Anonymous, I've been writing and giving free solar marketing information on Renewable Energy World since 2009 and many people have found these free insights extremely valuable, which is why I have over 11,000 followers on Twitter and over 2.5 million page views of my "articles" here on Renewable Energy World.
There's a big difference between an article, a blog post, and advertisement. While this post certainly ends with my bio and website, the information above it is useful. If my posts weren't useful or insightful and purely self-promotional, the Renewable Energy World editors would not feature it or put it in the newsletter. That would be advertisement. (You can't pay them to feature posts, by the way.) A blog, unlike an objective article, is most often personal, not an objective article. I'm using my experience and thoughts to give people my perspective, not an objective perspective.
As for the new installers in your area who are doing east, west installs, since I'm not an installer or seeing what you're seeing, I'm not going to blog or comment about that except to say that I do know that East or West is best when South isn't available. I also know that West is preferable in some areas to get the most out of the certain rate structures, but as you noted, that's not my expertise.
Marketing, branding, social media, PR, communications are my expertise, and I think if you take the time to read through my 6 years of posts here on REW, you'll perhaps see how dedicated I am to helping installers and manufacturers to ethically market their services and products without any expectation that they will ever become my client.
Brian, thanks! Hope you submit something and we hear about your story.
@Marvin, yes, actually, it's the idea that counts more at this point, so true engineer chops may not be as important. In fact, the SfunCube has industrial design engineers who can help with proposals and potentially for the second round, as well. However, participant(s) would then share in the award, but may be worth if it all you have is the idea without the engineering chops. If you're in the Bay Area, you can even go to a brain storming session with the engineers:
@Randy, yes, contest rules do state team of three, but unclear whether you can do two teams of three each. :) Either way, even one team winning or placing would be great for marketing.
Brian, you got the message, but sometimes one's brevity can be vague, so be careful about that. ;)
Glad it was helpful for you!
Great thoughts, Pam. Thanks!
Jim, your lawyer instincts are perhaps correct, but all drivers will make stupid mistakes, regardless of insane mode or driving a Buick. As for Tesla's culpability, I'm sure they'll be able to take a page from the gun lobby and say that Insane Mode doesn't kill people, irresponsible people behind the wheel kill people. Of course, all of that will be moot when Tesla delivers "Drive Me Home" mode, coming soon.
Dennis, thanks for the extra info. Interesting!
Glenna, yes, Seth Godin should be a resource for every industry, including solar.
Marvin, I love the hat advice. ;)
Thomas, exactly. For larger companies, that same kind of attitude has to scale across the entire company, and that can be difficult, but it should be the common goal of every employee.
Bah humbug, Brian, but I do think when prices are all relatively the same, it's people and customer service that makes the difference, but yes, price will always be a factor, regardless.
Anonymous, thanks so much for your support. Brian's tone isn't so friendly, but he hasn't actually been as bad as others who literally cut paste petitions without any relevance to the topic. Others seem to comment on topic, but always try to slip in comments promoting their own products or services. I would love people to stay on topic all the time and I do try to moderate sometimes.
The good news is that I think that other readers see these off-topic comments as spam or off topic, and so they're mainly ignored and that's how I'm dealing with them, mostly. But thank you again for speaking out and urging others to be on topic and respectful to the writers here on REW. I sincerely appreciate it.
Thanks, Fred. Yes, as much as we'd like to have all our customers to be one profile, they all have different reasons for going solar, but certainly the money factor will always be a part of that decision. That doesn't mean we can't also have people talking about the money factor, as in talking about their savings for people like Brian.