Summary of Episode
#6: Jamie McCroskery joins Annaka and Ethan to share his experience as the founder and CEO of Bluebird Climate, a public benefit corporation dedicated to improving sustainability by helping businesses identify best practices for reducing carbon emissions and waste. Bluebird Climate then uses its metrics system to quantify sustainable impact allowing both customers and businesses alike to see how products affect the environment. Jamie walks us through the importance of sustainability for businesses, the process of creating brand authority, building a dynamic team based on shared values, and balancing the needs of various stakeholders.
Jamie McCroskery is the founder and CEO of Bluebird Climate, a company striving to improve corporate sustainability efforts while quantifying a product’s environmental impact. Prior to launching Bluebird Climate, Jamie worked as a Product Manager at Glossier and Dropbox. Jamie credits his corporate experience with teaching him how to develop a product and assemble an all-star team.
Podcast Episode Notes
Who is Jamie McCroskery, and why did he start his startup Bluebird Climate? [0:30]
Glass vs Plastic? The best way to be sustainable varies and often depends on a company’s specific needs as well as their own supply chain [3:08]
What is Bluebird Climate, and how do you help businesses improve sustainability? [4:02]
The two most important metrics for sustainability — carbon emissions and circularity (waste) [7:16]
Can already-established brands find ways to improve sustainability with their traditional pipeline and business model? [9:50]
Sway, which aims to create a plastic replacement out of seaweed is an example of a company using Bluebird Climate to tell sustainable stories. [10:00]
Focus on the easy wins — don’t reinvent the wheel [12:32]
Why is storytelling focused on sustainability a successful tool for driving conversion? [14:30]
Customers care about sustainability and want brands to focus on reducing carbon waste [17:59]
What is a public benefit corporation (B corp), and why structure your company this way? [18:40]
What is the Bluebird certification, and how do you cultivate brand authority? [22:55]
How do you balance marketing to various stakeholders like customers, retailers, vendors, and brands? [27:01]
Supply chains can be a convoluted mess [31:30]
How to recruit a team of experts using personal networks [33:50]
Entering a space with passion and motivation is essential for finding a great team [38:20]
Funding decisions should take into account your time and trajectory — investors may take a cut, but this allow you to more quickly determine if you’ll make it [39:28]
How a corporate background helped Jamie better lead his company [43:22]
Creating a client base, simple marketing, and growing your brand [46:00]
Day-to-day challenges are hard. Be sure to create a well-defined mission in order to hire the best team and tackle problems that will appear [51:05]
What does future growth look like for Bluebird Climate [55:40]?
Less can be more when starting out [1:00:05]
Jamie’s advice: Put your idea out there to get feedback, have a vision for your company’s values and goals, and determine what resources you will need to be successful [1:01:07]
Jamie’s Recommended Books:
- “Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
- “The Mom Test” by Rob Fitzpatrick and Robfitz Ltd
- “The Founder’s Dilemmas” by Noam Wasserman
- “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
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Greentech firm Bluebird Climate has developed a software as a service (SaaS) platform for businesses to measure and improve sustainability.