I'm a managing partner at MNL Partners, where we develop energy and environmental projects in global markets, with a focus on China. I also serve on the boards of five audacious tech start-up companies. Finally, I'm co-founder and chairman of the investment committee at PRIME Coalition, a pioneering 501c3 nonprofit that's bringing philanthropic capital to energy innovation. In past lives I made venture capital investments at Venrock, co-founded and led Lux Research, and forecasted technology futures at Forrester.
I really do live and breathe this stuff.
I'm also chromosomally incapable of keeping quiet. This blog hosts opinions (mine alone) on energy, venture capital, human behavior, start-ups, societal collapse, hope for the future, and everything in between: hopefully useful, usually numerate, and occasionally long-winded.
- Watching my Musk-orbit friends argue with my Bezos-orbit friends = amusing + encouraging. More genteel than Edison/Tesla War of Currents 2 days ago
- Disruption to labor from soft robotics, (don't laugh) AI, etc = vast. Needs diff order of response. Ideas like basic income look less crazy 2 weeks ago
- First conversations are a means of establishing agreement. That's why we talk about the weather, or the hometown favorite football player 3 weeks ago
- .@GroveLabs: Grow food inside your house/condo/apt all year long. Badass team + product is beautiful. Kickstarter: kickstarter.com/projects/grove… 3 weeks ago
- If you haven't been to @otherlab in SF, find an excuse to. Strapped my arm into a robotic exoskeleton there yesterday, felt like Tony Stark 4 weeks ago
Sites I devour
“Cleantech”I'm not a fan of the term -- IMHO it's a vague catch-all that doesn't accurately reflect anybody's interest -- but it's what the world has decided to use. If you'd like, when you see it, mentally find-and-replace with "energy, environmental, and resource technologies" instead.
Category Archives: Numbers
(A version of this post also appeared at GigaOM.) tl;dr: We’re in the early innings of a long ball game. This week we’ve analyzed the state of cleantech venture capital and used data to discern myth from reality. In summary, … Continue reading
(A version of this post also appeared at GigaOM.) tl;dr: Half of successful VC-backed cleantech start-ups stumble along the way. Entrepreneurs who raise big financing rounds at sky-high valuations can end up shooting themselves in the foot. Most cleantech start-ups … Continue reading
(A version of this post also appeared at GigaOM.) tl;dr: There’s a widespread perception that cleantech venture capital must be tanking compared with VC overall. That perception is wrong. In yesterday’s post, we looked at the amount of capital that’s … Continue reading
(A version of this post also appeared at GigaOM.) tl;dr: Plenty of late-stage financing will be available for cleantech start-ups over the next few years, but seed/Series A money is another matter. There’s been a pile of negative news about … Continue reading
(A version of this post also appeared at Fortune.com. Thanks Dan!) tl;dr: It’s the team. I entered the venture capital business two years ago, focusing on seed/Series A cleantech start-ups. It’s kind of like picking a future NBA draft by … Continue reading
tl;dr: Good company; tough road in the rear-view mirror. Aspen Aerogels filed for an IPO last week, pitching itself as an energy efficiency company. Aspen makes insulation, but a particularly high-performing kind of insulation, being a nanoporous silica material that’s … Continue reading