Recent Posts:

Bad Analysis of a US Carbon Tax by AEI

Rob Day: August 30, 2012, 9:08 AM

If "thought leaders" don't put much thought into their analysis, the analysis is worse than useless. 

That is the case with this terrible piece of "analysis" from Benjamin Zycher of American Enterprise Institute that came out this morning. He takes a look at whether a U.S. carbon tax could be "efficient" in the economic sense -- that is, if it would net out to being positive economically. When I'd heard recently that the AEI was starting to look at and talk again about carbon tax policies, I'd been encouraged to hear it, so I eagerly read the column as soon as I saw it this morning (thanks to Coral Davenport for tweeting it out). Unfortunately, Zycher appears to have approached...

Lessons From The Past Ten Years: Self-Description

Rob Day: August 28, 2012, 3:48 PM

Because of some of the unique features of our markets and customers, early-stage cleantech startups quite often have to walk a fine line when figuring out how to describe themselves to the outside world.

At the heart of the problem is that the entrepreneurs have two completely different target audiences for these messages. The first are prospective customers, who are typically change-averse, can be somewhat technophobic, and often aren't currently seeking a solution. But the second major audience is funders, and VCs want to find something that's very "different," that's somewhat daring, that they can describe to the partners at their firm (and to their LPs) as something "sexy" and...

Lessons From the Past Ten Years: PR

Rob Day: August 10, 2012, 1:36 PM

What is the right PR strategy for cleantech startups?

It's a question I've been thinking about a lot lately, and talking about with communications professionals. Because I feel that those of us in cleantech (myself in particular) have generally done it wrong over the past ten years.

Wrong in one of two ways -- either 1) going out too hard, too early, or 2) starving a growth opportunity.

I've backed companies that've made both of these mistakes, so I understand how they come about.

In the first "too hard, too early" mistake, there are companies in our sector (you already know them, so I don't feel the need to name them) that've put on a heavy PR push ahead of having fully...