energy efficiency policy with digital toolsSuper deep IEA article on how digitization is transforming energy efficiency markets.

Pairs well with: Our podcast episode with Recurve CEO Matt Golden.

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CYBERSECURITY: Gartner Predicts By 2025 Cyber Attackers Will Have Weaponized Operational Technology Environments to Successfully Harm or Kill Humans

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NEW-TO-ME: New startups sliding across my desk this week...

  • Daizy—An open Enterprise IoT management platform
  • Alcatraz.ai—a facial authentication solution that leverages artificial intelligence and analytics to modernize access control technology

🧑‍💻 The Best Jobs at the Intersection of Tech and Buildings

Nexus Labs now curates the best open jobs in the industry.

This week's featured roles:

Nexus Labs: Community & Marketing Manager (📍Remote - US)

Intelligent Buildings: Senior Consultant (📍Remote - US)

Resolute BI: Energy Engineer (📍Remote - US)

Audette: Commercial Building Retrofit Specialist (📍Remote - Global)

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We've got great jobs from all over the world!

You can browse more than 35 global open roles or post your own on the Nexus Labs Job Board.

Just a few more days to post your job on the board for free!

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That's all for this week! Thanks for reading. 👋