Thursday, July 29, 2010


The term I've read/heard all day?
EV being electric vehicle, that is.The term comes from this article.Apparently, the Tesla Model S got to pre-orders without me being aware.

To be as blunt as possible, Tesla can't get that into people's garages fast enough. The electric vehicle's time is now, and while Tesla is still a young company, they have done what many have not: gotten a car into production. Additionally, they are selling the car to the audience that is most likely to buy it: affluent enthusiasts. An electric sports car can use the hottest technology to show people what is possible, and then as that technology gets cheaper, so can the car. Tesla can come into the mainstream through the high end. Trickle down effects -while dubious in economics- work well with technology. First the early adopters with their wallets come along, then as the product gets refined it also becomes commoditized.
First came the roadster (high end sports car, meant for the few who can afford it) at $109,000, now comes the Model S (luxury sedan, meant for those who want the status symbol, but want some utility too) at $40,000.
Now, Tesla may not lead the charge into the consumer market (that may not be the image they're going for), but they are setting the stage for the mass-market EV.

I'm not excited for a future that goes vroom, I'm excited for a future that goes whoosh!

Beta Testing

What if there were a way to beta test public policy to attempt to actually gauge how it would do in practice?

I think that would be a good idea. In my mind it would be like a massively multiplayer online game, only instead of knights and elves and stabbing things, it would be a situation in which the proposed law was enacted. People would have a number of things that they could do, as either private citizens or as companies affected or as anyone in between.
The idea being that it could let people play the law as an optimization problem in order to find loopholes, how it could be used and abused, circumvented or worked with.
Heck, maybe it could even be a computer simulation, although normal people are generally much more creative than a computer.
I'm not sure if this is a great idea or a simply terrible one, but it's a thought. In my mind, far too much legislation today ends up with unintended consequences that are hard to see from both a citizen's and a politician's point of view. If there were some way of making proposed legislation into a game so that people could try to break it (use it for things the politicians didn't intend).

That could both be fun and useful.

Friday, July 02, 2010


Earlier this year I had a friend tell me that the Nexus One would kill the iPhone.
Today I read an article saying that the Droid X would kill the iPhone.
A few months from now? We'll see what new phone is killing the iPhone this time.

To be frank, regardless of platform, manufacturer, industry, country, favorite cheese, or whatever differentiating factor is used, the instant someone starts calling some new device "an X killer" with X being whatever is dominant in the market today, it no longer is.
In the early 2000's we heard about Halo killers for the Xbox.
Halo is still one of the biggest first person shooters of all time.
In the mid 2000's we heard about iPod killers.
The iPod is still in a near-monopoly position.
Now we're hearing about iPhone killers.
I wonder what's going to happen next.

All of these purported killers suffer from the same thing: They're playing catch up. They look to some standard and go "We need to beat that". They compare themselves to this supposed standard and rate themselves based upon that.
That in of itself ensures failure.

If you really want to strive, really want to rule the roost, stop comparing yourselves to anyone at all, and start trying to simply be the best. Not the best phone, game, waffle maker, or even the best ladle, but the best.
The devices that gain the mindshare that everyone wants didn't get there by trying to emulate the success of the current incumbents, they took what they knew and made something that transcended the current marketplace.

The point isn't to play catch up, it's to wipe the table clean, write new own rules, and rock at those rules. Then everyone else starts trying to emulate what not what has been done but what has been made, and the cycle continues.