Innovation — how it is supposed to work

Big Red Car here.

So The Boss is out having a coffee.  Early riser likes to have a coffee for a meeting early in the morning because when the coffee is over he can scoot if he wants.

So I hear him talking about this article in The Atlantic.  Read this article.  The author, Kathryn Hawkins, wrote a great article.  She writes some great stuff about innovation in the United States.  Very interesting stuff on a number of different levels.

The article is about a new “car” built by Lit Motors out of San Francisco.  Take a look at their website and get an idea for how innovative their product and design is.

Lit Motors website

Here is a picture of their vehicle.

I love their car just fine but what really impressed The Boss is that this scrappy little company produced this vehicle prototype for $800,000.



This impressed The Boss on a number of different fronts.

This is truly a “lean startup” and one which has husbanded its money and converted it into a working prototype with obvious efficiency.

The vehicle uses standard gyroscopic technology in much the same way as the Segway.  [Standard for engineers who understand gyroscopes, not for Big Red Cars who do not.]

What is the teaching point here?

American innovation is as good as it ever has been.  Celebrate American innovators.

[pullquote]American innovation is as good as it ever has been.  Celebrate American innovators.[/pullquote]

Great ideas do not require a fortune to be invested in order to see the light of day.

Venture capital, entrepreneurship and innovation are alive and well.  This explosive combination will create new products, create old fashioned high quality jobs and will grow the economy — if we will let it.

Compare this success story to say — Solyndra.  Solyndra was funded by government guaranties.  Big S bought some dirt, built a factory, installed expensive equipment, hired a staff, began marketing — hmmm what’s missing.

The forgot to build a prototype.


They had $500,000,000 of taxpayer backed funding in place when they realized their prototype was not competitive.

Leave the innovation to capitalists.  American capitalists like Lit Motors.

Of course, I have to tell you as the Big Red Car that this is not a muscle car of the Motown era but it is damn good thing.

Be kind to yourself.


4 thoughts on “Innovation — how it is supposed to work

  1. Unfrikin’-real! Didja notice the dude had his head STICKING OUT THE TOP of this thing? Now THAT’S confidence in the technology!

  2. I agree that generally government should not be acting as VCs. There are places where this worked well – the most prominent example is Israel. The problem with government is that they are all about flashy headlines and statistics that they can use during for the election cycles. Unfortunately, the election cycles are every 2-4 years which doesn’t conform to how long it usually takes to build a sustainable business.

    • .
      Great point. I think the issue with Israel is one of scale. It is a small enough country that it can mange the process with more precision.

      Similarly, Texas has a fund which has had good results.

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