on May 23, 2014 at 6:09:55 pm Last Edited By Franz Bieberkopf on May 23, 2014 at 6:13:35 pm
Recently in the forum, there was interest in alternatives to a monthly cheque to the utility company. There's a good piece on this in the context of technological innovation:
Why Owning Your Own Power Plant Might Not Be Crazy
"... consider air conditioning as another historical example of what lies ahead. .. Before mass production of the window air conditioning unit was made possible in 1947, air conditioners were only seen in luxury hotels and movie theaters. At the beginning of the 1950s, very few homes had air conditioning. By the end of the same decade, most American homes had a least one air conditioning unit. And by the end of the 1960s, most new homes were built with central air conditioning. What began as an expensive, loud, and obtrusive device you affixed to your window had become affordable, quiet, and integrated into almost every home."
"Of course, favorable economics do not equate to adoption. Just because customers could defect doesn’t mean they will. For the individual customers actually considering these investments many other factors come into play, such as performance risk, hassle/convenience factor, and simply the plain, easy inertia of continuing to get their power as they always have."
One flip side to the optimism of that post would be the idea that this is just privatization of the commons. (from the comments: "There is something about a grid connected system that seems to emphasize our mutual connectedness and dependency. I like that.")
While I personally think that electrical service is a poor analog for software, this piece is a good reminder that we live in times of constant shifts in the forms of technology and it's integration in our lives.
This relates (inversely) to the questions below and Andrew's mention of music:
[Andrew Kimery]"On a related note, I was reading an article today that talked about how digital music sales are leveling off and streaming music services is the new growth sector ..."
I thought this all might be additional context for Walter's (eagerly awaited) thoughts.