It’s been a big week for my blog: over 2000 visitors and 50 likes for my posts. So, especially to my new subscribers and readers, thank you! Hitting nice big round numbers gives me an excuse to celebrate and to pause and reflect on what I’ve learned so far and what I want to focus on going forward.
You may have noticed that I’ve been getting more focused lately and I plan to continue to do so. I’ll be retiring some sections of my blog and beefing up the content on energy and MBAs. As a result, you will see even more focused content here on this blog going forward, with a more consistent schedule and a more focused approach.
I will continue to do weekly Green Reading posts, which have received lots of great feedback, as well as continue to curate and comment on great content as I find it. I’ll also be developing more of my own as I dig deeper into this industry and develop stronger viewpoints. I hope you will continue to come back often and share your feedback on what you want to read more of!
What Would Sun Tzu Do? A summer spent analyzing the competition for EnerNOC
Did you know that buildings in the United States account for roughly 7% of global primary energy consumption? This means that building efficiency, both in the US and abroad, is a vital part of any effort to reduce energy consumption and associated pollution. It also means that making buildings more efficient is big business; more efficient buildings save their owners thousands of dollars per year in reduced energy bills without any decrease in occupant comfort.
As I write this, I am halfway through my summer internship at EnerNOC, a company at the forefront of building efficiency technology. EnerNOC’s core business is demand response. Utilities pay EnerNOC, who then contracts with commercial, institutional, and industrial energy users to reduce energy consumption during times of peak demand – typically anywhere from 0-100 hours a year. In recent years, EnerNOC has been focused on diversifying its product suite and has made strong headway into the energy efficiency market – a fragmented and highly competitive market where vendors are competing not only for wallet-share, but also for mindshare. Traditional service providers (ESCOs), building control hardware providers, and software start-ups are all competing for a share of the market, which Industry reports estimate will to triple to $6 billion by the year 2020. Continue reading →
A colleague shared this with our marketing team at EnerNOC last week with a plea to take the 15 minutes to watch it or re-watch it. Simon Sinek is a published author who got his start helping himself and then his friends “find their why.”
He talks about the golden circle: with “Why” in the middle, then “How” then “What” forming an outer ring.
As Simon describes it, “everyone knows what they do, many people know how, but very few know why”. Normally, we go from the outside in, starting with what is clearest: the what, and working our way from there.
Simon argues that leaders and leading organizations do the opposite: they start with the why. What’s your purpose, cause of belief? Why do you do what you do and why should anyone care?
Tuck Professor Ron Adner is releasing a new book called the Wide Lens on Thursday. You can pre-order it now on Amazon, but in the meantime Fast Company just published a sneak preview.
The excerpt focuses on “The Innovator’s Blindspot”, which is that you can’t innovate unless your suppliers innovate too. In it, he says:
Today’s exemplar firms–from Apple in consumer electronics to Amazon in retail, from Roche in pharmaceuticals to Raytheon in defense, and from Hasbro in toys to Turner in construction–do much more than “just” execute flawlessly on their own initiatives. They follow a distinct set of strategies to orchestrate the activities of an array of partners so that their joint efforts increase the value created by their own initiatives many times over. These leaders have understood the nature of the blind spot and have expanded their perspective. They have deployed a wide lens in setting their strategy and prospered in their embrace of the ecosystem opportunity.
I’m looking forward to reading the rest of it over spring break–it starts on Friday–perfect timing! Continue reading →
At the risk of having all of us walk out of class, Professor Jonathan Haskell showed this graph today and told us that this was a whole term’s worth of his Europe in the Global Economy class in one slide. Luckily for him, no one budged, but unlucky for us it is a little more complicated than that. However, this graph is a fascinating narrative about what happened in Europe from the formation of the European Monetary Union through today and helps one grasp just how we get into the debt situation we are in and why it’s only gotten worse.
What we discussed in class can be summarized like this:
After joining the Euro: everyone’s interest rate fell because everyone thoug that different government bonds were equally safe. Low interest rates meant high aggregate demand–lots of investment, increased consumption, some increased government spending too
The crisis: asset price bubble bursts, consumption falls as does confidence. Interest rates return to being driven by individuacountries, with interest rates rising across the board, but especially in Southern European countries. This lowers investment.
Before the Euro, Southern European countries could depreciate their exchange rates. Now, the only safety value left is government spending.
For more reading on this topic, check out Profesor Haskel’s blog here.