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Share your problems

May 19, 2023

When we believe we're alone in our challenges, we waste time trying to figure out everything by ourselves.

I'm just back from New York City where I attended the Carbon Unbound conference. It's great to meet people in person for the first time who I've worked with for years, including Stacy Kauk (briefly!!) from Shopify, Philip Moss at South Pole, and 15 startup founders from AirMiners Launchpad.

My key takeaway from the conference is there's so much more room to share in carbon removal. We all tend to wait until we have solutions so we can share the "packaged" version on stage. But carbon removal is moving fast, we don't have time to waste. Sharing what you've got now will help you go faster or help someone else have a breakthrough.

At our panel on "How to Sell a Carbon Credit" one of the startup founders talked about how they got their first carbon sale. They took the CDR.FYI list and emailed everybody on it. I could see being kind of embarassed to share this myself, like it doesn't seem elegant just emailing 150 people. But the thing is, it worked. Let me say that again -- IT WORKED! They got their first carbon sale and went on to sell even more. I was thrilled this person shared out what they found to all the other founders and teams in the audience that might be facing the same problem.

Another founder I met in Basel mentioned they were wrestling with the particle size of their enhanced rock weathering solution and the challenge of achieving even distribution. We happened to be standing next to someone else who was working on particle size and they got to talking about solutions. Huge applause to them for sharing the problem they were wrestling with instead of waiting until they had a solution.

We don't have time to wait for the next happy hour or conference panel to share. It's go time!

Sharing is the theme of 2023 in carbon removal. Sharing problems opens up the possibility that someone else may have already found the answer, or they're facing the same problem and you can collaborate together on the solution. That's why AirMiners exists, to facilitate problem-sharing and solution-sharing.

On my end, I'm trying to figure out two things. First, how to finance early-stage carbon removal companies. How do we help early stage startups secure their first million dollars so they can prove out (or disprove) a business model. And secondly a related issue, every carbon removal startup needs to develop its own methodology, but creating a new standard takes years which is far beyond the time horizon for many startups. Is there a "pre-pre-pre-certification" standard we can create at the idea stage or early prototype stage? That would help with financing, too. Hit me up if you have ideas for solutions or are running into similar problems.

Whether you're a CEO, scientist, engineer, policymaker, sales manager, or job-seeker, email someone today in a similar role in carbon removal. Share the specific challenge you're facing now and what it would mean for you to solve it. This collaborative approach will help us uncover problems, solutions, and achieve our goal of removing a billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2030. Oh and come share at the next Ideas, Needs, and Leads session!


P.S. What AirMiners panel event discussion topic would be engaging to our community for an upcoming event? Vote here

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