Social Leverage Letter | Issue #12

Company Narratives, Engaging in Optimistic Conspiracy Theories, and Saving the Planet

Pete Weishaupt
November 21, 2021

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BACKCHANNEL | Aaron Zamost

In the tech press, a company’s narrative moves like a clock. It’s not perfect, but this arc closely follows the hero’s journey and other theories of storytelling. Aaron shows you how to deal with it.  He learned to stop worrying and love the clock – it can provide a way to see around corners.


Founder's Field Guide | Mike Maples, Jr.

Great startup teams are engaging in an optimistic conspiracy theory. Startups need to offer the choice of a different future. Once you have that insight on how to create a different future, you need a breakthrough sequence that moves people to that future; not by being incrementally better, but because there’s something radically different. Then you can move into what Mike calls the value hypothesis; how can you uniquely build what people are desperate for? And if you believe people will be desperate for it at scale in the future, you now have an opportunity.


Business Insider | Electronics Recycling

Only about 17 percent of electronic waste ends up being recycled. Sims Lifecycle Services repurposes or recycles nearly 6 million pounds of old electronics every month. The company’s mantra - reuse, repurpose, re-engineer. If it can’t be reused, the last resort is recycling. Electronics, such as laptops, screens, and keyboards that can be reused are checked for functionality and resold; often with a revenue-share, allowing clients to recoup some of their investment. Hard drives are a moneymaker, however, there’s the extra challenge of security. Any stored data needs to be wiped before a drive can be resold. Often hazardous materials inside some electronics like mercury, cadmium, and lead end up in landfills. Sims uses ‘demanufacturing’ process to remove those hazards. But in addition to the hazardous materials, all electronics have precious metals. Some gold, some copper, some platinum, some palladium. These are separated and sold, providing a way to get precious metals without mining and damage to the environment.

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