Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Playing the Cleantech Roulette

If you want an insight into the investment thesis of the current Cleantech venture investors, I recommend the following quote from a leading investor:

"There are many such things going on that are radical, implausible - each individually (is) somewhat implausible, on the aggregate (it is) highly plausible that one plan will work. That's the key to the solution."

Here is a commonsense translation. "I know that my investment looks, and is, funny to you. But hold your breath. From this mass of chaos, an intelligent plan will emerge. I cannot tell which investments will make money, but somebody somewhere will be alright. Take my word."

This comes from a thought leader of the industry. Where he goes, others rush in. Not surprisingly, smart people are questioning if the current investment approaches are working. We have already lived through damaging hype cycles in fuel cell and ethanol, and now working through disasters in solar and algae. When do we stop and say? "Enough carnage. Let's rethink what we are doing and explore if there are sensible alternatives to investing in the Cleantech sector."

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