There is too much happening in social media for today's energy startups not to pay attention to their external communications presence, including crisis management pre/post natural disasters. So while energy startups are focusing on their technology, now they must have people in place to establish and maintain a communications presence in local communities and on platforms such as Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) and Tumblr, now part of Yahoo! (YHOO).
This new socially connected energy world will require more money to reach more consumers and that will affect much needed CAPEX for many startups. It will also likely keep investors interested in OPOWER, a company whose early success may have helped influence Apple (AAPL) to enter home energy management, a point also validated by Google's (GOOG) acquisition of Nest for $3.2 billion.
Finally, today's energy startups also face opposition from those investors against investing in fossil fuels. With that said, I believe the real energy investment alpha for investors will come from Big Tech, not Big Oil. This suggests they will be new fascinating possibilities within energy that were not even considered five years ago.
That means how we value energy startups is about to get disrupted as much as the technology that will literally power us in the future. Stay tuned!
John Licata does not own shares in any companies mentioned above. You can follow John on Twitter at bluephoenixinc.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.