This letter is long overdue. I wanted to tell you about what's happening lately. This is Ty – one of the co-founders at Shift Sight.
Shift Sight undoubtedly looks a little different than it did a month ago. Missing are the pages describing the company, Jade, and materials under development. Information of interest to investors has also been pulled.
I spent a significant amount of time in 2018 talking to impact investors. These are the folks that could potentially fund Shift Sight, a triple-bottom-line (people, planet, profit) startup and allow us to build a full Jade prototype, carried all the way to production-ready.
These investors graciously spent time with me ...
- and told me that Jade should be an app because experiences are overrated. (This is the root of e-waste?)
- but only invest in large, publicly traded companies. (Huh? CSR is not ESG.)
- and wanted Jade to be redesigned with minimal cost to get millions of them into schools. (Minimal cost is disposable and not repairable.)
- while enthusiastically defining their ties with a supply chain full of rights abuses for cheap manufacturing. (No?)
- but would like to invest once we have a prototype built and sales started. (Catch-22. Jade is akin to a medical device: it needs significant R&D before the benefits can be demonstrated.)
Perhaps the impact investors needed social proof – a warm introduction to skew their judgement and damage their objectivity. Or maybe their expectations were in the way; Jade is a radical departure. It takes time to savor Jade and Shift Sight before they can be appreciated fully. Regardless, it was disheartening to see that the publicly-described impact was usually a veneer.