2020 in review... 2021 in focus.
Appreciate what you have and try new things.
2020 was a real test of everyone’s humility & perseverance. I wanted to share an update with you all on Lightfoot in 2020 and what I am looking forward to in 2021.
First, some background. The project started in late-2019 as a way for me to learn more about how i could offset my own carbon emissions. I came from the perspective of knowing very little about climate science, though I had some understanding of the economic problems that underlie the issue. I was chatting with a friend and the following question piqued my interest: what percentage of your income would you need to spend to go carbon neutral? Thus, the project was born.
It was an interesting question for me because it seemed fairly obvious and straightforward, however I came to realize after some initial research that the implementation makes it very costly. Nonetheless, I kept doing research and my thought process evolved. Eventually I came to the following principles, which serve as Lightfoot’s foundational truths:
Consumer’s have little to no options for going fully-carbon neutral, primarily due to lack of data and integration.
Generally, most people want to do something positive for the climate, but only if it is simple, practical, scalable, and optional.
We don’t have many compelling and positive narratives about climate solutions.
It’s the little things that compound over time which eventually become the big things.
It took me a while to figure these things out. I did a lot of research, talked to many people, and asked for a lot of feedback.
I had just started coding up the Lightfoot webapp when Covid-19 hit and at I first thought was that this would materially push out the timeline for climate solutions we were so desperately awaiting. I decided to persevere thorough the hard times and continue building and refining the vision. Perhaps a few months later, to my surprise, there was a lot more ‘buzz’ about climate issues circulating in the news. You may recall the reports of sea life returning to the Canals of Venice or before/after photos of industrial cities being shut down showing a drastic reduction in smog. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, people continued to demand climate solutions. Lucky for me, i kept building.
It took me much longer than I had initially anticipated to build Lightfoot. I taught myself to code, reviewed the academic literature on climate science & economic models, and worked on some social media content. I am happy to say that we are weeks away from our official product launch.
For 2021, I am excited to be launching and exploring a new chapter in the project. I am looking forward to getting the product out there for people to use so they may move one step close to achieving their goal of climate neutrality. The plan is as follows:
Launch the product (late-January)
Build a community via social media (Instagram, Tiktok, and LinkedIn)
Get feedback from community members
Incorporate feedback into product enhancements and new products
I plan to keep you updated through these social media channels as well as through this email newsletter. I try to be as transparent as possible about the product & upcoming milestones, to include you all in the journey as much as I can.
I am excited for what is to come and am hopeful that we can see it through to the end.
Speak to you next week.
P.S. On a more personal note, I wrote in the subtitle of the article: “Appreciate what you have and try new things.” I have personally found this to be true in 2020. Aside from the pandemic, I faced many challenges that made me realize how lucky I am to be capable of doing this kind of work. Not everyone is in such a fortunate position, many across the globe are routinely faced with more dire circumstances. It is this thought that pushes me to bring something valuable to the world, via Lightfoot. Despite all the bad things that happened in 2020, I am grateful for what I have, make the best of the situation, and keep an open mind to new opportunities. 2021 is about change for the better, so we hope: we expect it to be better than 2020, given how bad 2020 has been. I have taken the attitude of embracing the change with an open and welcoming mind. As they say in meditation: the only constant is change.