Sometimes I read something that creates a powerful shift in perspective, like putting on glasses to clear blurry vision. This used to happen a lot more when I was younger and more of the world was new to me, but it’s always something I welcome and try to seek out. So if you want to make me happy — tell me something I don’t know.

You read about a lot of big ideas in business these days, and especially in Silicon Valley. Companies and founders talk a lot about culture, values, and mission. What do these things really mean, and how do they look in action? What makes a company mission-driven as opposed to profit-driven like any other? When the pressure goes up, that’s when you find out what your culture is really made of: Are you guided by values or by expediency in the moment?

On March 1, 2020, Turntide had everything lined up to finally achieve escape velocity. After 10 years of development…

As climate change continues to be a global issue requiring a coordinated worldwide solution, new technologies are empowering more bottoms-up impact at the corporate and local level.

Unfortunately, climate change isn’t everyone’s top priority. Even as we’ve understood more about the severity of climate change, it’s struggled to emerge from the “important but not urgent” category of problems. Most people struggle to comprehend the impact of global warming since many of its effects aren’t directly visible to them, and because they’re not sure how to address it meaningfully. …

The year 2013 will always stand out for me as the time I learned my most painful and important investment lesson.

The world’s fossil fuel driven energy system was something that I thought couldn’t practically be disrupted yet so my effort was spent trying to reform. Before I could put the work into developing technology to change our energy consumption for the better, I’d have to first focus my efforts on fossil fuel.

For more than a century, fossil fuels have provided the world with energy, while taking an enormous toll on our planet from air and water pollution to…

When I was 12 years old, I had a very illuminating conversation with my father about my future career plans. We were discussing my radical drive to learn about and solve the problems of nuclear fusion. Rather than discourage my ambitious goals, he offered some advice.

He said, “Even if you’re the best scientist, you’re not going to make nuclear fusion happen on your own.”

In other words, I’d need to have significant resources lined up if I wanted to make my dream of ending pollution a reality and approach science with the backing of business.

Working backward, I started…

I like to joke that flying cars and the Internet were patented in the 1800s. The ideas were there, but they were far too early to be practical.

Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been a hero of mine since I read his book “Age of Spiritual Machines” when I was 12. He recognized that most R&D projects actually succeed in developing the technology, but then fail commercially, simply because of bad timing. Kurzweil compiled decades of data and found highly predictable exponential patterns in information technology price/performance over time.

Moore’s Law was first coined in 1965 after Intel co-founder…

Early on in life, I recognized I had an addictive personality. No matter how much I engaged in whatever I was into, I could never be satisfied.

When I became interested in something, it could develop into an unhealthy obsession pretty quickly. For example, like many young people, I would get addicted to video games for several weeks at a time. During a particularly dark frigid winter at Cornell during my freshman year, I played The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, a fantasy RPG to rack up all possible ‘skills’ and ‘accomplishments’.

Thankfully, there came a point when I recognized how…

At a young age, I became hyper-aware of pollution.

I grew up in Toronto, which is a relatively clean city. It’s certainly not Beijing or somewhere people walk the streets with medical masks on their faces. But on hot windless days, we had smog warnings like almost any other big city thanks to all the fossil fuel energy powering our civilization.

If I went for a bike ride on those days, I’d feel terrible all through the night. …

For the past century, inefficient and unintelligent systems have been dictating energy consumption within most buildings in the world.

Most rooftop HVAC units, for instance, have generally only operated at one speed — full blast. If the building needs to change the temperature of the air, the motor in the unit can’t be dialed back. Instead, the system simply wastes a percentage of the air it just cooled by pushing it outside.

To understand how inefficient this is, imagine if the only way you could drive your car was by flooring the gas pedal to the max, and then using…

To solve a problem, you have to understand it.

I certainly didn’t pick the easiest challenge when I got into clean energy, but I do have a habit of starting with the hardest problems and working backward (which is a story for another time). My path was set at age 11 when, nerdy kid that I was, I learned about nuclear fusion. Since that day, I’ve been interested in finding solutions for pollution and climate change using non-obvious creative technology angles.

My first foray into the field was when I took an oil industry job in the winter of 2004.

Ryan Morris

Turntide, Meson Capital, Belichka — working to bring sustainable energy and technology to the world to elevate humanity & grow individuals

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