We have some thoughts on how to make the best of this year.
- Forget acronyms. Do the work.
ESG has been hijacked for capital formation and politics. DEI was used to advance different political agendas. But the issues remain, and so do the numerous opportunities for action, impact, and profit.
“Forget the co-opted acronyms. DO. THE. WORK. “ – Albert Wenger (on X)
- Cleantech 2.0 is upon us. And it doesn’t matter at all.
Here’s Semafor on the grim outlook for climate tech. Sounds a lot like the Cleantech bust in 2008. The excitement about climate is real, but many of the businesses don’t have enough customers because they’ve overestimated the desire to pay green premiums. Or they’re just too early.
- New Signal. Who dis?
Over the last few years it wasn’t too unusual to meet VCs who claimed Harvard MBAs, when they just did the exec ed course. It’s not a small embellishment. Founders accepted liquidation preferences to allow them to announce unicorn status that would later come back to erase any common stock value. Many LPs believed they were getting great access to direct deals without making any investment in sourcing or value-add.
Plenty of blame to go around. But that’s over.
Here are 21 more ideas in 24 ideas for 24 for startups in climate.
Renewables are absolutely crushing the competition. For example, this year, China will hit their 2030 goals! And just as you might be worrying about the sun not shining at night, a huge battery has replaced Hawaii’s last coal plant. In some parts of the US, there has been an organized movement to delay and complicate land use for renewables, but that too is being overcome as the US government opens 22 million acres of federal lands to solar.
This good news is moving us further and further from some of the worst predictions. But the climate has changed and the effects are continuing to show up in real world pricing impacts on insurance rates.
Startup and Founder Health and Efficiency
“Is this actually so hard or am I messing up?” is a common founder question. Here’s some helpful perspective.
It’s no surprise that the single biggest thing most founders are doing in 2024 is figuring out how to benefit from AI. We’ve been testing out summarizing and organizing capabilities from Claude.ai. In fact, this newsletter is a compilation of the last month of threads from our public Slack channels like #goodreading. Claude organizes this raw feed and has reduced production time by at least 2x. However, there are likely still barriers to using AI to write better bios or industry shifting brand narratives.
Jobs and Other Opportunities
Speaking of AI, Jeremy Kirshbaum teaches the top-rated generative AI course on Maven.com. He’s offered at 50% discount to the Third Sphere community with code 3SAI50. Next cohort starts Feb 7th.
Join Arbor to build a new kind of consumer energy company. Help Gisual manage outage detection for telecoms infrastructure, as physical events increase each year. Kiwibot has multiple open roles to bring electric robots to last mile delivery. Join Pallon to ramp up their infrastructure inspection services for water and sewer. Product Manage towards massive impact on ChargeLab and the EV charging industry. Or build software at Covetool for hardware to decarbonize buildings.
Here are 234 other opportunities to work on climate at a Third Sphere portfolio company.
Third Sphere Updates
Checkout Climate Tech 360 season 1 episode 2, featuring Zeev talking through non-dilutive financing and credit options.
Stonly and the Third Sphere Team
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You can find our previous updates here.