Wow. One year ago today we incorporated Smart Office Energy Solutions. As impatient as I am, it is never moving along quite quickly enough for me, but it is still important to look back at all we have already accomplished in a relatively brief time.
When we incorporated last December, we had completed tremendous analysis of the building energy efficiency industry. We had identified a very specific market gap, a large segment of potential clients that were being under- or unserved, and we had sketched out a rough solution that we thought could fulfill that pent-up need. In short, we had the makings of a business. At the time, our business was built on hypotheses and analyses, but instinct told us that we were onto something.
The year since incorporation has been focused largely on customer development. We have been using prototype products to validate our hypotheses, challenge our assumptions, and test our business model with paying customers. We raised a seed round of funding to finance these efforts and we have now developed a strong emerging brand. All of our close work with clients has also yielded new insights into generating maximum energy savings–insights which we have developed into intellectual property.
So here we are at the precipice of a new year. In some ways, very little has changed. For example, we are setting out to raise a new round of investment–exactly as we were doing this time last year. In many ways, however, our world is totally different. As we look to the future, we have a business plan rooted in proven facts rather than hypotheses. We have an extended team of contributors many times larger and more effective than the original set of founders. We have a growing set of stakeholders (clients, investors, policy makers, resellers, suppliers, policy makers, and cleantech pundits) who believe in what we are doing and provide daily encouragement. Moreover, through our modest efforts thus far, we have eliminated almost a full megawatt-hour of energy use, saving more than 10,000 tons of CO2, the equivalent to having planted more than 200 trees. Relative to our grand ambitions, that isn’t much–but it’s a great start!
As I have blogged about before, this path hasn’t been easy. There is great uncertainty as we develop a market that doesn’t exist yet with an approach that hasn’t existed before. I must always give credit to my secure bases, my business and personal relationships who provide the support I need to keep going; without them I would be lost.
So happy birthday, Smart Office Energy Solutions . . . many happy returns!