Shai Agassi Explains the Bold Plan – A Car and a Battery

A month and a half ago I was intrigued by a business model and a guy I had not ever heard of before. The business model is the one of Better Place and the guy is Shai Agassi. My post then was called A Viable Electric Car Business Model? I’m very skeptical of this working, but some form can. The path its taking is also encouraging. Here are two newer resources explaining what is possible through Better Place:

An excerpt from a HBR article called Energy CEO Shai Agassi on recognizing a “sliding-doors” moment:

How did you go from global corporate executive to energy

I had a sliding-doors moment in 2006—a moment when if you turned one way,
your life and career would go in one direction, and if you turned another way, you
would go off on a completely different track. I was in Paris, and I was pondering
whether to continue on and become co-CEO at SAP. It was a job I had been groomed
for, and I was ready to lead. But I was also fascinated by the idea of powering
vehicles with wind- and solar-charged batteries. At that point, Better Place
didn’t even have a business plan—it was just an idea. And the moment could have
passed me by quite easily.

I remember walking down the Champs-Élysées, so that I could think. I
paced it one way, imagining myself at 50 years old having decided to stay at SAP.
I imagined not only that SAP had succeeded under my leadership but that we had
beaten Microsoft—we were number one. Then I walked the other way, picturing myself
at 50 but having left SAP and pursued my dream. I pictured the worst-case
scenario—that Better Place had been a failure. At five o’clock in the morning,
after walking all night, I said to myself: “This is the sliding-doors moment, and
there’s no question which path I should take. I’d rather fail at Better Place than
succeed at SAP because no other job could compare to trying to save the

And here is a presentation from TED:


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