Building the Future We Want to Live In
Tesla Co-Founder Marc Tarpenning joins Spero VC as Venture Partner
When we were forming Spero Ventures, we were sure about one thing: We wanted to invest in mission-driven founders driven to deliver value to shareholders and society. By building successful companies that scale and inspire, these founders upend the balance of power and change how we live and work. To help people understand our thesis, we used examples of companies that did this well: eBay, a marketplace that created new economic opportunity; and Tesla, a company that dramatically changed a legacy industry by offering a drool-worthy product that happened to be good for the planet.
And so it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome the newest member of our investment team: Marc Tarpenning, serial entrepreneur and co-founder and former VP of Engineering of Tesla. Marc joins as Venture Partner and is a wonderful addition to our team of product people who are investing in the things that make life worth living.
When I first met Marc, I immediately enjoyed his company. He was thoughtful, engaged, down-to-earth and funny. And as we got to know each other, I realized how values-aligned we were.
The driving force behind Tesla was to build a sustainable world — not by shrinking the possibilities, but by using technology to expand our choices while also making the world better.
Marc understands that sustainability is essential to our survival, and that new solutions have to be cheaper and significantly better than the easy, unhealthy alternatives. When you reach that point, incumbents don’t have a chance.
Marc thinks deeply about the world he wants to inhabit, and invests in things that will create that future. Does he want perfectly-targeted ads flying at him as he strolls down the street? Does he want dense, urban cities that enable the re-wilding of large swathes of the country? Does he want to enjoy the rare trip on an airplane and be able to compensate for that with carbon offsets? (The answers are no, yes and yes).
We recently sat down together to discuss some of these topics. You can check out our discussion below.
Marc’s idea of a good time is going after giant companies in entrenched industries by providing people with 10x better products and experiences that happen to be sustainable. Specifically, he’s looking to address issues from water, waste and energy, to what we eat and how we raise and grow our food. If you’re building a company that aims to solve problems in these areas, please reach out to Marc at email@example.com