Happy solstice.This year has seen increased VC funding for energy dashboards. For many reasons. Fee market economy capitalizing on the energy band wagon, idealistic entrepreneurs developing to save the world, and variants of both. My interest in energy dashboards started last year just about the time google was getting into the power meter. First I thougt it was sexy, then I realized there was more to this than just idealism. So as I gravitated toward this idea of dashboards, as a handful of entrepreneurs started building tightly coupled products hoping for instant market share and I applauded them. As the initial enthusiam wore off, it became clear that free market driven product development might just fall short. Product differentiation driving market share in the realm of energy conservation has to be an oxymoron. In a domain where we need to come together with a common purpose to save the planet, the divisive approach to drive adoption, does little for the cause let alone save the planet. Simply put, product differentiation is divisive, drives a wedge and does not intend to further the common good. Think of the days in IT when we developed xml, we did that because edi did not do its job. Think of the days in IT when we developed RMI and webservices. We did so because we needed a unified language. We need a common language, more than ever now. If adoption is key, let’s build that first. If we do products will follow. Products that don’t have to differentiate0to sell, products that can build on top of each other. Products that will eventually help us truly conserve. In the end this is all about standards and a common language. It is about using patterns, tested patterns to drive adoption of energy dashboards.