Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


Sustainable entrepreneurship

“You better tell me you’re gonna work day and night on this.” “People are only motivated by two things: fear and greed.” “If you make this mistake I’m gonna slap you.”

Who might you think would say things like this. An abusive parent? A toxic sales manager?

What if I told you it was a “pitch coach” for green technology entrepreneurs?

After sitting through a two-hour jam-packed webinar where the coach literally had to struggle to catch their breath multiple times, my only takeaway is that there has got to be a better way to support entrepreneurs who are trying to create a more sustainable planet.

On the one hand, the presenter’s words said that pitches needed to be clear and concise to reduce the cognitive load on the listener. On the other hand, they were talking a million miles and hour to try to cram as much content as possible into the two hours.

At one point in the presentation, they bemoaned the lack of female venture capitalists, yet later they used a slide of a woman working under the hood of a car to illustrate the question, “Do you know what you’re doing?”

And by the end it was clear that this was a tactic to overwhelm all of us so we would feel that we need to take their course in order to learn all of this — yet all this two-hour pitch convinced me of was that I never wanted to be anywhere near this person ever again.

There has got to be another way.

If we are going to innovate green technology to turn around the damage we’re doing to our planet, we’re not going to succeed by doing it from the same take-make-waste mindset that got us here.

How is it sustainable to extract time, talent, and energy from people in order to maximize profit — even if that profit is going to support green technology?

How can we separate the well-being of the planet from the well-being of the people who are living and working on the planet — including entrepreneurs?

One piece of advice really stuck with me from the webinar: “If you want balance in your life, don’t become an entrepreneur.” Which leaves me with the question: “Are we really so uncreative that we can’t come up with another way?”

12 August 2022

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