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Realcomm’s 2019 event has wrapped. It was significantly larger than last year (500 more attendees). Most attendees noticed the significant increase in conference size. Additionally, there was a lot of attendee enthusiasm for the industry and its future prospects. Last year. I noted that Realcomm is “one of the best real estate technology events”, but I think it’s has cemented its status as the best.

Nashville was a fitting location — the city has many cranes, a lot of real estate investment, and has been inundated by many of the same young professionals that drive some of the technology investments in commercial buildings. …


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This past week was the 20th year of Realcomm, which has become one of the leading (if not the leading) real estate technology events. Over the past few years, the related IBCon conference also has been held at the same time. This year, IBCon and Realcomm seemed much more closely linked — primarily since technology is permeating all parts of real estate.

I attended and spoke on a panel about the smart building technology skills gap, a subject that I’ve written about in the past (here and here)

In case you missed the event, here are some of my general…


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A few months ago, I wrote an article about how automation in buildings may impact job growth. The article touched on similar themes as an article I wrote a year prior. In the more recent article from January 2018, I looked at both data on employment in certain building trades (such as HVAC installers and mechanics, engineering managers) and compared this to data on the level of automation in commercial buildings. The idea was inspired by a paper written by researchers at Deloitte. I’m interested in this topic because:

  1. It is very pertinent given the continued growth of technology firms in real world industries…

The white paper I recently co-wrote with Social Energy Partners has been well received. For those with an interest in the subject matter but a lack of time to really dive in, here’s a short form version of the key points.

(Note: you can download the white paper here.)

The internet of things in buildings will enable increasingly low cost sensors and more powerful cloud data processing to collect and analyze new information about our physical spaces. …


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The following is a write up of my presentation at the Smart Building Summit in Sydney. I delivered this presentation on November 28, 2017.

I often wonder — why aren’t there more smart buildings? I’ve been working in the building and energy space for my whole career. I have seen many startups and innovative business models come and go. As a product management professional, I study what has worked and what has not, with a goal to help drive adoption of what I think are very valuable technologies.

  • We have electric cars and autonomous cars are not far away.
  • My face can unlock my phone. …


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From Engie Exchange 2017, Boston

Last week I had the pleasure to attend Engie Exchange, which was an event encompassing all of Engie’s North American businesses. I spoke on a panel and discussed intelligent building applications. The panel was well received (and a lot of fun!). In case you missed it, here are a couple of the key points I made:

Businesses and startups in the energy and building space are starting to realize that a “second wave” model will not work, and a “third wave” model is more promising. The concept of the “third wave” comes from Steve Case, who notes that the coming “internet of things” or “internet of everything” will require a new kind of business model. As background, the first wave was the pipes that brought everyone online — firms like AOL and Cisco. The second wave is defined by startups that independently disrupted legacy industries. Examples include Google, which on its own changed the advertising industry. Other examples include Salesforce, which instead of helping to bring on-premise CRM deployments to the cloud, built a company by taking customers away from those legacy vendors. The third wave will require partnerships between established firms with subject matter expertise and emerging tech players. this is exactly how smart buildings will start to scale — rather than trying to disrupt the status quo, startups should look to partner and enhance the value of existing products and services. …


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I recently published an article discussing the applications for blockchain within facility management and building operations. I’ve received a fair number of responses to this article. Additionally, from my initial research, there is more to say on the topic. Here are some follow up notes:

What are the issues with blockchain?

While there is a lot of opportunity for blockchain to change the way our economy works, there are downsides. Due to the hype, we don’t hear about them often, but they need to be resolved for blockchain to scale.

  • First, blockchain actually can be slower than advertised because all those who have a copy of the ledger need to update it, a process that can take hours. …

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My recent article in Building Operating Management magazine discussed the difference between horizontal and vertical business models in building and energy technology. I’d like to describe these two concepts in more depth.

This graphic provides a few examples to illustrate the concept of the two business models.


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The energy and buildings industries are rapidly changing due to new technology, new business models and resource constraints + a focus on corporate responsbility. This is leading professionals to move into the space, especially those with technical and software skills. I believe there are a number of reasons that workers are attracted to these industries, but two that stick out:

  • it’s nice to work on technology that is tangible
  • it’s nice to have a purpose beyond just profit

I’m often asked by energy and buildings rookies for for my summary list of links and resources to get acquainted with this industry. Here is is my list. …


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Product Management is among the most important jobs within growing and established companies. Product is multidisciplinary and requires a variety of hard and soft skills. Product managers almost always have some past, on-the-job experience in other roles, which can range from software engineering, sales, design, finance or just relevant subject-matter expertise. There are a variety of positions that naturally lead to product management, but it can be hard to break into the role. Training and tangential experience are not the same as actually spending time as a product manager.

Finding the right resources

There are many resources to help. We’ve attended countless meetups, read hundreds of blogs and articles, and have even contributed to some of the leading publications in the space. We also value mentoring (both seeking out mentors and serving as mentees). We know many aspiring and growing PMs that have taken product management classes from some of the leading institutions. A number of leading enterprises are known for their internal product management training programs. …

About

Joseph Aamidor

Product management professional in the built environment (e.g., smart buildings and cleantech). Product/market strategy consultant to vendors & building owners.

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