Be careful who you trust – how choosing the wrong investor destroyed a great startup

I didn’t understand the investment documents, and they’d changed the deal at the last minute. It was December 2008, the height of the financial crash. I was in Shanghai and horribly, horribly, jetlagged.

I decided to just sign them anyway.

A few years earlier I’d co-founded a British startup called Better Generation. We’d set out to promote small-scale renewables, selling solar and wind generation kits. We’d also created a popular renewable energy website and had begun developing a new device to help people measure their site’s viability for wind or solar, and the potential carbon savings. We’d got some TV coverage and been in a few newspapers. We weren’t making much money, but it was a lot more fun than my old graduate consultancy job.

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