13 Oct 2000 thull   » (Journeyer)

Back from Idaho yesterday. Threw out a lot of junk email today. So it goes.

The more I find out about the home networking and automation opportunity, the more overwhelmed I feel. Dug up stats saying that the current build rate for single family new houses is 1.5M/year, with a median price of $197K. OK, that works out to $295B/year. (Actually, the $197K is only for spec homes, about 2/3 of the total, the other 1/3 being custom-built; I'm guessing the latter are more expensive.) If you could put a decent $5K system into 10% of the new house market, and a bare-bones backbone $2.5K system into another 10%, you're talking $1125M/year. We're talking about a low margin service business here, but it's still a nice opportunity. (And the World Domination advocates should appreciate the strategic value of having free software as the backbone of every modern house.)

The big problem I see is not the product -- aside from some software gaps and cost issues that volume could fix, almost everything is ready now, off the shelf -- but getting the service and market messages together before the waters gets too polluted with all the other companies who can smell this market. (Fortunately, most of these companies are assuming Microsoft software, so don't expect much from computers.)

Leaves me wondering how does one find compatible entrepreneurs out there wherever?

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