Followup – How EESTOR Can Be Disruptive

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20 Responses

  1. I’ve read your first post, and this one, and personally, I think you’re missing the forest from the trees.

    You’re correct that if the EEStor ESU does work as advertised, there are much more logical markets to sell the ESU to. But, EEStor isn’t a normal company, being driven by normal players. Personally, I believe that they have internally chosen a goal based on requirements that aren’t logical from a purely business point of view.

    Take a look a the players in EEStor, then ask yourself if EEStor’s direction makes sense from the point of view of those players. All of a sudden it begins to make sense, as a matter of fact, it -only- makes sense if you look at it from that perspective.

    Also, there may be manufacturing conciderations that might push to a large format for the ESU, thus the focus on transportation. Although, I personally still see much more logical markets if that were the case.

    So, their direction from a business viewpoint does not seem to make sense. But from the viewpoint of the people who actually run EEStor, it makes complete sense.

    Second Forest from the Trees comment: You said (paraphrasing) you want them to succeed, and that the fastest way to that success is to pick the best markets from a business standpoint (lowest risk, highest return (which, automotive transportation of cource, does not fit into that profile)).

    If the ESU works, do you -honestly- believe that they wont be successful? If they pick automotive, power grid PSUs, or cell phones, it wont matter, they’ll be so stinking successful, they wont know where to spend the money fast enough. Ok, going with automotive first might take them a couple years longer to get to that point, but it -would- quickly reduce most industrial nations dependance on petroleum. (Again, doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint, but whatever floats their boat. If that’s their business goal, ok, let’s get it done so we can move onto other things)

    All the talk is meaningless though, until someone see’s an honest to gosh ESU. Take a look at this and come up with your own ideas.

    http://arc.typepad.com/customercrossroads/2007/07/idea-city-wra-1.html

    Then again, historically, this type of claim is vaporware. Don’t sell your car yet.

  2. Rob

    If you are arguing vaporware I agree. But let’s assume that it’s not, which I think you do for most of your post.

    In this case the ‘tree’ is the new technology and the ‘forest’ is the business world. This blog isn’t about cool technologies per se, it’s about innovation. If you poke around the site you’ll see that innovation success is more related to business model, networking, branding, channeling, and customer experience, to which I attempted to relate EESTOR in my first post. A good primer on this can be found in the Doblin video (see Videos page).

    So yes, I think if EESTOR doesn’t do what it takes to be disruptive from a business innovation sense, then I think their product could fail, for the same reason that other great products have failed in the past. Great products winning out in the end is myth. Here is a good reference for that:

    http://www.uie.com/articles/myths_of_innovation/

  3. There is a great deal of discussion about EEStor and if it is real or fake.
    Well it seems BASF one of the largest chemical companies in the world mentioned in their directors report about a supercapacitor with similar power storage capabilities to EEStor’s unit.
    Any student of science history knows when knowledge and material capabilities approach a tipping point, you will get the same invention from several labs at the same time.
    I have now shifted my opinion on the veracity of EEStors claims from 50/50 to 80/40, thats 80% chance it’s real.
    One fly in the ointment though, a few months ago I read on a blog that someone had traced a very negative opinion of EEStor to The American Enterprise Institute, which is funded by big oil.

  4. For information on BASF’s supercapacitor go to http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/18086/
    and search or scroll down to the comments mentioning BASF

  5. I think the forest for the trees comment above is on the mark. Your original analysis contains several paragraphs of some of the most tortured contrarian logic I’ve read in a long time!

    The main question is: does the EEStor device work as promised? If the answer is yes, the effect will be dramatic and immediate. It solves energy storage problems in a novel way. Engineers will incorporate it into their designs as quickly as they can get their hands on an EESU. Since energy storage is something fundamental to the world economy, it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be disruptive.

    The question of how EEStor goes about commercializing the device seem relatively straightforward compared to the problems of developing it. I agree that it’s not trivial, but it’s been done many times before.

  6. I think your analysis is wrong because I think you made two big logic errors.

    The first is because you’re lumping EESTOR in with toaster ovens as ‘good’ products that didn’t make it. This is a product that’s critical to our country. Oil production will max out and then prices wills climb. We need electric cars, or something that runs on an alternative.

    The second is your assumption that it’s in a competition with A123 or one of the other battery makers out there, like beta max was with vhs. The comparison is too drastic to consider this as in the same ball park as Beta vs VHS.

    It’s not slightly better, it’s enough better that it makes electric cars better than ICE now. It’s enough better that in every important category it is better than all of it’s competition.

    The only reason I can see this not being a disruptive technology is because of production problems or material shortages.

  7. I’m going to go with the tortured and twisted logic comment.

    Here’s observation/fact #1.

    VHS vs Beta, this isn’t the case, what you should have said is…

    Apple vs Orange. Anyone with some basic electronics understanding can see that any Lithium based battery system isn’t the same as the EEStor device. Your comparison isn’t valid.

    Here’s observation/fact #2.

    Disruptive does not equal successful.

    Your obsession with the fact that this could be disruptive does not mean that EEStor wont be successful if they choose a non-distruptive marketing strategy.

    Here’s observation/fact #3.

    -IF- this thing works, do you honestly believe that it wont be copied by every capacitor company in every non-IP protecting country there is? Hell, you wont be able to get anything battery powered in China in 5 years if this works.

    Who cares about distruptive? EEStor will get their butts kicked in the consumer electronics market if they decided to go to that.

    There are already Russian and Chineese companies claiming that they own the IP on a EEStor device (stragely they can’t seem to make any, and they made these statements after EEStor went public).

    -IF- this thing is real, I wouldn’t worry about whether or not you’ll see devices with ESUs. Hell, the only place where ESUs wont be dominant is in the US, probably due to import restrictions.

    Quit obsessing.

  8. [...] level change is the EEStor ultracapacitor? As far as ultracapacitors go it is a Level 3 change – improved materials yielding better [...]

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