Making Sustainability Accessible with Stuart Lombard of ecobee

November 9, 2023

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A born innovator, ecobee founder Stuart Lombard’s destiny was set by the age of 12 when he began building a foldable canoe that could be carried around in a briefcase. After leading two successful technology companies to acquisition and after eight years as a partner at a venture capital firm, Stuart found himself on a mission to reduce his own environmental footprint. He co-founded ecobee in 2007 with the mission to improve everyday life while creating a more sustainable world.

John Shegerian: Do you have a suggestion for a Rockstar Impact Podcast guest? Go to and just click Be a Guest to recommend someone today. This edition of The Impact Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit This episode of the Impact Podcast is brought to you by Closed Loop Partners. Closed Loop Partners is a leading circular economy investor in the United States with an extensive network of Fortune 500 corporate investors, family offices, institutional investors, industry experts, and impact partners. Closed Loop’s platform spans the arc of capital from venture capital to private equity, bridging gaps and fostering synergies. To scale the circular economy to find Closed Loop partners, please go to

John: Welcome to another edition of The Impact Podcast. I’m John Shegerian, and I’m so excited and honored to have with us today. Stuart Lombard. He’s the founder and CEO of ecobee. Welcome to the Impact Podcast, Stewart.

Stuart Lombard: Thanks for having me, John.

John: Oh, it’s an absolute honor. And Stuart, before we get talking about what all the great work and impactful work that you and your colleagues are doing it, ecobee, can you, please share a little bit about your background, where you grew up, how you became inspired to become a lifelong entrepreneur, and how you even got on this journey, to begin with?

Stuart: Sure. How long do you have? I’m just kidding. Maybe let’s start with my dad. My dad grew up in a very small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And that, I think, did two things for him. One was a love of outdoors, and so we used to spend a lot of time in the wilderness fishing specifically. But the second thing was one really around self-sufficiency. And so he was a person who thought you could build anything yourself. And he tried many things. And one of the things that we did build together when I was a kid was a collapsible canoe. And he had this idea that you should be able to take a canoe anywhere in the world and put it in a suitcase and travel the world. And so we built a collapsible canoe that fit into a suitcase that actually floated. And that was part of this idea that anything is possible that you put your mind to but also a love for the environment. I think the other thing was my dad worked for a multinational, so we moved every couple of years when I was a kid. And that gave me some great experiences, gave me the opportunity to live all over the world. We lived in Brazil, which was one of the best experiences of my life. And it kind of taught me as well quite a bit about being resilient and being self-sufficient and forced me to probably, do a few things that were uncomfortable. Which I think gave me the confidence to go out there and do things that maybe I might not have otherwise done if I hadn’t just spent all my time living in Toronto as an example.

John: I think that’s a great point. First of all, how old were you when you and your dad did the canoe?

Stuart: So, it was right around the time that I was 12. And we built a whole bunch of other things. At the time, I did not appreciate it because one of the things my dad did was we went on this trip, and he is like, we’re going to build our own tent. And I’m like, you know what? My friends are out playing football or baseball, and I don’t want to be in the basement building a tent with you. Can’t we just go to Sears and buy one? They’re like $39. What are we doing, right?

John: Right.

Stuart: But we built our own tent, our own canoe, and a whole bunch of other stuff that we probably didn’t need.

John: Right. But almost a metaphor for you becoming a serial entrepreneur who built businesses and was involved with building, you became a builder. And there’s a reason these, even though it’s always fascinating to talk to uber-successful entrepreneurs like you because there’s reasons why things happen, it’s just not an accident. And also the whole value that you just pointed out that not a lot of people give credit to, nor a lot of people get the opportunity to do, is the opportunity to travel as a young person because that almost sets you up not only for resilience, which as you and I know is one of the trademarks of any great entrepreneur but also, like you said, creates in you you’re no longer just a citizen of one place. You become a global citizen, which then shows you that there’s really no bounds on what you want to do or where you want to go. The world is a big place, and it’s actually a big place that’s actually gotten very small in our lifetimes, where you can go do a lot in one lifetime, and it’s a great opportunity to have the chance to grow up in different areas and start exercising some of those muscles early on.

