Tuesday Toast: September 25, 2012

by | Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Welcome to RE:INVENTION’s weekly Tuesday Toast. Each Tuesday, we toast successful innovators and roast the “toasted” (troubled companies that forgot business basics or failed to commercialize disruptive ideas). Tuesday Toast is kinda like our very own Parallel Dichotomy Algorithm. Yeah, we’re clearly geeks.


Congratulations to SoloPower, one of four U.S. solar panel manufacturers to clinch a $197 million government loan guarantee under the same controversial Department of Energy program that supported failed panel maker Solyndra. According to a report from Reuters, SoloPower solar panels use the same innovative, “non-traditional” raw material used by Solyndra (copper indium gallium selenide). SoloPower’s next generation technology and innovative thin film manufacturing techniques enable mass production of high‐efficiency solar cells at a lower cost.

Will SoloPower prove the value of lightweight CIGS flexible panels and DOE loan guarantees for manufacturing? Will folks be willing to pay a premium price for SoloPower’s flexible, lightweight solar cells? Will the company be able to meet its manufacturing milestones?

We predict that SoloPower has a strong second-mover chance. Smart second movers focus on controlling costs and heightening user experience. Stay tuned.


In a timely parallel story, yesterday a federal bankruptcy judge approved an auction for Solyndra’s former Fremont, California headquarters manufacturing plant. The solar-panel maker that received a $535 million Department of Energy Department loan guarantee before going bankrupt has been liquidating its assets since it failed to negotiate a deal with a buyer willing to restart operations. Solyndra’s failure is not new news; the company was forced to shut down operations and fire most of its 1,100 workers on Aug. 31, 2011.

The #1 reason why MOST companies go bankrupt? Cash flow. Cash is not only king; it is every other face card in the deck. “Most businesses fail because they run out of cash leaked through losses or some other poor management practice,” says business consultant turned Amex Open Columnist Barry Moltz. Watch Barry’s one minute “Get Your Cash Unstuck” video today for inspiration.

Know an innovative company that deserves recognition? Email us with deets: innovators-AT-reinventioninc.com. We may feature them in a future Tuesday Toast. Got a suggestion for future RE:INVENTION blog programming? Post a comment below!

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