Early & Scaling Venture Investment, Climate & SustainabilityTech
Alan Costello | Early & Scaling Venture Investment, Climate & SustainabilityTech

"Think outcomes not features"

- Alan Costello

Alan Costello – Who is going to pay?


Alan is an Innovation, Strategy & Venture Investment professional.
Always driving at innovation solutions and business models to important challenges – Climatetech, Food/Agtech – all convergent tech.
Strong capability on building alliances, partnerships and bringing novel perspectives to C-Level teams.

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The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery: Welcome to supporters fun ask an investor I’m your host Jeffery Potvin and let’s please welcome Alan Costello the director at resolve Partners in Ireland as our investor for today welcome Alan it’s a real pleasure having you join us today.

Alan: Thank you very much for having me I appreciate the opportunity looking forward to the chat.

Jeffery: I’m super excited I think I think it raises lots of Money’s been raised all the way along the channels and it gets exciting when you get to be in front of an investor who’s kind of seen it all been there done that now you’re raising your own fund so it gets pretty exciting to see that Journey so not only from a startup perspective that we get to be part of that Journey with startup but we’re getting to be part of that with an investor who’s going through that same Journey so really exciting today and the way we like to kind of kick things off is we want to learn a little bit more about yourself so maybe to start you could share a little bit about your background you can go back to the university days certainly you can share a little bit from your Novartis days and the pharmaceutical space uh what you did there and kind of work your way up and then share a little bit about what you’re doing today and then we’re going to dive into everything.

Alan: No problem uh thank you for that um so okay if we if we’re going to take it back uh I am a Scientist originally pharmaceutical science so that you’ve got a in a various connection there in my what I call my first career um so I did some pharmaceutical r d uh in college and in postgraduate and give you an example of where my mindset will go I’m working on a cemetery in protease Inhibitors in college and I went into the professor one day and I said uh you know we’re looking at blocking these things it’s something in the Alzheimer’s chain uh you know this is great he said yeah and maybe in about 20 years we’ll have a product and I said bye Prof um I’m off to join the commercial side of the industry I’m using a little bit of language in the rear view mirror but I I realize now that I just needed to be much much closer to the commercial uh cold face family background and Entrepreneurship and and all that kind of good stuff and uh so I joined the commercial side of the of the science pharmaceutical industry commercializing and marketing a bunch of different products for some companies on here in Europe and predominantly Ireland and that was great and then I did an MBA and I wanted to get involved in some startups I wanted to explore building kind of an entrepreneurial career so I did like all good uh Consultants with an MBA you should do I went out with no plan and no agenda I just said okay I’m gonna go ahead and knock on doors and I’m gonna just explore things I’m gonna find ways to make myself useful and I kind of I guess in hindsight I kind of backed myself to make myself useful to people so I got involved in in a bunch of companies to help them to grow and scale including getting involved in some of my own first startups and being a Founder in some energy tech companies so that kind of probably began a transition into the the second part of my career which was all around technology investing and and more so than maybe than life sciences but a lot of Technology investing and supporting companies to grow scale raise precede race seed rate it raise a rounds uh up to the the current day where yeah we’ve got a very heavy focus in the climate technology space and we’re building a fund a fund there so I essentially I guess I find myself at that intersection between I can talk science and technology and product and Innovation and I can talk go to market growth scale and then the missing piece for a lot of startups is that Finance so I I just started talking to investors and financers and finding out what made them tick and now if I can make those three sides of product innovator go to market and investment Finance talk the same language usually good things happen and that’s where I find myself today.

Jeffery: That’s awesome and one thing about you that nobody would know this was the mystery question so I got to throw that back in there so what’s one thing about you that no one would know.

Alan: okay uh well the cheese on that is that people over here will know it is that uh one of my hobbies for the last few years I I kind of go deep on Hobbies uh for three or four or five years at a time so to my left is a former whiskey Cask that’s been turned into an office light and to my right is uh the beginnings of a whiskey collection which I’m not going to show on camera because it’ll not put me in good credit but I’m a big fan of Irish whiskeys and and international whiskeys it’s a really interesting Market from a business point of view as well as some enjoyment and a collecting point of view.

Jeffery: That’s awesome that’s pretty cool.

Alan: I was looking at someone the other day this is neither coffee nor a Baby Guinness nor any other uh comments that you’re going to make about uh uh but I’ll introduced around alcohol and Ireland.

Jeffery: Oh that’s wicked I saw someone the other day that was um taking old skateboards and making them into Furniture cables and chairs and things like that so I love the fact that you’re being Innovative and finding different ways to use old products to make things look cool and of course enjoying yourself while doing it and there’s nothing wrong with that it’s a good hobby.

Alan: you know what we call it the circular economy now uh upcycling waste and they’re designing out waste and dealing with waste ones you’re available it’s a circular economy I can tell myself that on Friday night when I’m having a having having a whiskey by by my whiskey light.

Jeffery: I love it that’s great uh and that’s a that’s a great Passion so it’s good to see that uh we all got little different things that we can do to keep us busy so now taking back to the the kind of the background that you have it’s um even going back to your Pharma days and and kind of where you started to make that Trend into uh early stage companies what was the interest level like what got you triggered and what kind of made you think I kind of like this space because you were operating uh more on the Pharma side which really there’s probably not a lot of Entrepreneurship side there it’s all internal and big big money and building out uh businesses within businesses would have that interest level or what triggers you to start looking at early stage companies.

