Riggs Eckelberry doesn’t look like a bomb-thrower. And yet, he’s driving the disruption of a trillion-dollar industry that has fallen behind the times and is affecting the health of millions. That industry is Big Water. Simply, those billion-dollar centralized water systems aren’t coping with demand, and water quality is getting worse. The answer? Instant InfrastructureTM. Businesses are doing their own water treatment, using modular, prefabricated systems that are trucked right on site. They get better water quality, lower rates through recycling, and even improved environmental grades! Ten years after launching public company OriginClear, Riggs and his team are offering those truck-in-place modular systems in the USA, while licensees are building products internationally using OriginClear’s low-energy, chemical-free innovation.
Riggs Eckelberry is uniquely qualified to ride the huge wave of do-it-yourself water treatment that is transforming an industry, having learned management in the nonprofit space, captained oceangoing ships, and achieved several tech successes during the dot-com boom.
00:30 - Introduction
10:00 - I was able to build real companies after that, I was involved with getting yellowpages.com its liquidity with my help. I wound up taking a company public called Cyber Defender.
20:00 - We became specialists and decentralized, meaning that our line of modular water systems. The black box thing really appeals to the decision-making decentralized user who just wants to solve the goddamn problem?
30:00 - He spent 30 years doing this stuff and we came along and say, okay, this is perfect to speed up the technology adoption cycle. Except that it's still really hard to get projects through, even before the virus.
40:00 - The point, is that the investor normally has no way to get decent returns that are secure. By secure we mean, if you allow that water treatment plant to be built into the property, and now you become a claimant in a foreclosure or liquidation, then good luck, right? Major apartment networks are just falling apart because people aren't paying their bills, and you don't want to be the second or third or fourth in line on getting collection. So we realize it had to be something where we literally, it's like running a TV, in the poor part of town, you want to be able to go in and take it.
50:00 - So what you have is, 20% overall, meaning in the US and the West, as Europeans, have it even better. It's more like 70-80% is treated and then other countries are at 5% or zero, but guess what, it's the same freakin ocean. So, you know, Bangladesh is doing whatever, well, it's stuff makes its way over to us too. So we were on the same bubble, and we've got it too. So what I finally feel so good about is the fact that we've been able to take the limiters off and the blinders have been taken off the industry. This is a model that can be adopted.
59:45 - Final Words
It's really interesting because I came up through the nonprofit space and so it was all about saving the world and then, in the 80s, I ended up in tech and the reason I ended up in tech was I started feeling that Tech has the potential to change the world, right?
For example, the self-driving car has the potential to eliminate that 14 fatalities per hundred thousand that we live with on a daily basis. It's also a double-edged sword technology that can be used to surveil people, whatever, but it's that net. I think we're never going to get a handle on climate change. Without tech, it's not gonna be done by legislating people to consume less. We have to literally leapfrog with technology and that's why I went through the.com and then I found myself in water.
I feel that by applying the technology leapfrog to water, I can really help make a difference to the planet and that's what makes me work the crazy hours and deal with the nuttiness because, like you, I feel like what I'm doing is so important. I love the excitement that people have, I feel it on a daily basis and it just keeps me going!
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