Hey #cleantechers, ever hear about someone and feel at least a little bit awed by what they have accomplished in their lives? Well, we’ve got one of those folks featured in this episode of Scaling Clean.
John Belizaire is CEO of Soluna Computing, which builds modular green data centers running on renewable energy. Though he just turned 50, John has already sold two companies. In his current role, he testified before the U.S. Congress and rang the NASDAQ bell. His speaking and writing attract the interests of new and legacy media, including Cheddar News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Plus, John is also a thoroughly wonderful human being, with an informative perspective on building and running the companies looking to grow our industry.
Our conversation for Scaling Clean was incredibly rich, so much so that our conversation ran double the normal time. When we went to cut the conversation down to our normal 30 minutes, we realized Scaling Clean listeners would benefit more if we just split the conversation into two parts. Here is the first half, in which John describes how active listening and grit are key to successful entrepreneurship.
11:48 — The valuable lessons of being a boss. Leadership is about setting direction for the team, not about titles.
14:23 — The role of mentorship and how to seek out mentors. John found mentors by being proactive, cold-calling potential connections.
18:56 — So, why clean tech? What brought John to renewables? Part of John’s job is shifting people’s perceptions of the world and how energy fits therein. But how has he prioritized innovation through 25 years in the industry? Focus, and making that 1% change everyday. Show people how the industry is changing and convince them that the way you’re doing it is the right way moving forward.
28:19 — People gravitate to the safe choice. Make sure to reject the urge. Reject the conventional wisdom. What role does technology play in innovation? Sometimes it drives change, sometimes it becomes a crutch.
Find out more about Tigercomm’s work at the center of the clean technology industry at www.tigercomm.us.