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Alex Laskey: How to Build 1.5 Hoover Dams in 10 Years and Rewiring America

Electrifying Everything

Alex Laskey studied the history of science in school and then went on to work in politics. However, he remained eager to do something that would have an impact on issues he cared about—in particular, the environment. So he co-founded OPower, which in 10 years managed to save the energy equivalent of 1.5 Hoover Dams (the largest dam ever built in America). The company was acquired by Oracle in 2016, at which point it had top-tier utility customers representing 60 million end users. Now at Rewiring America, an ambitious nonprofit, co-founded with inventor and entrepreneur Saul Griffith, Alex is on a mission to electrify everything in America (not just cars), with the goal of creating 25 million jobs and reducing our energy consumption by 50 percent.

“It wasn’t, for me, the opportunity to build a business, because that was not something I aspired to do. But it was a shared passion to have a positive impact on the world and to do something that had meaning and importance.” 

– Alex Laskey

In the first part of our discussion, we dig into Alex’s early career and the “aha moment” he and his co-founder had that led them to create OPower, as well as what it took to scale it to the point of acquisition in 2016. He talks about the most salient parts of his journey as a founder and the biggest challenges he faced along the way. From there, we dive into his work with Rewiring America, and how he is setting out to accomplish a goal that many would consider impossible.