The infrastructure disadvantage

I was really excited to read about the new Eday hatch electric car which will be launched in 2012. It’s very cool for a few reasons including: It’s price is under $10,000. It’s an Australian startup. They are IT focused, not automotive focused. All the major functions are controlled electronically. It’s also the first eco / electric car option which isn’t priced at a premium, so it’s a total game changer.

What I find most interesting in the article is the advantage of zero infrastructure. When industries go through significant change as the automotive industry is, existing infrastructure can be a major disadvantage. Not only can it define how things should be made, but it also has the added burden of it needing to be supported financially. It demands asset utilisation and so limits the potential for a real change in product output.

The only way to innovate in an industry is to re-imagine the best way to build something from scratch. To ignore what we know about the incumbent mode of operation and create a new one. It is examples like the Eday that should inspire entrepreneurs to believe that that no company or industry is all powerful.


Salvage Bazaar

I’m really impressed with new Melbourne Startup

What is it? Salvage Bazaar is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell recycled and scrap building materials.

I’m impressed for a few reasons:

  • It’s a nice iteration for on line real estate market
  • It has strong eco / environmental credentials

It’s a very nice addendum¬† to the existing established real estate websites in most markets such as in Australia.

It also has a strong play with the move towards gentrification of housing in inner city areas, as well as green / eco requirements emerging in the architecture scene.

But here’s the kicker: the founder Kim Pannan, has never done anything in the tech space before in her life, not even blogging let alone founding, designing and building her own commercial web business. The bit I love is that Kim was a graduate from Startup School. So a feel a bit like a proud uncle.

If you want to learn to what Kim did – who incidentally bootstrapped Salvage Bazaar on very little money, then you might want to grab 1 of the 2 seats left at the Melbourne Startup School.

Who is the worlds greatest entrepreneur?

Steve Jobs?

Bill Gates?

Richard Branson?

Not even close… it’s not a billionaire, not even a millionaire…

It’s William Kambkwamba. William personifies the meaning of the word ‘Entrepreneur’. He has done more with less than any of those above. In all probability William had as little a resource base available as any living person in the free world. This is no exageration.


Here’s why he is the worlds greatest entrepreneur:

– He had no financial resources

– He could not even afford to go to school, had no formal education

– He had to make it work with junk he found lying around

– He is self taught

– He created something incredibly complex

– He did it from a guide in what was then, a foreign language to him

– He built something for the good of others, to help his village

– He was not motivated by money

– He defied ridicule

– He is humble

William is the greatest entrepreneur in the world. William is one of the greatest inspirations I’ve ever had the fortune of being exposed to. Read up on William. Google him. Watch the Youtube videos on William. Absorb what William represents and re-consider what you beleive to be hardship next time you have a tough day. I do.



I’ve been thinking late that many of our so called labour saving inventions are simply a bad idea. Including but not limited to escalators, revolving doors, auto opening doors and electric hedge trimmers. These tiny ‘exercise saving’ devices have become so pervasive that we had to invent other little machines which are ‘labour creating’ – like gym memberships, treadmills and other contraptions we’d find in a gym….

Net result = obesity crisis

Picture 7

Here’s an idea: remove all the unneeded labour saving devices, (exclude those needed for disabled access) reduce energy requirements, remove the need for gyms and improve the health of the populous.

Startup crew out there – create something which helps society.


A few steps forward

I saw this auction sign board while walking in my local village. A real estate agent who has the night light powered by a solar panel. The first I’ve seen of it’s kind.¬† I was surprised.


It’s not a huge innovation, it may even cost them more than a standard electric powered light does, I’m note sure. What I am sure of is this, it moves them and ‘us’, all a few steps forward. To using better and smarter technology.

I felt good about it, good enough to be writing about it here. So the question is this:

What small things can your startup do to take it’s brand, and us all a few small steps forward?