Welcome to Greentech Media. We're delighted to have you here. We've built this company and its Web presence with the interests of a new and critical market in mind - the businesses that will fuel an economic and social transformation that will, if successful, literally save the world.
While we founded the company in February 2007, I think of the real beginning as April 2006. That's when Rick Thompson, my friend of 10 years and colleague at Light Reading, and I had our first conversation about moving into the alternative-energy market (a thank you here to The Cleantech Group for giving this whole market an identity well beyond wind farms and rooftopsolar). We were in China, hosted by Huawei, one of the largest manufacturers of telecom equipment in the world, and the setting couldn't have been better suited to set us on our new path.
Picture this: We're in Shenzhen, ostensibly attending Huawei's annual analyst conference, but the reality and implications of today's China keep crowding the frame. First, there is Huawei itself, a massive manufacturer of just about any conceivable communications product, from cell phones to telephone switches and Internet routers, and they've grabbed dominant market share in nearly every category by being the lowest-cost supplier, effectively accelerating the trend of commoditization that's enveloped the communications market and continuing China's ascent in the global technology market. Second, there is construction, everywhere - apartment buildings, office parks, roads, factories and an odd amusement park or two. And finally, above it all, pollution. Not just a little smog, but old-school Sinclair's "The Jungle" kind of pollution. Our hotel, though on its surface quite lovely, enthusiastically evoking Venice (I think), had next to every faucet a little gold sign imploring us not to drink the water. At least the restaurant had plenty of bottles of '98 Tignanello.
Suddenly, what had been just one of many ideas knocking around in my head felt urgent. Here, at history's end, technology's payoff would not be about a smarter cell phone; it would be about the thousand innovations that will build a road away from environmental oblivion, or at least away from life as Mad Max.
We had great jobs at Light Reading. I had spent more than five years in the company, helped build a whole research division and aided the integration of market and technology analysis into the most successful online media company in telecommunications. Yet, under new ownership and with the founders heading for the door, some of the gloss was coming off the place and the stage was set for a jump.
So we took a deep breath, resigned, sketched out the plan and raised some money. We hired eight extremely talented and seasoned pros, built a partnership with the Prometheus Institute to ensure we had the best market analysis and data in the business and brought along our Godfather. Our mission was and remains clear: to build an online media company optimized around the needs of the greentech market.
We believe an online media company, when done right, creates a web that interconnects and organizes a burgeoning business market. In other words, it puts the "system" into this ecosystem. It does so with every medium at its disposal: daily news, features, blogs, market snapshots and studies, webinars and live seminars and a host of emerging Web concepts still under development. The idea here is to deliver an integrated mix of content that reveals and informs the innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, businesses and enthusiasts that make up the greentech market.
We're rolling out with exciting stuff to accomplish those aims: Jennifer Kho's extraordinary journalism, Eric Wesoff's Silicon Valley insights, Rob Day's blogging on cleantech finance, Travis Bradford's renowned market research, a diverse range of webinars on topics from thin-film solar to efficient lighting to alternative-energy financing, and at least a dozen other nuggets of content created ourselves or gathered from around the Web.
Have a look around. Send us your feedback. We want this to work. If it doesn't, Rick and I are heading back out to the streets of Brooklyn, but it probably won't go any better for us now then the last time we tried.