May 6, 2022

The future is here! You can watch TV on your wristwatch, electric vehicles roam the streets, and drones own the skies. What powers all our 21st-century toys? That would be lithium, or more specifically lithium batteries.🔋


Lithium has been immensely helpful in getting our society where it is today but it comes with some serious drawbacks. Mining the material is hugely inefficient with nearly 50k gallons of water needed to create one ton, and as global demand is about to explode due to the EV boom you can imagine that the market will be squeezed dry.

That’s where sodium-based batteries come in. Not the sodium my doctor told me to cut back on.

Overall our planet has an abundance of sodium metals and the general efficiency of these batteries makes them cost a third cheaper than their lithium-based brethren. The major drawback however is that they are less dense making a sodium battery larger and heavier which has been the tech’s biggest hurdle in achieving widespread adoption.

One of the strengths of a startup is its ability to see a gap in the market or an issue that needs solving and approach it from the standpoint of innovation. Sure, these batteries may be clunky in the current day but we’re already seeing startups revolutionize materials and find creative applications of the technology to meet the problem where it lies.

This principle isn’t bound solely to the world of power storage however and can be applied across any number of sectors facing major shifts in the future. Would we have the EV boom if Tesla’s founders didn’t anticipate the future need for their innovations? As you prepare for your next startup investment it may be worthwhile to ask yourself: Does this company address the problems of today or tomorrow?


If you were around the Boardroom back in March of 2020 you met Taylor Blom one of the co-founders of Next Door Photos.  NDP is a real estate photography company with franchise locations all across the country.  A significant number of Boardroom members invested in NDP at that time.


I recently caught up with Taylor to get some updates and insights one what’s happening in their world.  Here are some of the highlights: 

  • They now have 70 locations currently launching or launched.  Note: They had 20 when they entered the Boardroom over two years ago.
  • They formed exciting partnerships with Zillow and Opendoor.  Also, Opendoor is loving their service so much that they are pushing them to open in Las Vegas, Milwaukee & Birmingham.  Sidenote: If you know of anyone in those markets that would want to partner with them- they have a $3k finders fee if your recommendation joins the team.
  • They will be dropping an official update on WeFunder in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled there. 

Taylor also shared a fun graph to highlight the wins and loses of 2021 for NDP:

As we’ve shared throughout the years- as an investor in early-stage companies- it’s first off risky, but it’s also a patience game.  There will be ups and downs along the way. 

But it’s always so great to see founders like Taylor pulling back the curtains to share the twists and turns of the entrepreneurial ride. 

+ Hello Fellow Kids – Fidelity is entering the Metaverse in a bid for young investors. (link)

+ I For One Welcome Our Robot Overlords – Amazon is investing $1B in logistics and robotics (link)

+ All Will be Elon – Musk forms “X Holdings” as possible parents for Tesla and SpaceX (link)

Chris Graebe

Leave your comment

Skip to content