Green tech marketing

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Brand planners like to write and talk about “context.”  For Robert Scoble, a mentor of mine, context online and in technology is a driver of the next big thing. Well I’m here to tell you context sometimes can be a deterrent.  Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byers is a really small VC company. They made gazillions investing early on in technology – them daringly decided to focus on things that will help save and make more sustainable our planet and went into green tech/clean tech

Along came a number of big technology plays Kleiner missed out on and all of a sudden they become more famous for the money they didn’t make and a couple of big green technology investment busts. (We are in the infancy people, relax.) Also, one problem was context.  Sustainable energy isn’t just solar panels and electric cars, it’s about ways to build planet-sustaining renewable energy. It ain’t just code. Contextually, Kleiner Perkins needed sector people looking into geothermal and algae and stuff we’ve never thought bout – stuff we can’t say.  Yet they were hoping the sector would be more like tech – hence the words clean tech and green tech.  Me thinks they should have been looking closer to the green and clean side of the house. That’s where the big payouts will be.

When a small grade school in Copenhagen, NY can heat and cool itself using geothermal technology, that’s a green clue. Could we have done the same for the Freedom Tower?  Who’s asking?  Kleiner Perkins should be. Peace

 

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Yesterday was Blog Action Day and the topic this year is food; another important  topic we all too often take for granted. As we do with air and water.

At the end of this month theplanet’s population will top 7 billion. Most of the growth is coming from countries and areas that are underfed, undernourished and under-watered. These areas don’t seen to have fertility problems. Is it possible that making the body work harder to sustain itself is better for the planet than eating French fries, salted snacks and high-calorie things that come wrapped in paper and Styrofoam?

I am an evolutionist who believes there is a very direct correlation between the man, earth and bio-chemistry.  You grow what you sow, so to speak. 

For too long we’ve been a car and fossil fuel country. It has to stop.  Sadly, even the smartest venture capital companies (Google whatstheidea+kleiner perkins) that have taken a stand and opted to jump start green tech have returned to focusing on social media start-ups.  Carlota Perez, a big picture genius, interviewed by Fred Wilson last week said our future is not in technology but in sustainability. She is right.

But food, how do we fix food?  And what will be the incentive.  How do we eat better. Eat less. Eat things that don’t enable diseases?  President Obama knows fixing these two things is the answer, but like Kleiner Perkins he knows it’s a steep uphill effort.  And long term.

According to Chipotle each week 330 farmers leave their land. Farming is a noble business. Farmers tend to get the whole eat well thing.  We can find a way to combine a healthy eating lifestyle and the reduction of fossil fuel (burning) consumption.  That is the mission. That is the future. That will fix much. Peace! 

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There was an article yesterday in The Wall Street Journal suggesting that until recently, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufiled & Byers took a siesta on investing in tech companies while placing bets on clean tech.  So post-nap, after having missed a number of cool tech start-ups, they hired Mary Meeker a great mind, data organizer and trend reported to help them earn some new stripes in the VC area which they kind of invented.  Kleiner is still interested in clean tech but The Journal reports they’re refocusing on the tech sector in a hearty way.

If clean tech was easy it wouldn’t be worth investing in.  Please, please John Doerr, give “clean” your best.  Find exciting new energy engineers. Find algae chemists. Optical engineers. And biologists with the vision to help us plot the way.  We’ve only got a million more years on this planet and your investments in clean energy will make a difference.  Making money is cyclical, history is not.  Stay the course my Kleiner brothers and sisters!  Clean us up. Peace!

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Here’s a marketing challenge:  How do we get the smartest of the smart thinking about renewable energy sources? Michelle Obama has us focused on childhood obesity and is doing a good job. The rest of the government is focused on war and debt and the crisis of financial confidence.  For good measure you can throw in a little healthcare. Sellers of consumer and business goods are “all up” in the digital world trying to leverage Facebook, Twitter and mobile geo services.  Kids are still loving sex, fun and music.

So who is looking out for the planet?  Who is focusing on the fact that we’re literally draining and burning the core of the earth — denuding it of fossil
fuels.  Where’s the water coming from in 5 thousand years?

Pop Quiz.  Name one person in the U.S. that cares the most about the planet? Al Gore is probably the answer. Sad.  Much sad. (God bless him, by the way, but he needs some help.)

Here’s what we need: A VC firm with eyes on the planet prize. Might it be Fred Wilson? John Doerr? Paul Oliver?  Who?  Until that hero emerges, and until the pages of the Wall Street Journal, FT and New York Times start writing about him/her with the alacrity that they use to cover digital tech, we’re screwed. As Thomas Friedman says oil is a destabilizer.  Who is going to step up?  Who dat? Peace!

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