For the last 5 years, the solar company Sungevity stood out among Cleantech success stories. Sungevity was a friend of the planet as a registered ‘B’ corp. They sponsored hackathons and hired some really smart people like Peter Graf, the former Chief Sustainability Officer of SAP. Peter Graf was an advisor to Sustainable Silicon Valley, a nonprofit I supported.
Sungevity built customer acquisition software on the Salesforce platform. They used it to sell and manage Solar installations. This was a key differentiator for them. The software was pretty amazing. It’s a shame that Sungevity didn’t evolve into a software company.
I was approached about working at Sungevity. I had a very positive impression of the company, but skipped the opportunity. Sungevity is currently on the ropes. Here is a good write-up for anyone who is a social entrepreneur. Blind idealism in business can be a recipe for disaster.
The game isn’t over. Sungevity can recover with a more focused strategy.