About

AboutBlog

Hi, I'm James; an Englishman in New York. (Click here (opens in a new tab) if you don't get the reference...)

I previously founded Furrow, an online farmer's market building the tech and logistics to enable farmers to sell direct to consumers. Before that I spent a few years as a consultant working on some cool projects in Banking, Defence and Retail, and studying Biology at Cambridge Uni. I also started an MBA at Wharton Business School but dropped out of that to launch Furrow.

Since shutting down Furrow, I have been helping founders with GTM and operations, as well as exploring startup ideas and investment theses in Energy, Supply Chain and other industries that touch the built world or solve meaningful problems. A core tenet of the products I have worked on has been providing system operators with real-time understanding of exactly what is happening in their system, and answering the question of how do you accurately map and efficiently coordinate a network. As a result, I have a particular interest in decentralisation, platforms, operating systems and networks.

I enjoy learning about new industries, seeing where they're going and how all the pieces fit together, and identifying the opportunities this presents. I also love talking to founders and helping them define their narratives, figure out where their value is and creating a compelling vision for the future. I've even been fortunate enough to be paid to do this for clients.

Outside of work, I like adventurous travel—I once drove 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia; skiing—I spent 5 months skiing in the French Alps; and I occasionally still play some rugby. I also blog (opens in a new tab) about startups and tech.

How I help startups

I usually work with engineering and product-heavy teams to build out GTM and operational playbooks as they scale. I help them uncover and communicate their unique, differentiated value, using this to find PMF through "founder-mentality" go-to-market and feeding into—or running—sales, marketing and product development. I help answer questions such as:

Blog posts I've written that people seem to like:

Furrow - Why we failed (opens in a new tab)
Towards an Internet of Energy Series: Part I (opens in a new tab), Part II (opens in a new tab) and Part III (coming soon)
Prioritising to Product-Market Fit (opens in a new tab)
What drives decentralisation? (opens in a new tab)
Map of opportunities in the Energy Sector (opens in a new tab)
Plinth (fka Time to Spare) - Company deep-dive (opens in a new tab)

You can read other posts here (opens in a new tab)

Things I've worked on:

Startups / startup ideas

Furrow (opens in a new tab)
Furrow was an online farmer's market building the technology, logistics and infrastructure to enable farmers to sell direct to consumers. Farmers lack routes to market for their produce and so are forced to sell through wholesalers and into supermarkets which mean on average they got 8% of every £1 spent on food. Many of the problems associated with our food system are downstream of this.
We aimed to open up the market for farmers to sell to consumers, providing everything they needed to do so. After raising a pre-seed round and expanding to 1,500 orders across more than 400 customers and over 40 farmers, I shut it down as we couldn’t find a sustainable operating model (opens in a new tab).

Hum Energy (opens in a new tab)
I decided to teach myself how to code using ChatGPT and built Hum Energy; initially an app for users to find utility programs and virtual power plants that they are eligible for. I augmented data from vppdata.com to provide the backend in Google Sheets and used React on the front end. The main purpose of this project was to teach myself to code.

Zeus Energy
While at Wharton, I was exploring an idea to enable renters and landlords to understand more about their energy use. Using CT clamps on your electricity meter, you would be able to measure energy usage and use algorithms to disaggregate it into individual appliances. The idea was to sell this to landlords to help them manage energy usage, provide a better resident experience and detect faults and fires. Ultimately this wasn't a large enough selling point and the technical challenges too high to be worth pursuing.

Published Research

Spatial Gaps in Global Biodiversity Information and the Role of Citizen Science (opens in a new tab)
Research from my undergraduate disseration was published in BioScience journal. Using R, I investigated how the availability of biodiversity data varied globally and found that data-poor regions often had the most biodiversity yet the lowest rates of data collection.

Travel

Mongol Rally - Trip Video (opens in a new tab)
In 2015, I drove 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia in a small hatchback as part of the Mongol Rally. We called our team Two Yaks in a Hatchback and got sponsorship from YikYak. I have some wacky stories from it, particularly regarding border crossings...


© James Lamming.