Alan: It’s a good question so there’s probably two two big uh chapters uh that happened so when I left uh farmer as I said I could I could talk farmer and Med device science um and uh but I had worked in the commercial side of the industry where launching products and moving products into uh the clinical setting uh in in Ireland and a little bit wider field around Europe and I understood the business principles behind that and without being unfair if you’re talking to a lot of early stage technologists or scientists or innovators in med tech they’re not necessarily having the bridge to the commercialization skills so in in that sector yeah you’ve got a very long regulatory pathway which you got to deal with um and that that’s fair but I would go in I always remember talking to one angel investor in the space who was uh came out of the Diagnostics industry and he said you know I could make monoclonal antibodies that can react to the glasses that you wear in JP but if it doesn’t change a decision at the bedside if it doesn’t change practice at the clinical side so what uh just because I can build something from the science point of view doesn’t mean it’s ever going to get used so I always have that kind of perspective so you talk to a lot of scientists in maybe University or research institutes and they were looking to try and commercialize the Technologies raise half a million or a million and you knew that they were actually looking at a 20 or 50 million fundraise through the regulatory pathway and you knew you needed to think about where you’re where were the payers where was the pharmacoeconomics what was uh what were the insurers going to be doing about this product what was the market size uh all of these Tech all of these commercial questions um or maybe investment worthy questions that were coming to the past that was somewhat incidental to the some of the science or some of the the most important things that they were working on in the clinical bench uh I was asking different questions so being able to bridge that experience and Britney able to uh challenge that I think was kind of useful and kind of challenging in a good way and then you know one of the big transitions for me was I read an article in a business press where a professor in a completely different sector and it was my first Safari into well sort of my first Ferrari Into Climate although we might come back to that he just published a piece around um this is probably in the early 2000s he’d probably published something about Transportation links between China and Europe you know it’s produced in the East it’s consumed in the west so he treated it as a logistics problem he treated us physics straight line ended up describing a train uh proposition cost about 200 billion dollars um and that that was fine he just put it out there to the world and I went up and then I I looked back and I I kind of think it is one of the advantages um of naivety of Youth I knocked on the door of the head of physics in an Irish University and I said I read this article I don’t know what you’re working on but whatever you’re working on next I’d like to be involved in it I’d like to see if I can be useful and he said okay cool here’s this other project that I’m doing in renewable energy um and we worked on that for a couple of years and tried to get that uh off the ground was there maybe they’re probably the first start of really that I was involved in and uh and being a founder of but so kind of really interesting piece around those transitions talking Tech talking science talking engineering at a simple level I’m not going super deep into The Silo but being able to marry that with okay where’s this going what’s the commercial questions that are happening here um that that’s probably been the the transition between the first part of my career and what I now call the main part of my career today.

Jeffery: I really like that because what you’ve you’ve described a couple of different things here that really kind of emphasize the changeover from corporate to entrepreneurship and I think the biggest one here is that you are being curious and that you your curiosity went into actionable steps I I think a lot of times there is the doubt or there’s the um being afraid to question or take that Leap Forward by forcing yourself into an action which was go and speak to this professor so what I liked about that is that um you know if I can build it does it actually make sense which is what your uh the angel investor had originally kind of uh coached You by saying which still creates curiosity which is can I commercialize this can I do something with this and then going to that professor and and offering to be useful and what I love about that is that when um uh I was a young young chap my father walked me to McDonald’s or drove me to McDonald’s and said go in there and apply for a job here’s your your CV and he said when you go in so ask for the manager and uh shake his hand look him in the eye tell him who you are and tell them that you’ll work for free for two weeks and I was scared I was like what I’m 14. this guy’s not going to hire me I was 13. it’s like why I don’t know anything why I gotta go the manager I kind of just go to the person at the desk he’s like be impactful go do something show you’re useful so why didn’t I did that they hired me and I think taking that same objective from there that I learned is that you need to take those steps and you need to force yourself to go in there and find a way to be useful so in saying that when you took your curiosity and you moved that into the next steps I think that’s a big learning for entrepreneurs or for people that want to be entrepreneurs which is what got you to take that step how did you force yourself to just say hey you know what I’m smart enough I’m tough enough I can go in and make this leap of faith um you called it being young and maybe naive but I think it’s more than that it was a drive to get somewhere and you found it maybe that’s just a useful term that you used as being useful but what kind of what is that position that pushed you to do that I think there’s something more there is it grit is it drive is it you learn it from your parents what what made you kind of make that drive forward.

Alan: Yeah it’s a good question and you know maybe something we’ll come back to I’m just spinning in my mind off your question there there’s some kind of a balance between startup and corporate between curiosity and risk uh that maybe we’ll jump back to but there’s probably a slider bar that’s kind of interesting to to pull the thread on what got me into into doing this um it’s I’ve always had um kind of a get up and go for doing things so if I go back I’m thinking lately about my climate journey and I pretty much think the rest of my career is going to be in climate technology and then I think yeah so my first startup was involved in renewable energy actually before that in the young scientist competition when I was 17 uh we won a prize for sustainability price actually before that when I was 11 I volunteered pro bono and I’ll also come back and pick up your point there in McDonald’s I volunteered at the Ireland’s national Ecology Center to just give walking tours to adults um around all the renewable energy um technology that was based in that National ecology and then I think actually when I was eight I’m by the I am a complete nerd when I was eight I’m writing project school projects on the ozone layer that’s what 1987 stuff and and you’re just thinking okay you’ve always had a little bit of um uh hotspot or get up and go or or something that drives you on to do that so it probably comes from uh you know I’m also married psychotherapist so I’m okay with going deep on this stuff I’ve been our longest client for for 20 odd years but so the parents are entrepreneurs and had that kind of there’s a story that I learned a lot from them obviously and there’s a story that when they were setting up business um events conspired and he dad had to walk home from a previous job and say to his heavily pregnant wife yeah we’re starting a bit earlier than expected uh we’re going for it um so you know three kids pregnant wife started a new business um and you get that kind of uh push for it so there’s a there’s probably something coming from also being the for myself then being the youngest uh I kind of learned from everyone that went before me and just was given a lot of freedom to go and explore things which was fantastic and you know somewhat repeatable but sometimes you you have to like all entrepreneurship you need that dose of luck you need that position that context uh that’s going to just allow you to knock on the professor’s door.

Jeffery: I’m gonna we’ll hardly say that from all the the interviews I’ve done a lot of the people that have gone through with entrepreneurial parents have learned to be able to pick things up and go I’ve been learned to take uh the punches and still kind of figure out how to roll through them and get to where they need to be because you’ve experienced it um but just that excitement of we’re going for it pregnant with uh three kids and you’re ready to roll I just think I got goosebumps when you said that because the excitement level of you know that’s what that’s what the risk level is right and he talked about that before like what’s the risk level from corporate to entrepreneurship and I think when you’re guarded um I I look at Canada as being the um country for hugs uh us it’s all about capitalism it’s uh it’s about the punch and figuring out how to keep going so I’m not sure where Ireland fits in there but I’m going to assume it fits into the punch and keep going um you know.

Alan: Yeah I think Ireland is quite entrepreneurial and we’ve got a reasonably a pretty good ecosystem here um uh it you know us is is ahead of most is ahead of Europe um I I won’t speak too deeply about uh maybe East Asia uh us is ahead and uh the the things in there about propensity risk or ability to um there’s something about frontierism and there’s only a couple of generations in Northern in the US that are predominantly driven as as immigrants it’s only a couple of generations back there you you go to find your predominant immigrant population so there’s Frontiers there’s risk Seekers Risk Takers and there’s also some mundane Financial stuff uh that I can just highlight the difference in in Ireland maybe you can come into Canada you know my understanding is in the states if if something fails your bankruptcy is you know you go through the car wash and you’re out again in in a year in Ireland until recently that was 12 years and so the ability to take risks that could fail and leave you and leave you tied up for you know five grand debt to the credit card company or a 20 grand debt to the bank there that that was counterproductive to really driving a lot of people forward maybe Canada’s somewhere in the middle I’m not exactly sure.

