In the moment
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In the moment

My three questions asking solar industry thought leaders

Picture taken by Susanna Huang at Dublin, Ohio, USA
  1. Undercapitalization and under estimating competition. The Solar industry in particular is a tough industry with lots of challenges to navigate and a company that can’t adequately invest in product, marketing, sales and industry engagement (meaning participating in legislative, regulatory, standardization and industry building activities) will be continually blind-sided by policy and competition.
  2. Product and product quality including setting and exceeding customer expectations (while making a profit) is a critical factor. We put solar on our rooftop in 2009 after SolarCity came along with their leasing options. They provided great value and met our expectations at a price that was unbelievable (and which almost led to their demise). All the other options were very complex and needed way more of my time and capital than I wanted to invest.
  3. For Solar in particular, the regulatory and competitive environments are brutal and companies that can’t influence and take advantage of the regulatory challenges while beating the competition are the winners. Just watch SolarEdge and EnPhase operate in both spheres.
  4. Industry leadership rather than followership. Companies that bring quality products to market profitably and set the standard (for quality, value as opposed to price, marketing, industry leadership) for everyone else tend to survive if they are well capitalized and can execute well.
  5. Good business management. Success is not about the best product, the best sales, the deepest pockets, etc. It is about managing the combination of assets a company has to deliver a competitive product (technology, pricing, value, service, etc) profitably.



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