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Talking with people outside carbon removal

October 21, 2021

As part of my work with AirMiners Launchpad, I've met with investors outside of the carbon removal world to get advice about startups. (Video version of this message here)

I learned a big lesson during these conversations -- "start with why". When I jumped ahead and didn't start with "why the heck are we doing this?", I ended up with a bunch of advice that wasn't useful towards my goal. Starting with why led to better conversations and actionable advice.

On the other hand, this is a reminder of the power of being part of the carbon removal community. We don't need to start every conversation with why carbon removal matters, we can get right into details. When I hop onto a Launchpad interview with a startup founder, we can get straight to "what is it you need to do in the next month?". There's already all this context assumed: "There's too much carbon in the atmosphere. We have to figure out how to take it out. There aren't solutions yet. It's going to be a trillion dollar market someday and we're working to get there". All that gets summed up by "I'm an air miner".

Overall, I want to start with why rather than how when meeting people less familiar with carbon removal. And I want to better appreciate the benefit of this shorthand with industry insiders.

How do you approach getting advice from people new to carbon removal?

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