Why is America still addicted to oil despite the pain we continuously suffer at the gasoline pump? Today’s gasoline prices are at record high levels for this time of year at approximately $1 more per gallon than this time last year.
And oil supplies are now so volatile that they create economic disruption. It appears that every time America’s economy starts to grow then there is a new “Libya or BP oil leak” crisis that disrupts supply and puts the brakes on job growth.
In addition there are health impacts of our country’s continued massive burning of fossil fuels which continue to take a toll measured by human suffering and higher medical insurance costs.
My interview with Geoffrey Moore is the first in a series researching whether the electric car offers a lower cost and healthier alternative to our current gasoline-car-based economy. Read on for more…
Geoffrey Moore is a thought-leader on technology change and serves as advisor to Mohr Davidow, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capital firms. Moore’s book Crossing The Chasm pioneered best practices for generating new technology market success that is widely followed among IT companies. His newest book, Escape Velocity, moves his research onto the question of how companies and emerging technologies interact to institutional change. This new book’s focus is on freeing “your company’s future from the pull of the past.”
Based on Moore’s research, the key issue facing America’s continued dependence on gasoline is how to get consumers to adopt a “disruptive technology.” For example, who among us wants to take the risk of buying a new car that may not work or buying something like GM’s all electric EV1 that they later abandoned? How about buying a car that ends up costing more to operate than one that runs on higher priced gasoline? That is the “marketing chasm” which disruptive technologies like electric cars confront in their pursuit of customers. The marketing reality is that consumers are pragmatic and their typical question when offered a disruptive technology is “who else has bought this?” “You can be the first” is typically not an enthusiastically received answer.
Finding a customer in extreme pain where the new technology provides a lower cost and superior performance solution is what Moore’s Crossing the Chasm research has recealed as the key best practice in successfully launching a disruptive technology. The path to market for a disruptive technology is finding that first customer that sees the disruptive technology as a way to stop the bleeding. With that success, a credibility is established that will attract additional customers.
This video interview with Geoffrey Moore outlines his insights on how disruptive technologies can be successfully marketed. It is a must watch for every green business owner.
In following articles in this series I will be reviewing examples of emerging electric car solutions and provide examples on how this disruptive technology is creating new opportunities for businesses seeking to connect with early adopters of sustainable technologies, products and solutions.
Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, a company that connects businesses with customers who are seeking smart, healthy and green solutions. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles businesses and their best practices in pricing, marketing and branding for making money going green.