Here’s an article that raises some interesting points about the future of smart grid. Billionaire Tom Siebel of customer relationship management fame is asserting that companies like his, whose expertise is enterprise software, are going to be the leaders in smart grid analytics, rather than the hardware giants like GE and Siemens. This strikes me as a similar argument to the one that Bob Lutz, ex-co-chairman of GM, made about the future of electric vehicles, where he posited that only car companies can build cars, and that smart people shouldn’t be looking for Silicon Valley to enter the auto market with any success.
Obviously, the jury is still out here. The automotive world is rightfully pretty impressed with what Tesla has done with its ability to deliver something stylish, profoundly appealing, and incredibly innovative in an industry that has been dominated by rehashing old ideas and actively repelling innovation. If the Tesla case study means anything at all, it’s hard to rule out new players with new ideas competing effectively in important industries.