Recent Posts:

The Solyndra Political Circus and What It Means for Cleantech

Rob Day: September 14, 2011, 3:14 PM

Plenty has already been written by many people smarter than me about why Solyndra failed, and what lessons are to be drawn from it, so I haven't wanted to write about it. I see Solyndra as having been a big but not necessarily dumb bet, one that attempted to bring expensive panels into the market but with the intent of saving costs further downstream in the solar value chain, to provide net savings for flat-roofed customers. That bet obviously didn't work out, for a number of reasons: 1) yes, panel ASPs fell faster than predicted, although everyone should have been expecting them to fall significantly; 2) the downstream channel resisted significant change; 3) some bad luck and bad...

Turning the Corner: A Very Difficult Moment for Many Cleantech Startups

Rob Day: September 7, 2011, 2:12 PM

You've taken a technology idea, developed it into a product or service, and convinced a few customers to buy it. Now it's off to the races, right?

That's been the prevailing theory behind a lot of expensive growth-round financings in cleantech venture capital over the past decade. But from what we've seen, quite often there's a next step in the growth curve that can be very difficult to predict and to pull off successfully -- transitioning from an initial consultative sales phase into a rapid-scaling standardized sales phase.

It can be hard to get customers for many types of cleantech products and services to try it, much less pay for it. Take energy efficiency, for example --...