Lessons from the Experts

I recently had the opportunity to attend a 2-day design thinking workshop led by IBM (particularly Jos Roling and Peter Patterson) on the topic of  blockchain applications in the energy industry.  Despite the formal process, it was incredibly insightful and informative.

Amazingly, we were able to get in the room - for 2 days! - the key people who really need to be involved if you're actually going to be able to make a difference in the energy industry.  We had:
- the Market Operator
- the Local Distribution Company
- the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) provider
- the Payment Experts
- the Blockchain Developers and SMEs

We had a very productive 2-day session focused on identifying and defining the problems in the energy industry that can be solved by an energy blockchain and the applications that it can facilitate.  We brainstormed, we argued, we learned.  There were a lot of sticky notes used.

You can't come up with  solutions that will make a difference in the energy industry without these key players. You can't do this in a vacuum.  Each individual energy market and its unique regulations are incredibly complicated and localized. What is true in one market does NOT hold true in the next.  We spent an entire day dealing with these complicated realities. We looked at all the key stakeholders and players.  We looked at what they care about, what their needs are, and how value can be created for them. We looked at the problems these different parties had and brainstormed new ways they could be solved.

When we left, we had a draft blueprint for a minimal viable product.