Blogs, Solar

Tradeshows, circuses and the singing monkeys

Well here is another installment of my opinionated blog. This week I want to review the upcoming tradeshow InterSolar. Now this is an exciting industry show, it is held in many locations before coming to our shores, San Francisco to be exact, I think it is to hone the skills of the exhibitors so we get the best they have to offer. Just my opinion.

I for one am very excited about the show, mostly due to the fact that I get to talk on stage at the show, Wednesday at 4pm if you were wondering. Additionally I think there are others that will be presenting, but I am not sure who “they” are. The show will be great; it is paired with SemiCon West, the biggest trade show for the Semiconductor industry. So we get to see a lot of cool stuff that makes the cools stuff. There will also be vendors from around the world on display from every faucet of the industry. I think last year I took two days and I could not see the entire show, it was fun. Why do I go on about the InterSolar show, why do I care, why is it that I am one of the few, that I know, that is truly excited?

It is simple; the show is about us, our industry our fellow sales teams our fellow industry leaders and that means the show is important to our industry. I heard too many times in the past week, well it is going to be slow, well the attendance is down. It will be if you don’t support the show that supports your industry, attendance will be down if you don’t go. I am not being paid by the promoter and I am not getting any “extras” for say you should go, just go. We would like to see you there; I would like to see you there.

So will I see you there, maybe not it is going to be crowded.

Why do I say singing monkeys, well I like monkeys, so there, and I have been accused of being a singing monkey, but I don’t care. It gets the job done and I have fun, which is one of the benefits of our industry, right, fun had by all. Remember we are trying to save the world one roof and one farm at a time. I will get off my soap box about the show for now; I will have something to say after the show, so now on with the show.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to promote our business, our industry. In some of my last blogs I talked about some of the issues we face and they will continue, as they always have. We just need to keep on fighting for what we feel is right for our industry. Right can be defined by many standards so maybe I should say, what is good for our industry. I for one think the industry is strong, it is vital it is necessary and we should sing about it from the roof tops, and fields. There will always be business that fall by the way side, Solyndra, Abound, Evergreen. But remember that there have been banks that have closed farms, car dealerships, factories, countries and a few leaders. That has not stopped the world from spinning, we still make cars, we still have several countries (maybe too many I don’t know) and we still have farms. Consolidation will happen, smaller companies will fail and bigger ones will follow but what comes from that is a better industry, we should be wiser and stronger not weaker. The consolidation of our industry means it is ready for the next phase of growth. Residential has become a commodity business, soon you will be able to buy a solar system at Home Depot, oh you already can. You can buy a solar system for your house much like you can a car for your garage, very little if any risk and you can leave it for the next guy to enjoy as you move on to another house and do it again. Soon this will happen to the small commercial and midsized commercial projects, get ready it is coming.

After the commodity bug has bitten the residential, small commercial and the larger projects (this will be done primarily due to finance packages that look like mortgages and act like securities) then the next step will take place. Where will you be? On the finance side, on the install side or on the supply line, it will become a commodity product. It is already being driven by a largely commodity driven supply line, so what is next? I know but I am not telling right now, you need to wait. No don’t wait get out there and get busy, the next phase is here you need to create it, now go.

Well not yet, you need to read the rest of this entry, otherwise all this wisdom and typing will be for naught. So is the next step a new technology, a new way to purchase or a new way to finance. Well for right now it is a bit all of the above and may be a few other things thrown in for good measure. That measure will be up to us, the technology movers and shakers and that means the singing monkeys, the full circus has to be under the big top, we can all pitch in and help, even the dropping will need to be cleaned up by someone (most likely an M&A legal team).

How will we find this next step in revolution, yes I said revolution, we will go out and attend shows, we will mix and mingle and we will spend time thinking of new solutions because what we did last week is now a commodity and someone else is running that show? It will be hard and some will fail, so what. We used to have a saying, “some will, some won’t, so what!” we need to keep moving.

Go out shake a hand, listen to a singing monkey, and enjoy the circus it is after all for you and for me, one of the singing monkeys.