Stuart: Yeah, absolutely. [crosstalk]

John: How did the kind of that work?

Stuart: How I’m learning that we are more alike than we are different.

John: That’s true.

Stuart: I think another big part. Right?

John: That’s true. That’s really true. One of my favorite shows, ever, of all time was Anthony Bourdain’s show. And that’s what I think that showed us that we are so much more alike than we’re different, even though we live in different geopolitical areas, but the things that make us different, also things that we could get to celebrate together, such as the street food in Vietnam versus the street food in New York City, et cetera, et cetera. There’s so much to enjoy about other people’s cultures, and you know, unfortunately, he’s gone now, but I get to live that through great people like you because I think parents out there can learn a great lesson from that. That it’s not just about formal education that we could honor our children with, but taking them and doing things with them and giving them great experiences is also part of the journey.

Stuart: Absolutely.

John: Yeah. Talk a little bit about post-growing up. Where did you start? Where did you go to school? Where’d you go to formal university, and then what happened after that?

Stuart: Yeah, it’s interesting. I went to a university called Queens University. I studied engineering and applied mathematics. I had no plans to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I think if you had have asked my classmates, what’s going to become of Stuart? They would’ve said most likely to work in a car wash. I think I didn’t have a direction or a purpose. And I remember my first job interview; the gentleman on the other side of the desk asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I was like a deer in the headlights. I was like, I don’t know. Right? And that’s the wrong answer. So, for anyone out there who’s interviewed for a job, make something up.

John: Right.

Stuart: I didn’t get that job. But I really fell into entrepreneurship by accident. I was working at a very interesting company that built flight simulators, and I had a horrible boss. And I tell people it was one of the best things that ever happened to me because my boss was so horrendous that one day I got fed up, and I literally had a stack of papers, and I threw them in the air, and I said, fuck you, I quit and pardon me for swearing I’m not supposed to.

John: Well, I love it. Well, that’s good.

Stuart: But, that’s [inaudible]

John: Stuart, that’s the real story. That’s the story. I love it.

Stuart: And I remember everything I own fit into eight boxes, and it was one of the best days of my life. Because I could go anywhere and I could do anything. And I was walking out the door, and a colleague of mine said, “Hey, you should really check out this internet thing.” And this was 1994 when it was still dial-up and all that kind of stuff. And that’s what I did. I did some research, and I decided to start a company that was an internet service provider and built one of Canada’s first internet service providers into Canada’s largest internet service provider. But it was that chance encounter that set me on this path. And it’s been really exciting ever since.

John: And when before we started the story, you and I traded a little bit of where we both are today, et cetera. You’re still in Canada. You’re in Toronto right now. Toronto, just from the app, from an outsider’s perspective, isn’t known like Silicon Valley isn’t known like Silicon Alley or other places in the United States. Talk a little bit about Canada as a place to be an entrepreneur.

Stuart: Yeah. Toronto is a great place to be an entrepreneur. It’s actually the fourth-largest city in North America. So it’s actually larger than Chicago, for example.

John: Oh.

Stuart: Which is surprising. And it’s super vibrant. It’s very multicultural. It has a lot of universities in and around the city of Toronto. And then the government has quite a few really great programs for supporting entrepreneurs and specifically doing R and D and so, easy access to the United States and the rest of the world. And then I think, as we were talking about before, information spread so quickly now. When I started, there were really no venture capitalists in 1994, and there were in Silicon Valley, but outside of Silicon Valley, you were out of luck. And the odds that somebody would write me a check was like zero. Right? And especially being a young first-time entrepreneur, like, not a chance.

Right. But now you look at the quality of entrepreneurs and just the speed of the dissemination of information. I think the playing field has really been leveled. And I tell people that this is a golden age when you read. I think a lot of the stuff, like on social media or in the more mainstream media, often we think of this time as being a difficult time, but I think this will be a renaissance period when people look back on it 500 years from now. And this idea that you could be a 21-year-old and walk into a venture capitalist office and walk out with a check for a hundred million dollars, I’m old enough that that’s still…

John: I know.

