It has been quite a while since my last post. I guess I better change my style from being and article writer to being a blog poster.
During the past six months or so I’ve been working with a couple of guys on a concept that links (renewable) energy and economic development. The initial thought behind the concept was that it simply had to be a better business proposition to do things efficiently (i.e. use less energy to do more). This notion seems to have been validated in a recent pronouncement by northern California home builders that they were going 100% green with all new construction. Builders never do anything unless it means more profit for them, so green building must more cost effective and more attractive to customers.
So then, if it works for the building community, why not for other mainstreet businesses? There is definitely something here. Instinct says that computing will be part of the solution but the trick will be local mobilization.
Wind power is an ubundant, renewable resource that has the potential to provide electrical energy on a large scale. If only 1% of the world’s total wind resources could be harnessed, our consumption needs would be totally fulfilled. The questions is, ”How do you harness the wind?”
An unconventional answer to this question is pictured here. Inspired by a child’s toy fluttering in the Maui breeze, the Magenn Power wind turbine is a novel invention that works well, even in low-wind conditions. This could be a an excellent solution for emerging economies like India and China.
Here’s one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a while: The Electricross motorcycle.
Here’s what makes this idea so hot:
- Performance & styling that is better than gas-powered machines at the same cost
- Zero emmissions and very quiet
- Super fun
While these machines will initially be sold to young people for off-road use, you can expect them see them soon in a town near you. With an operating cost of less than a $.005/mile, the value proposition is compelling.
Those who know me understand that I am driven to do things in ways that are foreign to most people. So why is this? When I look at my motivations, I would say that, like most entrepreneurs, my behavior stems vanity (I want to be known for something), hubris (I think I’m smart enough to change the world), and a small understanding of statistics (if I keep trying new ideas, I’m bound to be successful once in a while).
Given this context, I’ve decided to start this blog to chronicle my efforts and thoughts in the entrepreneurial arena. I appreciate any and all feedback, and hope that some good ideas will pop out as a result.
Having exited from a successful startup, in the later half of 2006 I decided to go for it once more and dove into open source software. My rationale for building a company on open source was simple: many popular projects (including the one I was working with, an enterprise wiki engine) had been vetted for a specific market and had a built-in community of followers. In my way of thinking, a lot of the market validation would have already been done, thus removing one of the main risks for the venture.
While my assumptions were essentially correct (the enterprise wiki market still seems to be a good one), we were forced to abort the mission because we got caught in the headwind of a “hype cycle.” According to Gartner Group, wikis were hitting the bottom of the “trough of disillusionment” just at the time we were engaging with investors. Take a look:
As a point of learning, these hype cycles appear to be very real and represent yet another landmine that must be avoided.