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The Realities of Fundraising with Sean Nam

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Joining Etienne this week on the podcast is Sean Nam, the CTO of Ivy Energy. Etienne engages in a multifaceted conversation with Sean, and they touch upon the intricacies of supporting founders during fundraising to reflections on technology giants like Apple and Uber.

Sean provides insights into IV Energy’s mission to revolutionize shared energy usage through solar platforms, shedding light on the challenges and innovations in the field, and as the conversation delves deeper, Sean and Etienne explore the dynamics of team management, fundraising endeavors, and the evolving role of a CTO. Sean’s reflections on American democracy, viewed through the lens of a South African and a Korean immigrant, also add a thought-provoking layer to the discussion.

Sean also offers a candid exploration of the challenges of participating in a democracy amidst distractions and complexities, resonating with both disappointment and a call for collective action. Tune in for a compelling dialogue that blends technical expertise with societal insights, offering a glimpse into the complexities of modern leadership and civic engagement.

Sean Nam
Sean NamSoftware Engineering / Ivy Energy
My journey as a technology leader is deeply rooted in entrepreneurship, sparked by early exposure to Apple’s innovations. This fascination led me to explore mobile app development, a field where I found a powerful blend of technology and business. Now, in my role as CTO at Ivy Energy I harness these experiences to drive our mission to evolve the way that shared buildings create, use, and think about energy aiming to establish our dominance in the multi-tenant shared solar marketplace as well as create a world-class tech organization.

Time Stamps:

[1:25] – What are Sean’s thoughts on Apple Vision Pro?

[4:35] – Sean describes Ivy Energy’s mission.

[7:30] – Learn about Sean’s team dynamics.

[9:21] – Sean finds David Farley’s insights refreshing, bridging software engineering with other technical disciplines.

[10:42] – Learn how Sean’s journey to leadership at Ivy Energy stemmed from seizing unexpected opportunities and challenges.

[12:16] – Sean reflects on some of the lessons that he has been learning.

[13:24] – Reflecting on venture capital dynamics through media like “Super Pumped” informs Sean’s approach.

[16:38] – Sean argues that effective collaboration between visionaries and their teams, like Steve Jobs with engineers, shapes success.

[18:04] – Sean touches upon the significance of risk assessment.

[20:01] – Balancing sales and marketing with product development ensures delivering on the promised vision.

[22:51] – Transitioning from software engineer to CTO, Sean has honed communication skills and adapted to delayed feedback in leadership.

[24:49] – Sean explains how giving feedback in a PR setting versus individually has a significant impact on individuals.

[26:01] – Sean recently saw a news story involving a lack of attention leading to bribery in West Virginia.

[28:30] – Etienne discusses how participating in democracy is challenging due to complexities; simpler systems are desired for all.

[30:02] – The flaw in the US voting system lies in its historical complexity and lack of modernization.

[33:10] – Sean asserts that politics becoming a show has led to exhaustion and disengagement and that systemic change requires collective effort.

[36:02] – Sean feels that restricting information and education perpetuates autocracy.


Episode Resources:

We have 200+ CTOs in peer groups: Quick Testimonials Video

Contact Etienne: Website / YouTube / LinkedIn / X / Instagram

Schedule a meeting with Etienne on Calendly

Contact Sean: LinkedIn

David Farley – Modern Software Engineering: Doing What Works to Build Better Software Faster