Jeffery: Yeah there is a couple years I believe that it does kind of pigeonhole you but I’m sure that there’s always ways to work through it yeah um everybody wants to make sure that they they do get their dollar base back on on those types of things so.

Alan: but I I do your wider points and without you jumping into the bankruptcy your wider point there is something important about an ecosystem now if everybody around you is wearing the same base trousers the same blue shirt and it goes into the same corporate HQ every day that’s what you’re going to do and that’s what your kids are going to do if everyone were disproportionate amount of people around you are saying yeah okay I’m gonna go and open a car wash or yeah I’m gonna go and try and do this Tech startup or yeah I’m going to take my my PhD research I’m gonna I’m gonna be the one that spins out if everyone around you is doing that you know a little bit like context and learning and reduce barriers uh to to attempting the risk is important so that that means you know what’s your ecosystem like what’s your uh your the people context around you like.

Jeffery: I love it and it’s so true and you know they always say you know put people around you that are positive or driven so that you kind of mirror to that and I do find that as you start to figure out who you are and where you want to be and even to these podcasts it’s really exploring who you are and where you came from to empower other people to say hey you know what I could be an investor I know I’ve got all this 25 years of farm experience I could certainly go out and help some of these early stage companies move forward um you know and you kind of put that into that triangle of different pieces from the financing to operations and marketing just you know what kind of things are you looking for and what makes a scalable company you’re always going to be kind of exploring that but I think um taking that understanding of where you came from and it looks like like you came from Pharma and today and and then you moved into um Health Tech or sorry uh climate Tech and now from there you kind of circled all the way back through and now you’re back to pushing a fund that’s going to be supporting and driving this out and I love the stories from when you were eight years old 11 years old you literally went back in your history and said wait I’ve got stories from this this and this yeah maybe I’m supposed to be in this climate Tech I’ve been doing stuff in here for a long time so it kind of it’s interesting how the things that interested us may not have been the journey that we took but in time we eventually fold back into it because that passion and interest is really strong in us and just that it could a curiosity at eight years old it is the same today.

Alan: I think that’s true and it is going to be a learning for uh or something to be aware of for entrepreneurs but I think for investors too um you got to follow things you’re interested in you’ve got to follow things that you’re passionate about um you know you can technically code things to solve this problem over here you can do this business process automation too send us out here yeah fine but actually do you care um you know what are you Mission LED are you you know founder problem um fit that’s in there or found a market fit that’s in there and so that there is something about be interested be curious be uh be willing to put. yeah to go that extra mile that extra depth I think that is probably also true for investors um investors probably fall into to two hats they’re either former financiers or former Founders um and and both are relevant but I I think it’s probably also interesting to think about well what are you looking at from a sexual point of view or a stage point of view what are you passionate about what are you interested in um is it important to follow that kind
of tune or piece as well.

Jeffery: For sure you mentioned that in your curiosity and going and speaking with your your Prof um is that you were reading things and you were diving into interest levels even back then um do you continue to do that today and does that take you off your focus or does it keep steering you in the direction of your North Star as you mentioned because I think educating yourself and learning more about all of these different pieces that are in the world are a good thing but I can also be distracting so is there any recommendations you have on educating yourself in a certain space or vertical or kind of how you see yourself with this.

Alan: If there’s uh so yeah you have to bear in mind I did call myself uh kind of the business nerd or a a nerd for this stuff and I say that with enjoyment but uh for the on-camera bit um I’ll just flick around uh to uh about maybe maybe a quarter of uh the The Collection that they’re um and it’s going to go into some general I read a lot of business biographies I learned a lot from uh from reading about either in the words of or the words about other Business Leaders and I read increasingly on a sectoral basis uh so people like uh maybe speed and scale from first John doors one uh uh degree uh factfulness or um some of the progress books around kind of positive growth in in the economy and positive technology growths but there’s a wider reading piece there as well so just maybe another thing that people don’t know about me and mostly is that one whole section up here is the book club uh which is uh going about seven years it’s about 80 90 20 books deep and it forces you to we push each other to pick books that are in different genres and different things that we would know wouldn’t normally read so that kind of keeps a little bit of breadth going on and exposes yeah to new ideas actually and that I brought Ministry of the future uh from Kim Stanley Robinson in uh which is a Futures book about how climate’s gonna go wrong wrong um and and what might happen about that so that’s kind of an interesting tip if if you’re inside the climate or sci-fi or a good book.

Jeffery: On music I’ve written that down and that’s actually one of our questions in the rapid fire questions which is there you go a book you want to recommend so you get to recommend another one.

Alan: Sure

Jeffery: But that’s uh that sounds pretty awesome I gotta check that out and kind of on that same subject uh there was a couple of things where you talked about um well there’s two things that kind of can touch on here what is your TED Talk we’re gonna get into that in a second because I did really enjoy it and I wish TED Talks were just a little bit longer because it’s almost like you got a little bit more to say but they don’t give you enough time so uh we’re gonna let you kind of fill that extra time with uh some other thoughts so I’m gonna let that one stir up in the mind for a second um but then on the other side of it is that while you were kind of working through the accelerator to get to where you are today with um running your climate Tech fund and building that up there’s a lot of learnings that you’re going through you’ve talked to you’ve invested in over a hundred companies and they’ve scaled up and they’ve raised over 300 million so throughout this journey you’ve done a lot of great things in working with early stage companies investing started your own company there’s a lot of learnings that you can take from this is there a few things that top of mind maybe three to five things that just pop up that say you know what this is how you can really help an entrepreneur from either early onset or at a series a you know think about these three things or five things when you’re talking to investors is it.

Alan: Okay

Jeffery: You know right on the onset when you’re starting a business get a coach and then kind of take it from there but love to get a few of these bullets that you think would help.

