JouleBug Founder on Fostering Sustainable Behavior with Analytics @ Splunk.conf 2013

JouleBug offers a free iOS application that encourages users to conserve energy while providing decision makers with the insights they need to drive down overheads. Founder Grant Williard stopped by theCUBE during Splunk.conf 2013 to discuss how his startup is utilizing analytics and gamification to kill two birds with one stone.

JouleBug rewards sustainable actions with points and badges that individuals can post to a leaderboard for their peers to see. The company is driving personal sustainability through social sharing, Williard explains, a unique approach that is benefiting from the proliferation of connected devices.

Focusing on Nest’s self-tuning thermostat, a particularly popular smart appliance, the executive highlights that “Nest is doing a whole lot of good things toward automating sustainable action, but at the end of the day there’s somebody that has to set that temperature on the Nest device. What we do is encourage people to actually think about what temperature they need to have … we approach it from the behavioral standpoint, encouraging people to act sustainably. Sure you’re gonna save a little bit of money, that’s one of the aspects of it, but really what we’re trying to do is get friends to encourage friends to do good things.”

JouleBug’s application features a “gamification layer” that motivates users toward sustainability and doubles as a frontend for Splunk. The startup leverages the platform to transform activity data into dashboards that customers can subscribe and consume as a cloud service. Williard says that clients can not only customize content for their audiences, but also boost engagement by creating contests that pit subsegments against each other. Changing topics, he reveals that his company expects to reach profitability early next quarter.

See the video below for the full highlights from the interview.