Stuart: I’m like, wow, really?

John: Wow.

Stuart: What a great world we live in. This is incredible.t

John: It is. And so in 2007 or so, or maybe a little bit before you launched ecobee, where did you see that white space? Where did you see the voids in the marketplace? And how did you dream this dream up? Because it always starts with a vision from the entrepreneur’s perspective.

Stuart: Yeah, it all actually started with my wife, which is like where most good things in my life come from. I had been a partner in a venture capital firm, and I woke up one day and decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do the rest of my life. And I quit my job, and I went home, and I said, I’m going to reduce my environmental impact. And so I went out, and I spent $26,000 on solar panels, and I was on my way to buy a Toyota Prius, and my wife Andrea’s like, “Whoa, honey, like this going green thing is going to break us. And by the way, you’re unemployed.”

Right? And so that sort of kicked off. Well, what’s a practical thing that I can do that’s not going to cost a lot of money? And actually, the insight we had was that heating and cooling is 40 to 60% of your home’s energy use. So, actually better managing your heating and cooling is the least expensive best thing that you can do. And so I went out and bought a programmable thermostat and I installed it in my home. And we had three kids under the age of five at the time. And we came home one day, and the house was about 45 degrees. And Andrea, my wife, was like, “Okay, honey, one of you has to go.

It’s either the thermostat or you.” Right? And that really kind of kicked off this idea of if we could use math and science if we could take this device that’s basically dumb as a doorknob, it’s impossible to use, connect it to the internet, use things like weather and energy pricing. How much better could we do? Connect it to the internet, make it easy to use all those things, right? And the answer’s a lot. We estimate our customers have saved about 28 terawatt hours of power, so enough to take the homes in Los Angeles and Chicago off the grid for a year. So it’s a massive, massive impact. But it all came from like a simple insight, which was how do I reduce my environmental impact in a practical, easy way.

John: And a little dose of reality from your wife that honey, let’s not break the bank right now, which is always great. So you start this business, and with founder, with any co-founders, or was just you and some developers, or how many people were literally in the room the first couple months of of ecobee?

Stuart: So there were four of us who started. And at the beginning, I paid everyone out of my own bank account, which sharpens your focus quite a bit, I think, and I think everyone should do that at least once in their life.

John: I agree.

Stuart: Because it gives you an appreciation for what it takes to keep the lights on. Anyway, we started literally four of us. And it was interesting because at the beginning everyone said you’re crazy. Like no one cares about thermostats, and by the way, what are you going to do six months from now? And the implication was that thermostats were already as good as they were ever going to be, and there was nothing that you could do. And so, in 2009, we shipped the first smart thermostat and really invented the category. And so that was really, really exciting.

And but it was hard to raise venture capital. I remember I think we got rejected for venture capital, something like 172 times. And people at the beginning were like, “You’re crazy. Nobody would ever spend $249 on a thermostat. Maybe come back when it’s $50.” And then in 2011, I think Nest came out, and then it was like, of course, everybody wants a $249 thermostat. But they’ve already won, and the battle is over, and so fail fast, go home, and do something else. Right? And, then, they looked at me with pity, which was worse than when they looked at me when I was crazy. But we persevered, and we’re still here today, and we’ve been able to achieve, I think, some really great things, and really kudos to the team for getting us here.

John: Well, first of all, Stewart, you’re a very humble guy. And for our listeners and viewers who just joined us, we’ve got Stuart Lombardi, the founder and CEO of ecobee. To find Stuart and his colleagues and all the important work they’re doing in ecobee, please go to, It’s pretty amazing and wonderful and exciting in light of your humble personality to realize you beat Google and all the big boys to the punch on something like Nest. Of course, Nest is owned by Google now, and it was invented by some other folks, but still, to be first mover in the marketplace and create a market where it didn’t exist before that’s some kind of daunting challenge.

Stuart: Yeah, it’s been super exciting. I mean, I think not that I want to give Tony Fidel too much credit; although he is obviously an incredible entrepreneur, having a worthy competitor made us better, right?

John: That’s right.

