Business model design

Clean Tech

Government Plays VC in CleanTech

For Open Forum at Inhabitat: “If we can get three home runs, that’s terrific,” announced Steven Chu, the DOE Secretary at a press conference on Monday, October 26 at Google’s campus in Mountain View, CA. Chu was at Google to deliver 37 energy technology projects funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program (ARPA-E), the DOE’s first effort at funding $151 million in experimental energy technology grants, focused on high-risk, high-payoff Read More

Google Wants You to Know Your Own Power

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: If you could know the energy usage of all of the appliances and gadgets in your home, right now, on your handheld device, would you look?  Would you care? Google’s philanthropic arm,, believes that you would care, and that you would change your behavior to lower your household environmental impact. developed a free, Web-based tool that visually shows your personal home power consumption, the Power Read More

When Hard Metrics Inhibit Success

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: OK, so I caught your attention for a moment. In an economic cycle like the one we’re currently experiencing, it’s impossible to make any move or decision that is not tied to hard, cold, clear metrics. Increase sales by X%. Attract Y new customers. But there are times when overemphasizing numeric goals can get in the way of success. Case in point: an enormous pro bono Read More – A Recommerce Company Making Cash from Trash

At Open Forum for Inhabitat: Preparing for a move back to the east coast,’s cofounder Israel Ganot took his collection of used electronics to Staples for recycling. He was surprised to discover that the recycling program asked him to pay approximately $15 for the privilege, even though he knew from his days at eBay that the gadgets could be re-commissioned and even resold for value. was born to not just Read More

The Measure of Money: Social Impact Investing Grows Up

For Open Forum at Inhabitat: Are financial markets a force for social good? 1000+ entrepreneurs, NGO staffers, and financiers attended the second annual Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP09) to answer the question. One year later, the conversation transformed from enthusiastic optimism to a more scrupulous discussion about measurement, metrics, and proof. Interest in environmentally and socially beneficial investment is at an all time high, and so is the need for a common Read More

NYU ITP: The Toxic Shield Snuggle Suit

The Toxic Shield Snuggle Suit By Chelsea Whittaker – Student Presentation in NYU ITP If Products Could Tell Their Stories Toxic Shield Snuggle Suit from Chelsea on Vimeo. Toxic Shield Snuggle Suit from Chelsea Whitaker on Vimeo. Learn more about the Toxic Shield Snuggle Suit here.

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If Products Could Speak – Would They Say “SendMeHome”?

Always looking for Spime ideas that do not rely on a mega infrastructure of sensors and data networks – like this simple concept SendMeHome via TechCrunch. It’s a site that let’s you register an object with a unique code, and they sell little stickers you can place on the object. Oooh, a business model that does not rely on advertising, but on sticker micropayment. The service sees two primary applications for these Read More

Designers Accord NY Town Hall Wrap Up

While it was hard to be a control freak “not_organizing” an “un_conference,” I still had fun at the Designers Accord’s first Town Hall. The Problem of Proprietary One of the big issues raised in a number of talks was how to get over the problem of proprietary. How do we work collaboratively in a field filled with client-owned data, secret strategies, even young start-ups with smart sustainable business ideas who Read More

NYU ITP: If Products Could Speak Class 5 The Role of Business

We’ll talk about the greening of business, and how to build the case for environmentally friendly products and services. Why does greenwashing occur? The company aims to reap benefits of the higher margin consumers will support if they believe a product is “green” – and assume therefore higher quality. However if there is no proven environmental outcome, the company runs the risk of falsifying green claims. There is also a Read More

If Products Could Tweet

For the second year in a row a DIY project wins the Greener Gadgets Competition – this time it’s a crew from Make Magazine who hacked into a Kill-a-Watt in order to give the device a Twitter voice. The Kill-a-Watt power meter will “tweet” the daily kilowatt hours consumed to the user’s Twitter account. Make is releasing this project as an “Open source hardware” project – in other words, any ITP student Read More