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You won’t win by crapping on other carbon solutions

June 30, 2023

Startup founders often add a slide in their pitch deck along the lines of "my solution is good and these other solutions suck". Having worked with 95 teams I've seen all sorts of teams do it, soil, DAC, oceans, you name it. I've even caught myself doing this.

The whole thing is baloney.

Just because you badmouth one solution doesn't make yours look better.

Yes it's hard to measure soil carbon today but that doesn't mean it's going to be that way forever.

Yes direct air capture is expensive today but that doesn't mean it's going to be that way forever. 

Heck if you figure out how to solve either of these challenges you'll remove a lot of carbonand probably get rich.

This is the business we're in: uncovering new possibilities for all sorts of ways to remove carbon.

Look, building a trillion dollar market for carbon removal in 27 years is a challenge. A trillion dollar market to remove invisible, mostly useless gas. We're not inventing the next iPhone here, folks. People aren't going to turn around and say "oh my gosh this saved me so much time and keeps me connected to my family". This whole carbon business really does takes imagination and planetary scale thinking. Casting doubt on another part of the equation doesn't magically make yours look better.

See below for my favorite graph. We show it at every demo day. The red line is agressive decarbonization. Decarbonization alone doesn't get us on the path to 2 degrees of warming or below (orange line). For that, we need decarbonization + removals. That gap between the red line and the orange line is our trillion dollar a year opportunity.

A working removals market is needed. A working offsets market is needed, too. It's go time.

My call to you is to keep this big view. Have you badmouthed some other solution to try to make yours look better? Have you hear someone else doing this? Go share about this with someone in AirMiners, ideally on a video call. You can say "hey Tito wrote about this and I wanted to explore it with you" to start the conversation.


P.S. Ironically crapping on soil *does* improve the soil

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