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Stuart: And then there was a moment in 2011 when Nest came out, and we thought we were good, we worked hard, we thought we were good, and then Nest came out, and it was like, oh my God, right? Like, this is the bar, right? And we were not at that bar, right? And there was a moment of, I would say, panic in the team because it was it was an existential crisis, right? And credit to the team. We retooled and really thought about what does it take to be competitive. And what does it take to really win? And what is good? And I think it really set our expectations of what is possible and what good is. And I think the number one thing we learned through that was just set such a high bar.

To tell people, at the beginning, we thought we were champions of Major League baseball, but really, we were playing in some house League, Peewee League, right? And then Nest came out, and it was like Jesus! We’re not in major league baseball, so we have to retooling up. It can get better and credit the team. I think we did that. And that really pushed things forward and really was a step change in the trajectory of the company. And so really interesting. Sometimes, bad things create great outcomes.

John: Yeah. And Jim Collins had a right; really, the curse of the entrepreneur is thinking that they’re better than they really are. They think they’re good or good enough, but as he taught us all in one of those landmark books that he wrote, good to Great, good is the greatest enemy of great. And failing to always want to make yourself better becomes a little bit of an entrepreneur’s curse once they think they’re in the lead and no one’s going to ever catch them. There, as you and I both know, because you’ve been on both sides.

I haven’t been on both sides of the rails. I’ve stayed on the entrepreneurship side, but you’ve been on the check-writing side and the serial entrepreneur side. There’s a lot of smart people out there, and there’s a lot of money out there chasing good opportunities and good operators and good entrepreneurs. So it’s just a great lesson. It’s just a great lesson to learn early on in the journey.

Stuart: Well, I think that’s also what creates engagement too, right? Is this idea that you’re constantly getting better? And I think, we’re in thermostats, and so if you can get excited about thermostats and get excited about anything, and today we’re talking about machine learning and AI and voice technologies and sensor fusion and, you know, all kinds of like really interesting technologies that I don’t know, we would’ve never thought of before. And so it’s been one of the really exciting things. It’s been a continuous learning journey, which is super exciting.

John: So, last year, Time Magazine named ecobee Smart Thermostat as one of the best inventions put them on their best invention list. We’re in the journey, Stuart, because you’ve done this now before ecobee, and you’ve been on the venture capital side, where in the journey of ecobee did you realize, hmm, we’re onto something not only special, impactful, but we’re going to succeed, and this is going to work?

Stuart: Yeah, I think I don’t know. There’s that only the paranoid survive. I feel like maybe not always an existential crisis, but we’re, we’re running fast, we’re running hard. And to the point you made, I think you need to keep evolving, and the market is pushing us forward. I’m also very excited. One of the things I really enjoy about ecobee is that we’re very optimistic. So, I think we see an energy future where we move from energy that is expensive, it’s dirty, and it’s scarce to a future where energy is plentiful, it’s cheap, and it’s clean.

And if you think about that future, that’s a really exciting future. And a lot of what we’re doing right now is really around thinking about not only how we help people conserve energy but how we help them produce energy on their rooftops. How we help them store energy and when they use energy. So, if you look at what’s happening right now in energy, the cost of renewables is dropping precipitously. So you can buy solar 2 cents a kilowatt hour, 20-year power purchase agreement cheapest energy out there. One of the things that people don’t realize is the reason coal and gas, to a certain extent it’s going away is not because of regulations. It’s just because of economics. It’s just cheaper to use renewables.

The challenge with renewables, of course, is that it’s variable. And so you can think of these intelligent devices that understand what’s happening on the grid, understand what’s happening on your rooftop, and change the way they use energy to take advantage of that. So last year in California, they curtailed enough clean green power to power 400,000 homes for a year. So that’s power. That’s a hundred percent free, $0, no carbon. So if you’re a smart thermostat and you know that that power is available, you can say, I’m going to run your air conditioner a little bit more, right? And it costs you zero because the power is free. Otherwise, they would just turn it off, and the electrons would go nowhere.

John: Right.

