Leo made a point about restaurants – that what they missed in all their polling, in all their work to enhance the customer experience in the store is that 30% of consumers never wanted to be in the restaurants having dinner in the first place. It was a means to an end – the family needs to eat, they didn’t have any ideas (or ingredients) for a meal at home, so they wound up going out to dinner. Blue Apron, HelloFresh and PeachDish picked up on it, created a new category and business model and took a bite out of the restaurant business. Now, Shelton Group’s data has indicated for years that about a third of utility customers would happily buy electricity from someone else
– and a majority would buy from a non-utility – if they could. In deregulated markets, we haven’t seen those kinds of numbers … but I think it’s because we also haven’t seen the equivalent of a BlueApron or an Uber. That true disruptor who makes it easier for me to have my lifestyle (meaning, run my computer, make my home comfortable, light up my house, etc.) just hasn’t appeared yet. My bet is he/she/it will in the next five years (and to some degree Elon Musk fits that bill … in my view he’s only getting started).