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Katie Fehrenbacher: Silicon Valley Cleantech Becoming "Leaner," "Savvier," "More Sober"

1 min. read

Katie Fehrenbacher "launched GigaOM’s greentech channel in 2007 and closely tracks energy entrepreneurs and investors," so she's definitely got her finger on the pulse of the industry,  particularly in Silicon Valley.  Which is why her take-down of the meme that "Silicon Valley doesn’t seem to be creating anything meaningful anymore" is worth highlighting. Fehrenbacher makes  a few key points.

  • Although undoubtedly there "has been massive investment and attention on social apps in recent months," there's also "a Valley movement to tackle hard world-changing problems: it’s been called cleantech over the past several years, and it’s now emerging with savvier, more sober ideas."
  • Also overlooked in much of the reporting is that, actually, "young people like never before want to work on world-changing, social good projects and innovations." Yes, these young people "realize how hard energy and cleantech is, but they’re still out there, looking to build technologies that have a meaningful impact on big world problems."
  • "Another part of the cleantech story is that hard lessons have been learned and the sector has evolved....they’re using more digital technologies, they’re leaner and they’re not going to plow hundreds of millions of dollars into factories to prove out their technology. In a way, they’re just plain smarter (or the investor that funds them will be)."
  • In the end, Fehrenbacher argues, "all of that is a good thing," as cleantech becomes "more sober," as well as smarter and savvier.