Simple and appealing stories periodically gain traction and create narratives of industry transformation that influence public policy and corporate strategy development. However, narratives do not always provide insights into the future. Looking back, the deregulation narrative did not provide insights into the transition from traditional regulation to the current complex mix of market forces and regulatory processes. Looking ahead, a strategic challenge exists to evaluate the feasibility and internal consistency of the decarbonization narrative that is gaining traction and driving climate policy initiatives and a vision of the electric utility of the future. What ideas about the electricity future are going viral and shaping the decarbonization narrative? Did the gap between the expectations and the realities of deregulation provide lessons for managing the expectations associated with the decarbonization narrative?