Alan: Okay um okay there’s a a bunch of things I’ll jump into and and come back uh on your point there uh so a couple of top tips to begin with um this is going to use on the public record right uh I don’t care about your product um I don’t care about your technology I will do um but not right now uh what I want to care about so much is the problem of a customer piece I want to know that as a founder you’re backable you’re investable if I can see the depth of customer Insight you have that’s not inside gain from Gartner or PWC reports that’s Insight gain from going out FaceTime clipboard talking to lots of people if I can hear the problem coming back in the user’s words you know not not necessarily you you paraphrasing is a good skill but if I can hear that problem coming back and echoing back and if I can see and intuitively see that that’s a problem at scale that’s interesting so I will care about your product but you know really with some exceptions if I want to engineer a product I will you know if you can prove to me the market demand is such you know if I have to throw a bunch of Engineers at it for three months or a year or five foot forward big team of people if the market need is there that is fundable I’ll get those Engineers to do it um that’s it’s going to sound really flippant there are of course areas that are patentable that are unique that are pure science or you know on the on the bleeding edge uh be it quantum or cryptography whatever it’s going to be of course there are exceptions but broadly speaking if you want my ad top tip I’m going to care less about your product um I’m going to Care way more about the the problem customer base and that actually mapped forward um I don’t really care what technology stack what chain you’ve built your your tool on if you can show me traction that customers are using it that tells me so much more about your build your quality of your build your scalability it shows me that there are customers who are willing to pay a price uh I’ll understand that a lot more of course I will look into uh the products the technology the stack the quality of it but not right now I think um what I’m really quite interested in in Founders is those who have insights um and what I mean by that is those who are those who were able to join the dots between maybe Mega Trends something happening uh so I understand a piece of technology that allows me to scale something over here and I can understand completely separately over here there’s a group of users who don’t even know that their problem could be solved uh they don’t even know that they can’t even qualified that problem but I can join the doctor between the two that’s Insight um maybe it also relates a little bit to Vision but it’s I think about it as Insight from the founders and when you have that you know you’ve that’s a real Secret Sauce that’s a real USP uh that a Founder is able to discover that uh is able to uh paraphrase that or communicate that and that can be communicated to customers to team members to investors as the case may be and that’s a couple of top tips to begin with um that’s a couple of top tips to begin with and we would have uh we would have seen that so you mentioned that we we’ve invested a lot uh I personally have invested in in a pretty small number of companies but we were part of uh the Ireland’s national technology accelerator and so that had two remits uh which kind of links parts of this conversation together one was to help the startup ecosystem by investing in a Y combinator type model and the other was to help commercialize Technologies out of the Irish University and research system so some of that deeper Tech piece and in there yeah we we invested in in about 330 companies who went on to raise like three or four hundred million in VC and exits are currently uh counting up to about half a billion so far um and so it was a great experience and it’s a lot of that early stage precede accelerator style work that we’re now jumping on I’m building on in in the seed fund that we’re building for climatech.

Jeffery: I love it and those are four great points and it’s interesting that when you when you get the opportunity as I have to interview a lot of great uh investors and coaches that all focus in on helping early stage companies work their way through everybody has kind of their points that they try to make that they look for and I love yours because they’re not exactly the standard cookie cutter ones that you look for um and I like the fact that you’re like I don’t care about your product and regardless of this is going on on um video and audio it’s that I care about what you’re going to do with this what problem you’re really solving and what do customers actually think about this it’s great that I think it’s Innovative but if I can’t find a customer that actually has this problem and it’s Innovative you’re really just building for yourself and you’re solving your own problem.

Alan: You know if if you want the cookie cutter think outcomes not features um you know outcomes are measurable I can I can probably put outcomes in units of euros and dollars time risk uh I can think about outcomes uh features yeah okay I’m the first person in Ireland to create a car company that does blue cars with pink yeah and pink and yellow spots who cares.

Jeffery: Remove the tactics and uh look more for the problem and figure out who wants to spend the money to pay for that problem.

Alan: It it’s completely to us uh so that then you’re getting into as you say the the tactics of it you know it’s not Pie in the Sky oh we’re going to solve The World’s problems that we’re going to sell climate change or something like that who’s going to pay and what is their uh their budget capacity what is their uh how much have they spent trying to solve this problem before find me this sticking plaster crappy bootlegged versions of solutions that they’ve been trying so far that tells me that they care enough to try and solve it that’s where you’re starting to see big problem big vision and the insights to uh from customer Discovery and customer research to say this is this is really worth going after this is worth early stage risk and this is where we can tip the balance of risk and curiosity in our favor.

Jeffery: I love that um now I’m taking that those four points uh well three points that you shared and there’s one that I want to kind of add in to explore and this is the focus part is there an element that while you’re going through these kind of three pieces on the traction insights and um the main problem in the customer side is there something that you’re pushing on a focus side um I find um the way I love to describe it is that an entrepreneur’s brain is like walking into a football stadium you know massive massive Stadium Emirates Stadium size brain which means there’s a million doors and a million things going on and in a corporate world it’s like walking into uh 12. by 12 office they really to refine themselves down to a box and you have as an entrepreneur you have to really get that entrepreneur to focus themselves to get to eventually that box as much as they don’t want to be there that’s the focus that’s what’s going to get on time to get to somewhere so is there something that you recommend or you think about when looking at this Vision because you’re obviously Forward Thinking of where this company can go and how this is going to work is there an element that comes into all of this that’s wrapped around focus in the founder.

Alan: Yes uh it’s it’s a fair point um either to push me on or for me to push others on um maybe that there’s sort of two Frameworks that I think about in terms of focus um I always remember uh he had recognized himself when I tell the story but I won’t name him but as an entrepreneur I’ve been working with for many years and uh he it was ideas mile a minute um still is and I remember I was sitting having a glass of wine with him one night and I went to the bathroom we were chatting about ideas and spinning up ideas and that was cool I went to the bathroom by the time I came back he’d registered a a URL and had started sketching out the plan on a notebook and I said we’re just chatting we’re just spinning the ball over a glass of wine remember you’ve got a business over here that you’re still trying to run not this one um so in terms of maybe a couple of Frameworks or a couple of ways that I think about that uh you know we’re Founders might quite often say to me we want to do this and this and this and this and this and I’ll say yeah but in what order so I’m cool with the big picture product map um but I’ll just put in a timeline to it so that you know we’re going after this module this set of features first this set of features after that this set of features after that and we all know the plan is going to change and if it doesn’t change it’s probably running into the ground but it’s it’s a way of saying we will be all of these things but we’re not going to do them all at once um an example of that as a company I worked with before I’ll probably reference them maybe a couple of times yes they they went out with the to customers with a plan on paper nothing built and essentially nothing built and they said look our system is going to be 11 modules wide um and they talk to customers like which one would you like us to build first so it was kind of co-design co-development with customers but they all you know talk to whatever 10 customers three of them pick module two two of them pick module four and the rest of them pick one each well they focused on module two to begin with because they already had three customers who picked that and it’s kind of a slightly cutesy way of of doing some customer discovery so I’ll often think about putting a timeline on a lot of product features and say yeah you will get to this level but we’re just going to stagger it over times then maybe the the more template version of that is in terms of Market sizing and it’s the kind of inch wide mile deep type of analogy uh the you’ve probably come across before you probably heard about before I I’d love you I know that the market might be a billion dollars wide but if you can show me the market the subsection of that market that’s worth about 50 million and if you show me that you can win 10 of that or 15 of that or 20 of that well the amount of credibility that you have to win each 50 million slice of that billion Market um is Insight that I would I mentioned a few minutes ago and I I want someone to say we know the market is is a mile wide and it’s a billion dollars here’s how we’re going to win this one I can extrapolate as well as anybody else and as well as they can and almost by not telling me all of the other segments they’re kind of letting me Discover it more for myself and and know everyone feels good about that um so enjoyed my inch wide versus uh versus mile deep I like mile deep and then you can always walk the next mile.

