Cliff Kuang interviews Tony Faddell, the maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat, for Fast Magazine. Among the discussion about the evolution of the device and its connected services, this stood out to me:
“If we’d come out with the iPhone of home-energy management, people would just get confused,” Fadell told us previously. Meaning that if the very first Nest thermostat had boasted all of the functionality and features that Nest plans for it, it would have been too confusing a product to get mainstream adoption. You have to let people buy into a device first, before building a world of functionality around it.
I think this is what a great many entrenched utility companies get completely wrong. They want to offer the whole solution in one go, debate endlessly about the deliverables and how to extract the most value, but almost never bother to think about how to place the customer in the picture. In Europe, we have a legal mandate to introduce Smart Meters, for example, so if the customers are forced to use this thing, why make them buy in? This is in large part the reason why Smart Meter adoption has been sluggish.