Stuart: And so there are these really exciting arbitrage opportunities, which will allow us to produce more renewable energy, allow more renewable energy on the grid, but also reduce costs for consumers. And that future of cleaner, cheaper energy, I think, is super exciting. And to be at the forefront of a trillion-dollar industry that’s being completely disrupted right now is super, super exciting.

John: It’s being totally disrupted right now, but to your credit and your long vision in 2007, inconvenient truth had just come out. It was right before the economic collapse. Things were different then. There was, really, sustainability wasn’t a big thing in North America like it is today. Renewable energy wasn’t the big thing that it is today. The shift from the linear to circular economy wasn’t underway yet in North America, nor was this concept of planet-positive behavior, ESG, and other terminologies that have all now become part of our vernacular. So how tough was the role back then, and where does sustainability and renewable energy now? How does ecobee really play a very important role in all of us being more sustainable and more renewable in our behavior and our patterns?

Stuart: So, maybe we’ll talk about it in the form of two vectors.

John: Okay.

Stuart: So maybe starting with energy. I think when you think about energy and what we’re doing, we really have two core sets of products. The first are thermostats, which we’re best known for, and then the second part are smart security products. And some people are like, “Hey, Stuart, why are you doing smart security? What does that have to do with energy? It makes no sense to me.”

John: Right.

Stuart: But the reality is, if you think about the way people think about energy, they don’t want to manage their energy. So, the insight that’s driving our product development is not people want control over their devices. They want control over their lives. Because their lives are so busy today. You wake up in the morning if you have kids, you got to get them dressed, you got to get them to school. You got a demanding job, you fight traffic, you got to get your kids to soccer or piano or whatever it is. And then you go, and you do it all over again, right? And so you don’t want to spend time managing energy. If we understand what’s happening on the grid, we understand what’s happening in your home. We can automate energy decisions for you.

So, just if we know three simple things, are you home and awake? Are you home and asleep, or are you away? That enables us to automate energy for you, and security helps us do that. That gives us the insight of what’s happening in your home so we can make smart energy decisions for you. With the Generac acquisition it really enabled us to accelerate our product roadmap by three to five years because now we’re in solar and storage, right? And so when you think about what’s happening with solar and storage, being aware, understanding how much battery I have, how much solar on my roof is being produced, and then whether it’s my thermostat or my water heater, my pool pump, all of those things don’t have to run right this minute.

They’re not like lighting where I walk into a dark room, and I need the lights to come on. You can actually think of your home as a battery, like your air conditioner as a battery, and I can change the temperature in your house from, let’s say, 74 to 72 degrees, and you’re not going to notice. And so I can do that when energy is really cheap, which helps you save money. And then I let you coast when energy is expensive, and again, you’re saving money. You’re not using energy when it’s dirtiest and most expensive. And so that’s really that future. On the sustainability side, there’s a great book called Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by a guy named Ray Anderson. And his point was really that sustainability makes you a better business.

And we were talking to some of the leaders from Patagonia last week, and they really talked about the same concept, which is regardless of what business you’re in, sustainability is about reducing waste. And so it’s really making you more cost-effective, more competitive. And so when we think about sustainability, it’s just made us a better business. And we think about it really in three ways. So the first is how we build our products. So that’s stuff like sustainable business practices, are we treating employees well, and employees in our supply chain are they being paid well, treated well? Those types of things. What are the things we’re using in our products? So, what kind of plastics, what kind of materials, what kind of batteries are they recyclable?

We really manufacture our thermostats to be end of life, easily recyclable. We build them to last. So, like the number one thing, I think you’re someone you had someone on from Patagonia, they were talking about built to last is the best way to make your products sustainable, which high quality, again, does very well with consumers. So that’s sort of the first part. The second part is really how we help our customers save money, and we invest a ton into energy-saving algorithms. We talked about our customers saving over 28 terawatt hours of power.

They also participate in grid emergencies. Like right now, you hear a lot of talk about brownouts and blackouts and that kind of stuff. Just this summer in California, over 82,000 of our customers save the California grid over a hundred megawatts during peak periods. So, preventing brownouts and all that kind of stuff, which is really important. And then the last part is really around how we help others join the cause. And we have this thing called donate your data, where our customers can donate their data to science. So, we take their data, we anonymize it, and we share it with researchers.