Jeffery: Ah that’s brilliant I love that because again you’re you’re taking that big picture and you’re breaking it down and you’re saying look you like you said the Market’s massive but show me you can actually go after this little bit and what is that little bit to you work and what’s the execution on that and then if you can cookie cutter this into a process the next 50 the next 50 the next 50 million they’re going to be easy to take down as long as you figured out how to do that in the first 50 million.

Alan: And I I’ll give you another example the company we’ve been working with and we brought them through the accelerator and in their their final demo day pitch you know there was a little bit of uh marketing sludge of hands going on that that was kind of pretty cute and here’s the first Supermarket it was a particular uh code of a sport in a particular geography and you know we’re already 15 of that Mark and that Market’s worth five million uh euros and here’s the next Market that we’re going into and it’s worth 3 million euros and people are looking up at them going like what the hell yes you can get 15 to you’ve got revenue but what’s what’s the deal and the founder said but that’s not why we’re here here’s the next Market it’s worth 450 million so now if you’ve built up The credibility that we can get the 15 of this Market we’re going to enter this Market this is the price that we’re going for and everybody in the audience went uh okay I see what you did there thanks thanks for being cute with us let’s go.

Jeffery: I love it good way to coach them and do it and uh get them to understand the direction you’re taking so now taking all this great insight and the one question that I was really intrigued by was of course I have to go back to your your Ted Talk um what I thought I was very well done so it was great to watch that um in the Ted Talk that while you were talking about Twitter and where it’s going and where social media was going and how we’re engaging with social media back in 2017 um how do you see and how have you witnessed the changes and is is there anything in your Ted Talk that you would alter today to say you know what or support um bigger from what you said and I know this is totally off the cuff but this is while we’re transitioning into the next phase of the talk but because I’m always curious uh when something is so well done and so public publicized that now kind of when you look back at it is there something you’d say you know how to change this one thing but the rest of it was awesome.

Alan: It’s interesting okay so you you spawned me one from Left Field there and it’s it strikes me so the context of my photography years ago was uh do you know what technology has its problems but we’ll solve them will get better and technology is a better enabler of goods than uh than the downside and we’re looking today the last five years I think um so what’s changed social media networks have probably largely got worse they still perform their function of connecting people and building up a network and community of people but they’ve probably got you know uh worse for a lot of the issues and you know whether some particular social networks are going to get acquired um in in the coming days actually as as we record this and what what happens those uh and you know you don’t have to make an over overtly political stands to say that they’re the regulation of social networks probably needs to catch up um if you look at those in particular because they they got big and they got a new use case around connecting people and through technology much much faster than Regulators or governments were ever able to catch up and I don’t think they’re able to sell very late and I don’t think their communities are able to regulate them um so what I change it probably not I’d probably put that Nuance in there to say that some segments are worse but is technology a good thing or is it enabler uh yes um is our self-driving car is going to kill less people and reduce the insurance industry um yes that’s a good thing is technology going to are we on kind of Rights curve of learning adoption around solar PV on and offshore wind and that’s going to solve issues for us around fossil fuels carbon or even geopolitical issues like we’ve got with Russian energy and Russian gas coming out of the the Ukraine war at the moment yes technology is going to be a better thing for that does AI need to be regulated or supported or monitored also yes so I’m not going to change the premise of my TED Talk I think technology is a great enabler and can be a great enabler for good I think regulation hasn’t caught up with it uh possibly in Europe we’re catching up a little bit better with it than they are in this in the states or or in the Far East um and that’s only because you know regulation perhaps is a little bit more uh a little bit more independent uh through the EU that we have over here but perhaps if if you do get regulation at the EU the American tech companies are going to have to follow suit and we’ll see what happens with maybe the Asian um companies where you know bite dance have a huge presence here in Dublin and we’re aware of that so it’s not a simplistic argument but I’ll still stand over technology it can be and will is a Force for good particularly then maybe when you look at new technologies that we need in renewable Technologies or climate technology.

Jeffery: So to the point that you shared about Melvin and his six laws I I think that uh you can almost stand behind those to say that regulation is still something that’s needed and there there needs to be more government intervention to kind of um govern I guess over some of these texts especially how they’ve gotten to where they are today so um I think wholeheartedly your your your TED Talk talk was awesome and it still is awesome today and it’s very relevant so I I think like you said adding in a couple of little benchmarks they still uh they fit there but I think the biggest Benchmark of all of it is that that to your point is that there has to be some form of governance somewhere in here because the things have grown so significantly uh that you’re losing that control and everything else technology is kind of taking its own Direction and maybe the robots will become more human than we ever imagined and maybe that’s not a good thing uh if it’s not monitored or regulated.

Alan: I mean I’m I’m pretty much pro-regular Pro regulator uh if you like now of course obviously you want that to be you don’t want that to be unwieldy but we regulate things you know we don’t put Consumer Finance in the hands of uh anybody we regulate them through central banks and through regulator authorities and we’ve had some issues with that in Ireland we don’t post uh devices into the hands of toddlers without it going through a CE Mark or without it going through an equivalent in in the North America um so we live with regulation we don’t that we have environmental standards whether the regulations are resourced enough whether they’re agile enough whether they’re influenced too much that they’re questions but um you probably can’t argue that the technology industry has grown faster than any regulation has been put in on us and probably the only one that uh that that triggers a little bit is Anti-Trust around M A activity uh you’re seeing a bit of that in in the US actually this week the UK Regulators uh had a had an issue with meta behind giphy and so that’s probably the only regulation really that’s that’s coming through a little bit of course gdpr from the EU but regulation hasn’t caught up with the technology or Technologies move faster than regulation will move that’s something that needs to improve.

