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EV penetration (niche to mass-market), Bill Gross lessons on Tech Startups

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by chimpanzee, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. chimpanzee

    chimpanzee Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    pasadena, ca

    Good read on Tech entrepeneurship by Bill Gross (Caltech alumni), his Idealab includes EV & Solar startups

    BILL GROSS: Here Are The 12 Lessons I've Learned In My 30 Years Of Being An Entrepreneur - Business Insider

    There are some other lessons, which have a positive/negative outlook for Tesla Motors (& Elon Musk):


    I've been posting some depressing URLs on "failure" of EVs: Think, Nissan Leaf, Smith Electric Truck. The sales simply aren't there..initially ("David vs Goliath") This seems to reflect the difficulty in penetration of "New Technologies" (see graphic)

    "This is Old thus it is Good, this is New therefore it is Better"

    It's well known on TMC, that Tesla Motors success is tied to Model S, whether it can be revenue generator for profitability.

    1) successful Production
    no obstacles

    2) meeting demand
    if it's even THERE..sufficiently. See reports on low sales volume of Nissan Leaf, Smith EV trucks. Think in trouble.

    Otherwise, it will get absorbed by the Evil Empire (see "Who Killed the Electric Car"), & EV penetration will be delayed.

    This reminds me of the smartphone evolution. HTC had early penetration, but failed ("too ahead of its time", market wasn't there). Then Apple came with the stunning iPhone which "captured the Public's imagination" (note the "soft" Marketing component), which was the catalyst for smartphone market. Same thing with Apple's was the catalyst for the tablet market.

    To use the above parallel, what is the "catalyst" (capturing Public's imagination) for EV, en masse? The Tesla Roadster changed public perception of EV, that it CAN be "sexy". Is the Model S the equivalent of the iPhone, to make EV a mass-market phenomenon? Smartphone VS Model S, there is a HUGE difference in can't expect en-masse adoption of $50K EV sedan.

    A TMC poster:

    "Success is 90% failure"
    -- Soichiro Honda

    There's No Substitute for Failure


    The question is whether Tesla Motors is learning from its mistakes, via Learning Curve. I already see something disturbing, a repeat of 2007: EM making excessive demands on Model S initial production. I.e., "Good VS Excellence" tradeoff

    2007 crisis in production, due to excessive demands by EM:

    1) changing lights

    2) re-design of Lotus chassis
    getting rid of the door side "bump"

    3) electric door handles

    4) multi-speed transmission
    multi-speed gearboxes "unexplored territory", there were gearbox failures. Multiple vendors attempted. Martin E realized the essence of "getting production to customers", & compromised on single-gear tranny.

    "Good is the Enemy of Excellence. Excellence is not required for Success, but Persistence is. And, Persistence is a DECISION"
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Apr 20, 2012
    Rocklin, CA
    What is the TL;DR version of this?

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