28 February 2020

February 2020 Startup Update

We’re back after a short hold for some contracting (to refresh the coffers). Now with a new project (with a refreshed mind). I have a new team, new project, but same mission – to fight global warming!

Premise: We believe that most people working in energy, solar, and climate change have been making a big mistake — that money, fear, and kilowatt-hours motivate people.

We have a different hypothesis.

Based on deep behavioral research, we discovered that people are more motivated to save energy and install solar when they see data in the form of CO2 — and the message needs to be simple: one number, one color, in real-time. We’re building that number.


  • Teamed up with Katie Patrick, an environmental designer and influencer.

KPIs/Core Metrics:

  • Marketing Spend: $0 (Katie’s 19,000 Twitter followers helped).
  • 100 users of Chrome extension / Firefox Add-on in last week
  • 55% retention after 1w
  • 235 followers of Twitter bot
  • WoW growth of users: N/A yet
  • Revenue: $1,200 (from electrade.app still, but that’s another story)


  • Launched Chrome extension and Firefox add-on and iterated multiple versions to add animations, reward effects, etc.
  • Built & launched Twitter bot that tweets out California’s emissions graph regularly, and eventually built in more personality, wit and irregularity to the tweeting algorithm.
  • Due to retention of the intial tests above being good, we’re investing in a “personalized” and premium home-energy Chrome extension / app with the PG&E ShareMyData API. Pre-order here.
  • Electrade.app is on the back-burner, but I was lucky to find a talented writer making new content and posting it to the platform, to further build out SEO.

Experiments/Hypothesis run:

  • People will download a Chrome extension (true)
  • People will keep opening it up (after positive feedback, week 1 retention is still around 55% daily)

Help Wanted/Asks:

  • Introductions to businesses interested in climate/team programs
  • Introduction to angels interested in supporting climate solutions. This team’s looking to focus on this concept for a few months.

Next month

  • Launching Home Energy Lollipop (so not California-wide emissions, but your home’s emissions!) through PG&E Smartmeter API. This should give the user more agency to actually change the number and create a tighter feedback loop.
  • Launching Office Energy Lollipop (instead of California’s emissions, your office’s emissions!) through PG&E Smartmeter API. This should give the users more agency to actually change the number and create a tighter feedback loop. Also, it’ll build community within the office for the teams.
  • Starting to raise an angel round from people who care about climate change, so Katie and I can focus on this project for a few months. Also applying for YC, etc.
  • Presenting to businesses, to see if business case is there (see ask – introductions to businesses interested in sustainability programs much appreciated).