And those researchers are doing amazing things. Like everything from like, what’s the impact of like the heat dome on health outcomes? How do we make our homes more energy efficient? There was a group in Indiana that proved they didn’t need to build a gas-fired power plant, which saved the ratepayers of Indiana over a billion dollars, plus all the greenhouse gas emissions that come with it. And so doing things like that, that enable others on this journey to create a better future is super exciting. And so again, but I think it also makes us a better business.

John: Yeah, that’s absolutely. I think that makes so much sense. And so if I’m just a guy that I have never upgraded my home with one with your great technology, both on the energy side or on the security side, when I buy your system, what kind of savings can I expect to have on an annualized basis? What’s the median norm?

Stuart: Yeah. So, on average, you’re going to save about 26% on your heating and cooling costs, which make up 40 to 60% of your home’s energy use in dollar terms, the average customer’s going to save between $150 and $250 a year, and that’s every single year. So, if you bought a $150 thermostat or a $250 thermostat, we’re going to pay you back between $150 and $250 a year.

So, it is an awesome investment to make. You’re also going to be more comfortable. And so I think one of the really cool things is that sustainability used to be sort of, you know, people used to think of it as doesn’t work as well and cost more. The really great thing about these products is we have these occupancy sensors that measure temperature and occupancy that you can put around your house, and we know what rooms you’re in. We may get comfortable in the rooms that you’re in, but those occupancy sensors also allow us to understand whether you’re home or not. So you’re more comfortable when you’re home, and when you’re not home, we automatically turn down your equipment for you, so you’re saving more money. And so you really get the best of both worlds where not only are you more comfortable, but you’re also saving money and saving the planet.

John: You just brought up two great points. Planet and savings. Talk about 2007. You sitting down with your sales team, or just you and your co-founders probably were the sales team, but was it then when you had to do a cost-benefit analysis of what you lead with when you were talking to potential buyers back then planet or savings, how did you break down where the emphasis is now, fast forward 16 years later, same thing, your sales team, you’re on a conference call all your salespeople across North America, and again, planet or savings, and how does it look today, the balance in terms of where do you lean in and where do you emphasize, and what just follows? What’s the math look like in those seven compared to 23?

Stuart: Yeah, so I think the value proposition is probably around comfort, savings, and planet, right?

John: Okay.

Stuart: And to your point, I think 2007, what’s much more comfort and savings focused.

John: Right.

Stuart: Now, I think those three are probably on par with each other. And people ask, and people care. And it’s part of our story, and I think people appreciate the story. And again, it makes us a better company. I think if you think about how do we compete against Google? And I would say this to any entrepreneur, if you think, if you have a large competitor, like at Google, think about how you compete. And we always said we’re not going to win against Google by outgoogling Google. I remember this one time I went home, and I’m on the subway, and the subway is completely wrapped in Google ads, right?

And I get on the bus, and like, every bus shelter on my way home has a Google ad, and I’m like, they know where I live, and they’re messing with me, right? And then, of course, I flew to Chicago, and they had wrapped every bus and every subway in Chicago, too. And so it had nothing to do with me. And the point being that there’s no way that we were going to outspend them. And so finding other ways, and I think a sustainability narrative is one that is very compelling for large groups of people. And I think it gets to your ethos of who you are as a company, and explaining that ethos of who you are is the way that I think you can compete against the largest companies in the world.

John: And I love it because, you know what, creating a culture of David v. Goliath is always fun as an entrepreneur, and it’s a great mentality to have to not walk around just with a chip on your shoulder, but a boulder on your shoulder because it keeps everybody really focused on the mission and pulling them staying aligned and pulling the rope in the same direction. You mentioned generic earlier today generic they purchased you in in late 2021 for a lot of money. And like you said, it accelerated your growth and your cycle that you had visioned out. Did you pick the right time to sell the company? Are you happy you sold it? And what is it like to sell the company but to stay on and keep growing it with the new owners?