Jeffery: I love it agreed well just before we transition out the I guess the next question is on the on the race that you’re currently working on and pushing through on this climate side which I think is amazing again something that’s totally needed uh and something to get behind uh where do you kind of see the next five years looking for climate Tech where where is the interest lie for you uh what types of companies do you want to see and um what what kind of how’s the fund going to work.

Alan: Sure um so there’s there’s a couple of pillars within the thesis uh one is that we need climate technology we need to be able to decarbonize um and then replace with renewable Technologies electrification um change some of the the food and AG practices change some of the energy utilization practices we need to do that uh for the the world’s sake 2030 targets and they are our world our economy our biodiversity there’s so many Downstream effects of what’s coming to that so we need to do it we also think it’s a fantastic investment opportunity and for companies that are operating in that space so um so that’s one big part of our thesis another big part of our thesis is uh we don’t think star shops are going to save the world and let me let me explain um a startup isn’t going to be able to you know starting now with two people and raising the first you know 200k or 500k we want to have real real strong impact so we want to build a support structure around startups and scale-ups to help them get through their seed their a round and much faster and much better get this real breakout trajectory where they can start having impact so rather than going you know over the first year or two to you know a million you know a couple of thousand users a couple of million in Revenue we want them to really push much harder than that of course you normally do in Venture but this climate piece is giving added incentive to do that so and in the fund we’re building a an ecosystem of climate advisors or business scaling advisors or back office supports and really importantly we’re building a whole support structure of corporates uh those who are either high energy users or maybe they’re involved in energy and variables so that companies can let’s say test is probably a better word than practice on but that companies in the portfolio can work with these large corporates test Solutions get some data get some Pilots coming out showcase what they can do so that when they are expanding internationally they’ve got early reference customers that they might have been uh harder to get as a startup just going in and knocking the door even though I know that we had that part of the conversation earlier on also in some cases where they’re with corporates partnering into the fund uh you may have an opportunity to to platform these scale-ups and and help them to grow internationally much faster so that gives us a better investment return and that also gives us a better impact uh when we’re trying to do things around improving the the climate situation and improving climate technology so we’re building a 50 million euro seed stage seed and a stage fund based in Ireland for technologies that are across uh I suppose the climate planes so we’ll look at Renewables uh we’ll look at food and I will look at energy reduction we’ll look up for Mobility um because we want to have a spectrum of companies that are all trying to to to drive that on what I’m probably excited by and what I’m interested in is probably convergence of ideas so we’re the last what 10 20 30 years we’re really really good at Building Solutions in the cloud we’re really really good at Building Solutions involving data we’re really good at Building Solutions uh around Robotics and Hardware but energy hasn’t seen a lot of that or food and Ike hasn’t seen a lot of that or Mobility is increasingly seeing seeing that so I’m interested in seeing Founders who have experience and uh depth of expertise maybe from building other Solutions maybe Enterprise SAS and how does that apply into an energy utility how are you going to help an energy utility transition into Renewables or get more Renewables onto the grid so almost if you think about it it’s almost supply chain it’s it’s almost the the process optimization you know if you look at Renewables in Ireland we’re doing 36 of our energy mixes coming from Renewables that’s not Frontier technology we’re not probably going to well okay Never Say Never I’m probably not going to think about investing in new turbine blades that’s for vestus and Siemens and SSE and GE and Phillips to do but what I’m really interested in technologies that can help get more of that grade more of that power onto the grid maybe a little bit more predictive around the weather conditions so that we can optimize how much wind is going on the grid versus gas so I know I’ve just dived down at a Philo there but if you think of it if I lift that back up I’m interested in things that are going to maybe process optimize across Renewables I’m interested in technologies that are used well in other sectors now coming into um energy food AG Mobility sectors and be able to uh jump faster and leverage that expertise.

Jeffery: I love it those are some fantastic goals and uh ideals that you guys are supporting and I think uh it sounds like it’s going to be very uh beneficial to to Ireland and uh surrounding countries so I think it’s a great initiative so we’re going to kind of step in a different direction but um we’re going to talk a little bit more about a case study and I know that you’ve chatted through a bunch of companies in our chat here about things that they’ve done to kind of um interest you or kind of move their way through the ecosystem and change their modeling or get to the right position to sell to their customers is there anything that pops into mind what we’re looking for is what it takes to be an entrepreneur and you know sometimes it’s the tough it’s great it’s hard it’s easy it’s a roller coaster ride is there any experience that you can share that she or he founder went through or even that you read that you find it might be a a really useful story for for someone trying to break into the entrepreneurial scene.

Alan: Sure um okay so I’ll talk to um I’ll talk to a real example uh I’ll probably keep the details high level uh but they’re they’re a company that has a lot of resonance for for where we’re both sitting um in Canada and and in Ireland and in cleantech so started working with a company uh probably five years ago called Elm environmental here in Ireland and they were doing um uh I suppose business process work for people like the water utilities or the environmental utilities or um uh Regulators in in the space they they were good they did a good background you know good management Consultants came out of Accenture knew what they were doing you had to build a team of people but it was all services and they started developing out a a framework that would help water utility companies to uh manage their data a lot better to be almost an operating system for how rewarded utility works from environmental through to uh through to the billing uh on the customers so they always have this balance Virginia how do we build and with maybe early conversations with customers but we’ve got this other stuff and we’ve got to keep the show on the road and we’ve got to do a little bit of services and Consulting and there was always this kind of um balance while they were building enough traction we then helped them to raise the seed round in Ireland and largely a seed round from some U.S and based investors but in terms of degration and getting to the customers the two Founders left Ireland they moved to Toronto uh where they’ve been building their business ever since I think they uh they now employ about 70 people and they’re servicing the mostly the North American Water Utility Market although I think they’re doing some interesting stuff in Australia as well and they they you know a lot of European companies uh and particularly I’d say in our a lot of Irish companies will you know we’ll look at the UK until brexit happens we didn’t look in Europe we didn’t look a lot of the firearies but it was pretty natural jump even though it was five hour time zone and a seven hour flight so work West and thank you for the U.S and increasingly Canada I was on a trade mission to Toronto a number of years ago with a smart thermostat company that I’ve been involved in an increasingly uh Canada is is getting more more recognition from European companies uh so they’re now known as clear and they raise the seed land in the states then last October they closed in a round from inside Venture for about 16 million dollars they’ll employ about 70 people now most I think most of them in Canada and uh you know if you look at that great determination it was just a case of uh we need to go to where our customers are when the two Founders left there was one child between them I think there’s four children between them now um uh I I must send this podcast to them for uh for reference checking and they just had to uproot and move to where their customers were there was tough times within that Journey there was uh uh tough times on a cash flow basis there was tough times dealing with customers and and transitioning from services to product but that services to product bit is something that we probably see a lot of Founders over here doing particularly in the Enterprise or enterprise software space where you’re you’re delivering something and you productize afterwards or you automate afterwards and you know we focus on the outcomes like we talked about and how you build those how you build the solution to deliver those outcomes you know you can do it with um a bunch of people and do it as a service or you can and you might start that way and then you might have to build a product afterwards which are different skill sets uh and you’ve got a as Founders you’ve got to be like a swan you know sailing on the surface and underneath the surface you know what’s going on uh with your your team and your people and your customers um so that they’re they’re a fantastic case study that they’re going to be a brilliant company uh they’re going to be brilliant for the the Canadian system and they’re going to be brilliant for their uh their customers too.

