Feedback Loops – A Critical Missing Piece in the Home Performance Industry

What Works And What Doesn’t?

Feedback loops are critical when starting up, according to Eric Ries, a lean startup guru. Starting up is exactly what Home Performance is doing. If you don’t know what’s working and what’s not, you don’t get better. If feedback loops take too long, you go too far down bad paths, and possibly your company dies. This was one part of the death of my first company. Very, very few are good at fixing existing homes with measured results. If we’re going to build an industry, we need those results so we can learn, adjust, and grow.

The trouble is, getting feedback on projects is time consuming and expensive. When you do have good results to report, they are likely to be looked upon with suspicion if you are reporting on your own results, rather than a third party doing so.

Who Do You Trust?

What do you trust more, a report from GM about their quality or a JD Powers report on GM’s quality? Of course, JD Powers gets the nod. Third party results are much more trustworthy.

Feedback loops and third party reporting are baked into the One Knob program design.

Rather than putting the weight of tracking results on contractor shoulders, where they are expensive and difficult to do (and therefore unlikely to get done), programs are responsible for tracking the results of projects.

Those programs publish the results publically and share them with the contractors so they can learn what worked and what didn’t – a feedback loop. The playing field is level for everyone.

With good feedback loops, the Home Performance industry will learn and improve quickly rather than continuing to languish for another 40 years in relative obscurity.

The Stakes Are High

Home Performance is one of THE keys to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. An 80% reduction in fossil fuel use by 2050 is a heady goal. Homes are the single largest energy user that consumers have control over. Most homes have the capability to reduce their energy usage by 30-70% for about $100/month – the cost of a cable or cell phone bill. Yet few are aware of the power of Home Performance, or capable of delivering real results. A severe lack of feedback loops is one of the major reasons behind this.

One Knob Can Provide Feedback Loops

A One Knob based program can remedy this, and likely cost less to administrate than almost every other option out there, plus offer easy scalability. We have the real world experience delivering these results, and the ability to train contractors how to do it. Is One Knob right for your program?


Image Credit: Loren Baxter – Designing Great Feedback Loops