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Mario Kart Speed Boost

April 03, 2020

(Watch the video of this update here)

I've been on a COVID "side quest". I was working on climate and then BOOM, this virus thing really needed my attention.

I see a lot of people in the climate world stuck on the sidelines, going back and forth on whether to get involved in COVID or stay the course. And I see others seize the opportunity and go for it. What happens next is surprising....

Seizing on a big challenge feels like playing Mario Kart. Everybody staying on track in their lane, but then you dive into another lane and hit a crazy speed boost.

That's what I see see in the entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators coming out of the COVID Accelerator. Following their intuition, these entrepreneurs zip forward creating solutions...even though 20 days ago most of them weren't working in medical/virus stuff.

Maybe you're thinking "oh that's a 20 day detour". To me it's speed boost, I'm feeling faster, stronger, and a little bit smarter than before, and I can see others around me are too.

I see such commonalities between the 20 days of the COVID Accelerator, air mining, and the carbon industry. The people who dare to step out with an idea, that idea becomes a change, an impact. It doesn't matter whether it's a "good" idea or a "wtf", or whether you have prior experience. Stepping out and leading is what makes the difference.

Yesterday we presented COVID Accelerator at Tim Draper's Breakthrough Conference (watch the video here). I had the pleasure of introducing these entrepreneurs as "co-founder of HospitalHero", "co-founder of Corona Carecard", and "founder of FindCOVIDjobs". These new companies weren't even ideas 20 days ago.

20 days ago, these entrepreneurs were working on different stuff like marketing, nonprofit fundraising, programming new apps. Today these founders are sharing new COVID expertise with the world. They came together and created this new expertise. 

I notice the same thing in air mining and the carbon industry. Entrepreneurs who step forward with an idea and share it with the world are the ones that have an impact. Maybe the initial idea sounds big like a new direct air capture machine, or maybe it's something simple or "meh". But I see "the idea" matters less and less. Those people that step forward so quickly accelerate into building solutions for the future.

I'm inspired by people like Ari from the Open Air Collective. He comes from an internet marketing background and then steps into building policy and hardware to help direct air capture go faster.

I'm inspired by Heidi from Opus-12. She did a lot of research and analysis on carbon removal, turned it into a terrific article "We Need to Talk About Carbon Removal", and that article transformed into a career in carbon removal!

I'm inspired by Jason Grillo who join the AirMiners community recently...and seized the opportunity to lead the first ever AirMiners Virtual Conference -- sneak peek here.

And I'm inspired by Evan from ClimateCareers, who built a tool to help people find jobs working on solving climate change, a simple idea well executed.

Climate change started out as a side quest for these inspiring folks... and they zoom forward without hesitation.

If you've got an idea you've spent year thinking about, or even a week: share it, tell somebody about it, find a team, a designer, a programmer. Start that iterative process of improvement whether it's climate, COVID, or some other giant challenge.

Hit me up with with what you're making happen, I look forward to hearing about it.


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