The start of a new year. January is a good time for introspection and coming up with a plan for the coming year. In our case, it was a good month to look at strategy and what we have learned so far, especially since several of the pilot customer meetings we were hoping for in January didn’t happen. And I came to realize that the business plan and financial model that got us going on this venture are already outdated. On the good side, I don’t think we need as much initial capital to reach some pilot customers if our supply partners come through. On the bad side, I think our initial pricing model is oversimplified and probably won’t work for either early sales or the mature model. Frankly, we don’t know what our customers will pay and we don’t know how efficient our supply chain can become. We need data. I am reminded of the wisdom of lean startup methodologies and being flexible with early assumptions.
We also did our first B Impact Assessment through B Labs as our first step toward meeting our benefit corporation reporting and pursuing B Corp certification. It’s unverified, but we scored really well for a company with no employees and no sales. It certainly helps that we have baked our purpose into our formation and developing our supply chain.
The big win for the month was getting to present about Good People, benefit corporations, and impact investing to the staff at The Foundation. We certainly hope that it may encourage them to make their first investment in a local benefit corp with us. But regardless, it felt good to share what we are attempting and how business can truly be aligned with doing good in your community. It was fun to go in and not worry about pitching our venture, but focus on supporting the whole movement toward local investment in purposeful ventures.
Good People Month 5
Presented Good People, benefit corporations, and impact investing to The Foundation
Followed-up with three area colleges about pilot installs with student involvement
Continued working with the Herkimer Industries team
Continued working with electrical suppliers on quoting the PCB
Wrote a blog about our values (though I didn’t actually post it until February)
Completed our initial B Impact assessment through B Labs and scored over 80
Good People By the Numbers
We installed no units and saved no energy
We made it easy for 0 new leads, new customers, or new partners to save energy
Our team held steady at 2, but we would really like to find an engineer
We ate at local restaurants, but that’s it for local sourcing
We didn’t really donate anything to the community other than time
We brought in $0 revenue and $0 investment (other than a founder’s loan for costs)
We spent another $65 or so
In February, we are going to be getting started with the Refinery program at thINCubator, which I hope will stimulate some real movement on funding, supply chain, and customers.