Jeffery: I love it great story and and I love the perseverance and the dedication uh to uproot your your uh where you live to go after your customer and go after your business and it uh it makes it even better when it’s Canadian that they went to so it’s our Canada that they jumped into so it’s a good mix of uh Ireland and Canada kicking butt so I like it.

Alan: Yeah we will take that and as I say there’s a there’s an increasing number of companies looking at there between you know nachos tech centers uh you know you’ve got that uh connection around Toronto and and then then South uh where there’s like 40 million people living within an hour of each other so it becomes this a major Target Center for companies to expand into you know you’d never encourage a company to launch in the U.S you know you launch in these three City area you’re launch in that three City area you launching in that part of Southern California and not that not all of it but it is the same thing in it just as you’re scaling you know you don’t launch in France you launch in uh this region of powers you launch in this segment sector of geography or you launch with this cohort of companies otherwise it just becomes uh like that inch deep mile wide and marketpiece it just becomes too dilute so there’s a focus piece there as well so Canada is getting that uh nice Focus not least and maybe with some of the political challenges that are happening a little bit throughout the week.

Jeffery: For sure and there’s a good program with startup visa and a few other things that help bring entrepreneurs into the country so it works out quite well so now we’ll we’re going to transition into the rapid fire questions are we ready we’re going to start with the business once first.

Alan: Go for it

Jeffery: All right so as a investor you choose a or b okay founder or co-founder

Alan: Oh that’s a pain are you asking like should it be.

Jeffery: One or the other which one do you like best when you’re investing.

Alan: Oh it has to be co-founders co-founders hey

Jeffery: Unicorn or a four-year 10x exit

Alan: That’s a good question you know that unicorns don’t technically exist right um you know they’re mythical uh they’re privately funded not exactly uh validated by the external markets oh as an investor uh I’ll take a four year 10x.

Jeffery: Okay Tech or cpg

Alan: Uh Tech

Jeffery: Nfts or web 3.0

Alan: Um I personally I I’m kind of interested in nfts as an investor I’ll say web3

Jeffery: Okay AI or blockchain

Alan: AI

Jeffery: First time founder or second third time founder.

Alan: Uh I mean from an Investor’s point of view you got to say second time founder second or third time founder but uh that’s almost a dismissive of first-timers which it shouldn’t be.

Jeffery: Fair enough first money in or series A

Alan: Will be first money in

Jeffery: Angel or VC

Alan: They’re different things so as an as an investor um well VCS for the deeper check angels for the sectoral expertise so if you force me to choose um if you’re a startup I’ll choose angels.

Jeffery: Okay Board Seat Or Observer

Alan: Observer but that’s a function of uh the the Quantum of companies that are in the portfolio uh Observer with the right to step up when you need to.

Jeffery: Okay save for convertible note

Alan: Where increasingly is using and seeing safes in in Europe and so happy

Jeffery: Okay lead or follow

Alan: Will lead it will lead in the seed rounds and that’s what I like doing

Jeffery: Love it Equity your interest payments

Alan: Well safe and then into Say safe And then into Equity um you know we’re we’re part of it

Jeffery: Okay favorite part of investing foreign

Alan: The first word that came into my mind and I’m smiling because it’s the first part of our conversation learning we’re so lucky we always get to learn from from Founders and from people that are smarter and and telling us about new things so learning is pretty cool.

Jeffery: I love it I agree a number of companies invested per year

Alan: Uh we’ll be doing 10 to 10 to 15 companies per year

Jeffery: Okay two qualities of startup needs in order to stand out to you

Alan: And they need two qualities um they need really really strong voice of the customer inside from the customer and they need to have an ambitious plan that’s that’s two words so ambition is kind of growth vision and a plan is they need to know how they’re going to get there so an ambitious plan.

Jeffery: Okay and then we did talk a bit about the verticals of focus but if you want to reiterate a couple of them that works good.

Alan: So our fund is going to be investing in predominantly in Ireland at the seed stage uh we like a broad climate pillar so that’s going to come across you know energy food act Mobility energy Renewables and energy reduction.

Jeffery: Perfect all right we’re going to move into the personal side we’re almost there book or movie

Alan: Book

Jeffery: Um it’s a matter of Batman

Alan: Batman

Jeffery: Restaurant or picnic

Alan: Restaurant

Jeffery: Five minutes of Bezos or oprah

Alan: sorry five minutes of Bezos Europa yeah whoa Oprah’s gonna be more interesting

Jeffery: Mountain or Beach

Alan: Oh I do like both you’re gonna make me pick one uh Beach b

Jeffery: Biker or run

Alan: I I run badly so go for that

Jeffery: Big Mac or chicken McNuggets

Alan: Um the lesser of two evils Big Mac

Jeffery: Trophy or money

Alan: Trophy filled with money no uh

Jeffery: Best answer yet beer or wine

Alan: Wine

Jeffery: Camera or mobile phone

Alan: Mobile

Jeffery: Uh king or Rich

Alan: Sorry king or Rich

Jeffery: Yes uh that’s a deeper question uh well if you know it’s a deeper question king or Rich uh does the king get to set taxes I’ll go with that

Jeffery: Concert or amusement park

Alan: Concert

Jeffery: Fortune cookie or birthday cake

Alan: Birthday cake

Jeffery: Ted talk or book reading

Alan: And is that to watch or to view I’ll um I’ll go that’s an interesting one I’ll go Ted Talk it’s an easier answer
possibly the right answer is book reading but I’ll go TED Talk.

