Mr. Gates' arguments may also be applied to the electricity utility business. If I were the head of Gates Gas & Electric, the first thing I would do is declare that we sell energy systems, not power, and that customers tell us that they want a familiar energy environment wherever they go
The first step would be to integrate a smart fridge into the overall energy system as it is the first appliance opened by most users and real-time monitoring of beer temperature increases satisfaction with the energy environment for 78% of all customers
Customers would be free to use other fridges, even making someone else's their default appliance. However, if they try to remove the Gas & Electric fridge their television and air conditioner might not function properly. When a circuit fails in an older home we would repair it with a 'service pack' that also installs our fridge, eventually introducing all customers to our energy environment
We would also encourage homebuilders to 'bundle' our innovative Laundry Suite into all new home sales. If builders made exaggerated claims that they could not refuse our Laundry Suite because they might lose their power connection, I would be required to enforce our industry standard non-disclosure agreement
For the first six months we would also give away the innovative Gas & Electric Power Mailbox as part of the Laundry Suite. It not only receives letters but also records all return addresses, birthdays and visiting habits of in-laws, scheduling thank-you notes and utility payments. Of course, the current version of Power Mailbox takes up half the pavement and all of the attic, disables the fax, takes 12 minutes to disgorge letters and occasionally freezes everything in the fridge; forcing one to turn off all the lights, throw away the frozen fruit and restart dinner. However, attic space will become much less expensive in the 21st century, we will soon introduce a new fruit-recovery utility and version 3.0 will open the mailbox in under two minutes
Once installed, homeowners are not authorized to remove it. Yet, as it is free we will have saved our customers money compared with manual mailboxes, making it all but impossible for the authorities to complain
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