When people speak about sustainable homes they tend to refer to the use of alternative energy, solar photovoltaic for electricity, solar thermal for hot water, heating and pool heating, solar power water wells and occasionally wind energy. But in my view that is only part of the solution. A true sustainable home must also be a smart home, a home that can generate its own energy but that also uses it wisely reducing costs and increasing owner´s comfort. A smart home is also a home whose maintenance costs are reduced by use of electrical, sustainable robots, lawn mowing robot, vacuuming or cleaning robots, pool cleaning robots all with smartphone controlled routines. It’s a home that uses energy for its occupants, that heats and air conditions only when needed using geofenced thermostats who are aware of owner’s movements, it’s a home in which lights are only on when people are there and whose intensity and mood can be managed remotely. It’s a home whose shades are not only down when people sleep but when it makes sense to prevent the home from unnecessarily warming up, whose cameras inform the owner of anyone who enters the home, home workers or intruders, and film like a Dropcam does for baby or pet monitoring. In short a sustainable home is a WiFi enabled home that generates a significant part of its energy, that is automated and smartphone controlled and whose maintenance is as robotized as possible.
Personally I have been going through the process of making our homes in Menorca, Spain and Sagaponack, USA smart and I can tell you, navigating the incredible amount of choices has been extremely time consuming, hard, frustrating and required a lot of help. There are no guides, no easy templates. Everyone offers you a partial solution, but nobody offers you THE comprehensive solution. I was also a first round investor in Smartthings which as successful as the company is, it made me realize that if PC’s needed a Geek Squad, intelligent homes will need a Smart Homes Squad. It takes real people to help home owners make their homes smart. The average home owner is just not able to navigate the extremely complex choice for home automation and sustainability solutions out there, acquire the right products and especially install them.
Hence the idea to start a company that uses my learnings and that of many others and offers a one stop solution to make homes smart: design, implementation and service. But I am the CEO of Fon and have no time to be CEO of another company. So if you believe you could be the start up CEO of this new company most likely in the USA but could be anywhere in the world, if you are very knowledgeable about home automation, alternative energy, and robotics and have general management and communication skills and believe that all the new technology available for homes needs a HUMAN interface, an army of architects for home sustainability who will implement them, if you don’t believe the general public is able to buy solutions over Amazon and hack them into their homes, please write to me at email@example.com and send me your business plan. I may hire you to build this company and provide you with funding and a stock option plan (I would like to clarify that just as I am sharing this idea with you and you may go ahead and implement it without me, I may also implement the company with any idea you share with me and without you. Also I may not go ahead with this idea at all should it prove too hard to execute). But to me in this field it is not this or that idea that matters, it is the execution of the whole strategy. In the challenge of making home owners happy, saving them money and making their lives better in a massive scale, it is not one idea that will win the race, it is delivering comprehensive solutions.
What could be great places to start such a company? California, Florida, Colorado, New York, Spain, UK, Germany, Japan, or maybe other location with an abundant of homes waiting to join the 21st century and help make the planet more sustainable.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars