A new era of electricity is dawning that combines the decarbonization of the grid with the extensive electrification of all sectors of society. A grid as smart as the internet is needed to harness the full potential of renewables, accommodate technology disruptions, embrace the rise of prosumers, and seamlessly integrate nano-, mini-, and micro-grids. The internet is built upon a layered architecture that facilitates technology innovations, and its intelligence is distributed throughout a hierarchy of networks. Herein, we examine fundamental differences between data flows and power flows. The current operating paradigm of the grid is based on the conviction that a centralized grid operator is necessary to maintain instantaneous power balance on the grid. A new distributed paradigm can be realized by distributing this responsibility to sub-grids and requiring each sub-grid to maintain its net power balance. We present a grid as smart as the internet based on this new paradigm, along with a hierarchical network structure and a layered architecture of operating principles.