Discover more from michael raspuzzi's updates
michael's update #7
here’s a seasonal update with three things:
startup update: halfway through climate dojo season 1
personal update: running monthly climate events in sf
miscellany: three books from this season.
my goal is to share important updates from the last few months. i like a menu format so if you’re curious for more, then i linked other writings to explore.
1. startup life: halfway through climate dojo season 1
supporting 40 founders across 15 sessions in seven weeks marks half way for season 1. some of the highlight sessions above.
after getting founder feedback in a program review, i’ll be doubling down on what’s working. the main insight is being a founder is such a unique journey, coaching is #1, sessions are #2, and community #3 for support.
one repeat pattern are questions around financing that makes sense: non dilutive grants to get started for first prototype, project financing for next stage pilots, and strategic partners to join vcs in on a round.
alongside program development, i’ve been meeting a new potential co-founder every week and excited to keep exploring. i think i’m starting to get a sense of what will be next in part two.
if you’re curious, a few write ups of learnings from sessions:
open ended questions from founders to climate vcs as the time horizon is long and solving the problem at hand is not always clear with traditional exit strategies
2. personal update: running monthly climate events in sf
my main community focus has been large deep tech public events in sf that move beyond the generative ai hype. this is prior experience at tks inspired and in a collab with studio45, a hardware co-working space in the mission.
it’s been enjoyable to experiment with 100 person professional events that foster authentic connection and share stories across different perspectives.
one highlight was our nuclear x ai event, with brian (head of ai @ llnl nif), clea (director, head of science @ lower carbon capital) and rachel (partner @ DCVC). more in the recap here.
other event’s i’ve run:
battery + biotech mixer, discussing the opportunities in biomining
sf hardware monthly meetup for a community of 9,000+ hardware professionals
robotics in the circular economy s/o to urban machine + glacier
hosting taras, ceo of tarform, demo their electric motorcycle
up next is a climate hardware hackathon, and i’m curious to see what gets built.
3. miscellany: three books from this season
i’ve been refraining from buying books to stay focused, and have supplanted that with visiting dog eared book store on the corner to stand + read.
it’s been fun to treat their shelves as an extension of my own. my top 3 books:
the creative act, a way of being by rubin, discussing the importance of cultivating a rich inner life:
“it’s common to believe that life is a series of external experiences. and that we must live an outwardly extraordinary life in order to have something to share. the experience of our inner world is often completely overlooked… our inner world is every bit as interesting, beautiful, and surprising as nature itself. when we go inside, we are processing what’s going on outside. we’re no longer separate. we’re connected. we’re one.” — rick rubin
stolen focus by hari, when thinking about what historians 100 years from now may say about our current time, i wonder if the biggest waste of human potential this century will be our constant distracted states.
in chapter 1, hari discusses how information overload has been caused by the acceleration of information spread. in 1980s it’s estimated people consumed 40 newspapers worth of information each day, it was about 174 newspapers in 2004, and is sure to be more now.
even though there’s more information and it’s moving faster, we’re stuck with the same biological limits of our brains to parse through what comes at us, ultimately leading to being more easily distractable and a lowered ability to truly focus.
21 lessons for the 21st century by harari, explaining the difference between stories leading to believe in what’s said v. observe what is true:
“most stories are held together by the weight of their roof rather than by the strength of their foundations.” —yuval harari
^ he uses this in chapter 20 “meaning: life is not a story” in reference to how people relate to fictional stories about their own life, like constructing personal identities on social media feeds or inheriting beliefs from sky god institutions.
rituals and objects with embedded meaning become something to take at face value from their representation rather than from observation, reasoning, and questioning. in the next chapter, he questions where the root cause of suffering arises in the individual from a buddhist lens, using meditation as one tool to observe inner and outer states.
i’m looking forward to what spring has to offer with ending climate dojo strong, dropping in vancouver for a weekend tksummit, and more community events.
🌊 forward onwards,
ps. and if you made it this far, you know what’s up: the secret menu item for what i’ve enjoyed cooking. this season my inspiration came from komaaj for northern iranian food, like the mint drink and walnut pomegranate stew and this cookbook in dog eared.
here’s a simple recipe for tahini citrus kebabs. to make them vegan, i used tempeh instead of chicken. enjoy!