[Extract] "You need everything: Market, Technology, Founder and Team!" - Paul Gagliardo - The Water Entrepreneur
Paul Gagliardo is a judge and advisor at Imagine H2O, and the Principal of a consultancy dedicated to developing water start-ups, Gagliacqua. If you're into podcasts, and I hope you are as you're listening to this, Paul also runs the Water Entrepreneur, an incredibly good water podcast that is one of my personal favorites and which also turns out to be a family business as Paul will elaborate on later on in the conversation.
The path to success for a Water Start-Up is often everything but a straight line. It takes time, patience, effort, grit, passion, and a lot more to take a water company from zero to one, one to ten, ten to one thousand, and one thousand to one million.
And we've covered some of the emblematic examples of that long road on that microphone, for instance, with Andrew Benedek, who told us how he maybe took Zenon from the lonely prophet in the middle of the desert to the leader of the MBR revolution, but in no less than two decades.
Now, what Paul brings into the discussion today, as you already heard in the extracts, is that the Water Sector is evolving. It doesn't get easier, but it goes at a faster pace. And interestingly, the turning point that started that acceleration coincides with the inception of Imagine H2O - a story we've covered with Scott Bryan on that microphone, and in which Paul is an important actor.
This new age of breaking things fast and striving for swifter impact materializes in many shapes. For instance, the financial results recently published by the new cool kids on the block in the Water Industry show that the money-burning path to scale, once reserved for the Uber, Twitter, or WeWork of this World, now also applies to the Water Sector. To take only one example.
With a faster pace also comes greater uncertainty and increased importance in making the right decision at the right time. This is where profiles like Paul's are an incredible resource: having been on all ends of the Water Spectrum, they've gathered experience that can prove invaluable to the C-suite and founders of these scale-ups. To that extent, you'll see that today's conversation doubles down and enhances on concepts we've heard from Wayne Byrne, Graeme Pearce, Reinhard Hübner, or Piers Clark.
In conclusion to this lengthy introduction, I can tell you that I enjoyed spending that hour with Paul, that I hope you will as well, and that if that's the case, I'd strongly encourage you to take this podcast and share it with a friend, a colleague, a start-up founder or an investor! So please do it, and I'll meet you on the other side.