Can you build a venture investable business selling to energy utilities?
The question above, asked on Twitter, is worth exploring in detail.
But, before we do, consider this: “to the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Not all businesses fit the venture model and we shouldn’t try to force them into it.
There are over 4,000 utilities in the US and each spends hundreds of thousands to millions on software per year. The elephant in the room is the sales cycle which can run from 9–18 months.
Long sales cycles slow the slope of growth in the…
Peanut allergies impact 0.6–3% of the population, but it’s estimated that 65% of schools have some accommodation for kids with peanut allergies. Why?
The answer is something Nassim Nicholas Taleb called “the minority rule” whereby small (3–4% of the total population), but a virtuous group can force the entire population to submit to their preferences.
I choose a rather simple and light-hearted example, but the implications of this mental model are quite important.
Values in society don’t change on consensus. They change when the most intolerant group imposes their will on others. …
We all have those relatives. The ones we see only at weddings and the occasional reunion. For me, one of those relatives is a 15-year veteran of the wind industry as a turbine technician.
The median salary for a wind turbine tech is ~$53,000 annually, the median salary in West, Texas is ~$35,000. I’m no mathematician, but a 51% increase over the median wage seems meaningful. Not to mention the stability that a similar oil and gas job can’t provide.
But, the wage increases don’t tell the full story. This family member has 2 school-aged children. He’ll be the first…
Recently, I was asked by a founder how my role changed as Choose Energy grew. I thought this was a great question, and honestly wasn’t something I’d spent too much time considering.
Now that I sit on the investor side of the table, I realize founders and executives should hire to take things off their plate. As an early-employee, you want to be the person that gets the first chance at those opportunities.
1. The pace - in a high-growth, young startup there’s no shortage of things to do. …
Steve Jobs famously called Dropbox a “feature, not a product”, as it turned out it didn’t matter. Dropbox was a must-have.
I based my reasoning partially on the sheer number of startups now being funded that will not make the jump from feature to a must-have product.
There are a few questions startups should be asking themselves as they strive to become a core part of their customer’s daily operations.
A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I expect an increasing amount of M&A activity involving energy transition software startups that fit the following profile:
These exits are potentially great for founders and early investors.
For founders, the potential ownership at exit could land between 60–75%. For investors, the capital comes back quickly even if that means sacrificing on the multiple.
My hypothesis is based on two assumptions. First, massive, analog industries are shifting quickly. …
We are in the midst of the largest energy transformation of our lifetimes. Over the last few weeks, every guest of Electrified has mentioned the importance of equality in energy.
Climate change is already affecting the planet, increasing the likelihood or intensity of events like floods, heatwaves, and drought, and inflicting billions of dollars worth of damage. But climate change does not affect everyone equally.
The hard truth is that some of the progress we push for unfairly punish those who are most vulnerable to a changing climate.
Africa and India aren’t the culprits of climate change. Combined, they have…
Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time bringing my written notes from the last few years into the present.
Most of those notes are from my time at Choose Energy as part of the product team. Thanks to the power of Roam, I’ve been able to organize those notes, capture common themes across them, and combine them with what I’m learning in venture.
This post and the three that follow will focus on my product management principles. I divided them into the following sections:
Before we get started, a note on the misnomer that product…
What do cleantech 1.0 and the current oil and gas landscape have in common? At first glance, it might seem like nothing.
Both suffer from what Nassim Nicholas Taleb calls “platonicity” — or more simply — focusing on the map instead of the terrain.
There are important qualities of the map we must keep in mind:
This post originally appeared on kevindstevens.com on January 13, 2020
Right before Christmas, researchers from Stanford and Berkley, published a 119-page report on the impact of a global GND on grid stability, costs, jobs, health and climate across 143 countries grouped into 24 regions.
The plan would require an investment of about $73T USD over the next 30 years, but the research shows that a payback period, adjusted for new jobs and estimated savings from climate related disasters, could be as little as 7 years.
The timeline is aggressive, with 80% of the work being done in the next decade…