Stuart: Yeah, the Generac acquisition has been really phenomenal. It’s been a really great experience. They’ve been wonderful to me and to the team. I think when you think about selling your company, and I would say this to any entrepreneur, you need to think about what you want to get out of it. Earlier in my career, I had sold a company, and I don’t want to say the idea was take the money and run, but it was a big price tag. And I was like, wow. Like, it doesn’t get any better than this.

John: Right.

Stuart: And then I watched as they plowed my company into the ground. And I realized that like all the blood, sweat, and tears, like the money didn’t compensate for all the blood, sweat, and tears and what I thought we had built. And so this time around, we had a number of different options. And I think one of the things that was incredibly compelling about Generac is we had a common vision for what the future was going to be like. And I think we appreciated similar things in our culture in terms of straightforwardness and transparency.

And so it was quality. And so it was really a way for me to, or the team, to accelerate our mission, right? And so we didn’t think of it as an exit. We thought of it really is a way of accelerating our mission, which is, how do we help people live more sustainably, improving their lives, improving everyday lives, but in helping them live more sustainably. And, like I said, it accelerated our product roadmap by probably three to five years. It provided us with the capital we needed to grow. And we get to work with like-minded individuals who are innovating and building great quality products. And so that’s super, super exciting. And why I’m still here is because I’m just really excited about where the world is going. That clean energy future and a trillion-dollar industry that’s being disrupted right now.

John: Well, and let’s be honest, you were very early. Obviously, you were the first mover in this white space. What was white space before you did it? Nest came on in 11, which created the great Pepsi Coke Challenge. Which created the Great Burger King McDonald’s challenge. This is Coors versus Aner Bush. This is great for you, but the truth is, the world caught up to your vision now. Now, it’s not just our kids that are and our grandkids eventually that are going to be the only people that care about the environment.

But now everyone realizes now that we’re living through the hottest world, the hottest year in world history. And so I think that the science is in, but also the evidence is in the empirical evidence is in that we really do need to do a lot to heal the world. So, the world is caught up to your vision. So, it must be almost a fun time to be continuing to scale. What was your little baby and vision back in ’07? Because the sky is the limit, like what you said when you’re on sitting on top of a trillion dollar opportunity, my gosh, what’s the vision now, now that you’re two years post-sale or almost two years post-sale, what do you go to bed and dream about in terms of the next 36 months and how big in terms of international sales and other markets to open up around the world?

Stuart: Yeah, it’s super exciting. I think again, the vision we see is this cleaner, cheaper energy future. We’re actively working on solar and storage. And then combining that solar and storage with these intelligent devices that understand what’s happening in your home, what’s happening on your roof, and what’s happening on the grid, and then making smarter energy decisions for you. And that will enable people to basically reduce their energy costs significantly improve the planet from a sustainability point of view. And so it is just a wonderful outcome, win, win, win scenario.

And as I said, I think we’ll look back on this era in maybe 2030 or 2035, and we’ll have made tremendous strides, and the world will actually be a better place, not a… It’ll be cleaner. It’ll be healthier. It’ll be more sustainable. And the things that you do in your career around recycling and those types of things, those are going to be embedded in what we do. And so we’re going to be less extractive and more efficient because of it. And I think that will enable standard of living to grow for everyone because we’ll increase productivity significantly.

John: That’s awesome. Stuart, you’re always welcome to come back on the show. It’s been a delight having you today. It’s so great to have a fellow entrepreneur on who’s done a lot, sold your first company, become a venture capitalist, and now started something that’s making such an amazing impact on the world. That’s so important. For our listeners and viewers to find Stuart and his wonderful colleagues that are making the world a better place, please go to www.E-C-O-B-E-E Stuart Lombard, thank you for making the world a cleaner place, a greener place, and just a better place to live in. You’re always welcome back on the Impact Podcast.

Stuart: Thanks, John.

John: This edition of The Impact Podcast is brought to you by Engage. Engage is a digital booking platform revolutionizing the talent booking industry with thousands of athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Engage is the go-to spot for booking talent for speeches, custom experiences, live streams, and much more. For more information on Engage or to book talent today, visit let’ This edition of The Impact Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit