As we take on a new year, we wanted to look back at some lessons learned in 2012 and graph how these lessons will shape the energy management landscape in the coming year. We’ve learned many valuable lessons over the years and thus embraced the guiding principles we’ve seen work and which we’ve adhered to ever since:
- Be humble about our ability to pick the killer application and focus instead on building an open platform that allows everyone to innovate and create an unlimited number of killer apps.
- Focus on the consumer because surprising and delighting customers is the key to energy business transformation and success.
- Incorporate data and analytics to create value for all participants.
- Focus on cloud computing as the emerging dominant force in computing architectures.
Of these four lessons, one theme we’ve seen consistently holding true and shaping the future is that open platforms always win.
Though closed platforms may be easier — and many companies start off with this approach because it is easier – we believe long-term success is dependent on an open platform. Though open platforms are harder to build, it is only through an open platform that 3rd party developers can innovate and build the applications that will help ignite consumer excitement about controlling when, where and how they use energy.
One of the critical components to our profitability was opening our platform, which now has over 500 registered developers serving the needs of different kinds of customers. For us it’s incredibly important to engage with developers, which is why we opened up our APIs and have hosted many hackathons. We’ve seen first-hand how the developer community can drive new revenue and unexpected revenue streams for our technology. Many of the tech giants like Amazon and Salesforce realized early on the importance of engaging with the developer community, and having an open platform like ours allows us to work with virtually any developer.
Catering to a broad set of individuals is also crucial to our next theme — focusing on the consumer and, more specifically, that one size does not fit all. Our energy provider customers serve a broad range of unique consumers. They have unique lifestyles, unique values, unique technology capabilities, unique homes, unique families…the list goes on. This all means that these consumers have unique energy needs and demands.
All of our technologies at Tendril are rooted in behavioral science, and all our products offer customizable solutions that help utilities and their customers better communicate and thus better understanding each other, making home energy management a transparent and mutually beneficial process.
We constantly strive to offer our energy provider customers the best solutions to help them cater to their diverse customer base. Ultimately, customers want choice. By giving utilities the tools they need to deliver greater choice, we help create a win-win for both parties and foster a more meaningful and sustainable relationship between the two.
We’re looking forward to 2013. It has started off as a new year rife with opportunities to provide utilities with viable solutions not only found through our products, but also through applications developed by others on our open platform. As I’ve said in the past, no one knows what the next killer app will be, but we are happy to be providing the platform that will underpin the energy management creativity of the future.