Jeffery: Tic Tock or Instagram

Alan: Uh I’ll go tick tock

Jeffery: Facebook or LinkedIn

Alan: LinkedIn unfortunately

Jeffery: That’s good most famous person that pops in your mind

Alan: You’ve just been talking about King you know we’ve got we got that going on over next door in England uh so jeez King Charles where am I going with that.

Jeffery: Favorite movie and what characters you play in the movie

Alan: Oh yikes I should have prepared for these uh favorite movie oh I’ll tell you what I’ll go super Niche um there’s an Irish film that is possibly getting tipped for foreign language Oscar they’re called unclean Kuhn which translates to the quiet girl and there’s originally a book actually and uh that book that film is incredible uh if if you get it on any kind of release um wherever you’re listening to this from what character sorry is it a character from that film that I have to choose or correct yep yes uh well it’s gonna be a bit of a mute one because no one except outside Ireland is going to have seen it but there’s um the the uncle in law is kind of a acquires kindly type I’ll go I’ll go with that.

Jeffery: Okay you have to send me the link to it okay favorite book

Alan: Uh favorite book um this is gonna be a time first one that comes to mind uh it’s often what I talk about uh it’s the Godfather uh the the Mario puso obviously people often talk about the films um and should but uh the book is is kind of incredible as well um that one will come to mind um there’s probably there’s probably an interesting book actually that to a team I did earlier called factfulness I’m just looking at over there I think it’s by uh Hans rousling who is a Danish GP who died and his daughter is taking on his work and it’s it’s kind of a like my TED talk it’s kind of saying the world has got to improve but you know what we’re already doing okay um and uh we can get better in the zoom chat I’ve just put in the the name of that film by the way oh yes that book was factfulness by Hans right hands Rowling.

Jeffery: I love it I’m gonna copy that as well all right so we’re almost there what’s the first brand that pops in your mind.

Alan: First brand um probably Nike

Jeffery: Okay favorite sports team

Alan: Uh so English Premiership team called Brighton uh I went to college over there so that’s about the the Affinity I have.

Jeffery: I love it I used to ask if uh you were an Arsenal fan or um uh that Liverpool is that it doesn’t even matter Chelsea but no one was an Arsenal fan so I got I had to remove the question so I decided that I’d be the only one being an Arsenal offender but then I did find the Rwanda they’re very heavily into uh Arsenal so
I’m like okay maybe I can move to move there so that I can be around Arsenal fans.

Alan: Yeah

Jeffery: Last two questions what is the meaning

Alan: Go ahead everyone you go ahead

Jeffery: Uh what what is the meaning of success to you

Alan: Um achieving the goals

Jeffery: And last question what is your superpower

Alan: I’m gonna I’m gonna say something like communicating or communicating complexity which by the way usually involves me oversimplifying things and like if you need to build a product you know you just throw some engineers at it uh but I’ll I’ll probably say something like communicating complexity.

Jeffery: I like that I I think from our discussions that we’ve had I would say that you’re also very good at forward Vision so you’re you’re looking forward on what you’re building but you’re least understanding the marketplace or the space and then where that’s going to go so being a Visionary certainly helps when you’re working with early stage companies so tying that in with your superpower I think it’s uh pretty amazing and it’ll work out quite nicely when you’re building out your uh your fun.

Alan: Sure well hopefully so

Jeffery: I love it well Alan I want to say thank you very much for all your time I literally took so many notes the piece
of paper has no more room on it said I’m not even sure I’m not going to be able to read that when I go into uh my last dialogue part but uh fantastic so much great information I want to again take the time to appreciate all of that you’ve shared again thank you for all the stories and um including us uh with uh all of this great insight and the way we like to kind of end our show is we want to give you the last word so anything that you want to share to the founders to investors I turn it over to you but again I want to thank you for all your time and sharing with us today.

Alan: As a thank you for the opportunity it’s uh enjoyable chance even when you were telling me some some uh left-wing curveballs maybe the one thing I’ll say is that in the in our climate world uh climate Tech fund uh related to the climatech fund related to the work that we do with corporates and scale UPS we’re running an accelerator program called accelerategreen.ie and people can come and check that out whether you’re a corporate whether you’re a scaler you can see some of the work that we’ve been doing with an Irish Energy company and our Irish climate Solutions company so accelerate green.ie and from that you’ll find loads of links to us anyway.

Jeffery: Perfect and if anybody wants to reach out via LinkedIn or email.

Alan: Yeah happy hours LinkedIn or career did that

Jeffery: No problem no problem I love it Alan thank you very much again for all your time and uh we look forward to staying in touch in the future.

Alan: Thanks very much JP appreciate it.

Jeffery: Okay that was a great conversation with Alan and um what I loved about kind of all the great insights you shared was that I don’t care about your product what I do care about is your customer defining the problem in your customer traction I thought that was a really good way of kind of sharing that and then one of your customers willing to pay have you gone through and done the testing to make sure that your customers want to pay and then insights joining the dots putting this whole picture together I think that also really defines how this uh startup World works and how you need to operate with inside of it when you’re looking for funding and then of course to round it all out is that Focus I think focus is kind of number one uh when it comes to understanding your business your product and where you’re going with it and to his point it really kind of um drives what that outcome is going to be and focus is built into your insights it’s built into traction it’s it is defining your problem and going forward and helping all those through it we shared some great stories around Founders and how they do need to focus a bit more so I loved it it really came down to it I don’t care about your product it really matters what your customers think how many people have tested your product how many would really be driven into what you’re doing and you’re solving the problem and you’re showing that um taking the big picture breaking it down he used the reference of um an inch or a mile deep and again how you look at that and how you kind of build your company is going to make a real big difference I think in the climate side they’re doing some great things they’re raising some some big dollars and they’re going to make a big difference in Ireland and I think that’s uh really awesome and hopefully uh that will Cascade into other countries as well but overall it was a great discussion and uh super glad that we had that opportunity to chat so thank you for joining us today if you enjoyed this conversation please feel free to share with your friends or subscribe to our YouTube channel follow us on Spotify Apple podcast and or Stitcher feel free to share an audio or video clip around our show and we may include it into one of our future podcasts you can find us at marketing openpeoplenetwork.com your support and comments are truly appreciated you can also check us out at supportersfun.com or for startup events visit openpeoplenetwork.com thank you and have a fantastic day.

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