Kevin Stevens

When the Answer Isn’t Always Clear

For one reason or another, I've had a few conversations with people over the last few weeks about issues that are wide-ranging but all have a common denominator: no clear, right answer. One of those conversations was with a former classmate from business school and as...

Kevin Stevens

Reset + Solitude and Leadership

Last week on my trip to Minneapolis, I read Atomic Habits and I could not put it down.  As a result, I began thinking about a few of the things I wanted to do more often but had yet to nail down as a regular...

Kevin Stevens

Can startup ecosystems be manufactured?

If I had the answer to the question above, I'd likely have a different career.  However, this question seems to be at the top of my network's mind as evidenced by a few articles that recently appeared in the Houston Chronicle being shared across email...

Kevin Stevens

Why We Invested in Ensemble

Today, I’m excited to announce that we are welcoming Ensemble Energy into the Intelis Capital portfolio to help them continue their mission to enable renewable energy sources to become more competitive by implementing more efficient operations and maintenance. Through their machine learning platform developed from...

Kevin Stevens

Death of the MVP

It’s possible I exaggerated a bit on the title above, while the Death of the MVP might be extreme, the days of the “minimum” (i.e. move fast and break things) approach to building high-growth software are long gone and we're now in the golden age...

Kevin Stevens

Utilities and Counter Positioning

Currently, there's a fascinating game of 3D chess playing out in the energy industry as utilities are under siege from tech giants like Amazon and Google, oil and gas behemoths like Shell and BP, and startups.  The attacks from these new entrants are coming on...

Kevin Stevens

Marketplace Evolution

This thread on Twitter about the evolution of marketplaces is well worth a read to anyone working in that space.  Most of the low barrier, high-frequency markets have been built and marketplaces are now moving into managed services which are much more difficult. Managed marketplaces are...

Kevin Stevens

Electricity Data is the New Oil

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article exploring the idea that the smart home is really part of a bigger strategy for Google and Amazon to enter the electricity industry. This has been talked about for a long time amongst people in the...

Kevin Stevens

Digitizing Industry

Often, when we're talking about our thesis at Intelis we describe it as "the digitization of analog industries" or "the digital revolution for analog industries". But what does that look like in practice? For simplicity's sake, we think of analog as not using software or technology...

Kevin Stevens

My Productivity Stack

The overarching theme of my goals this year is to stay more focused. It requires consistently organizing and de-cluttering my schedule and mind. Knowing that this was going to be the case, I started honing in on a productivity stack in late 2018 that allowed...

Kevin Stevens

2019 Predictions for SE Innovation

2018 was the year big tech announced it was leaving the west coast and moving to the middle of the county the other coast.  Apple, Amazon, and Google all announced expansions of their campuses in other locations and since Austin was the only city to...

Kevin Stevens

Books I’ve Read – 2019

One of the most popular posts I wrote in 2018 recapped the books I'd read throughout the year, so I'm bringing it back in 2019.  I'm undecided on the format so it may change from time to time, but the three most likely candidates are: Three...

Kevin Stevens

Is Winter Coming? Does it Matter?

Recently, a good friend sent over the TechCrunch article "VC's Urge Their Portfolios to Prepare for Winter". Obviously, I'm new to this and as an operator have only known a bull market, but I suspect some market cyclicality will be introduced in the infancy of my...

Kevin Stevens

2018: A Year of Growth, 2019: A Year to Focus

2018 was an incredible ride between the birth of my first child, celebrating my 5th anniversary with Anita, and getting Intelis off the ground.  Last year, this post was more about growth, and in some ways it was right. However, I fell short in one major...

Kevin Stevens

2019 Electricity Themes I’m Tracking

Like most, I figured I would write some form of recap or prediction post(s) at year's end and this one is the first of what might be a few different articles to come over the next few days.  They'll be a mix of industry, regional,...

Kevin Stevens

Cash is King

One of the inherent risks of investing in companies at the earliest stages is revenue diversification which in turn helps to create operating leverage.  Most startups we meet are dependent on just a few customers, partners, or channels for the bulk of their early growth. ...

Kevin Stevens

True or False: 8 Bets for the Future

Like many, I listen to podcasts on my commute to and from work.  Yesterday, I came across this podcast from Greentech Media featuring Shayle Kann, SVP of Research and Strategy at Energy Impact Partners.  Shayle had written an article about the future of energy and tied...

Kevin Stevens

Surface Go

It's been almost a month since I've posted, having a newborn will do that to you.  But I'm back and hoping to continue writing regularly from here until the end of the year. During my time away, I traded-in an old MacBook Pro and iPad mini...

Kevin Stevens

Why You?

If you ask most early-stage VCs their number one criteria for investing in a startup, the answer you will get is "team."  Even market first investors, like us, want to know why the team is best suited to tackle the problem. In a fundraising environment that is...