(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - Just about every start up has to face the dreaded “Valley of Death,” the time that comes after they have demonstrated their idea and before they are producing it at significant scale and generating revenue. Generally speaking, money has been borrowed, payments are due on rent, employee salaries, commercial licenses and various other expenses. If the borrowed money runs out before significant revenue starts coming in, then it’s usually game over.
Furthermore, when the product you are hoping to replace, is not only mature, with a massive infrastructure and active investment that has, despite soaring demand, brought prices down to levels not seen in years—that makes it even harder. Add to that the fact that your technology is taking quite a bit longer to reach scale than was originally expected, and you find yourself in the position of advanced biofuel producers.
By conventional logic those companies should be out of business by now, but a number of them, while perhaps not exactly thriving, are hanging in there, thanks to some nimble maneuvering, a versatile product platform, and what you might call “out of the barrel” thinking.