Better batteries will definitely impact the automotive market, but there are a wide range of opinions as to how. The US Department of Energy estimated that nearly 1.2 million such vehicles were part of the American automotive fleet as of 2015. If we wanted to understand the impact of better batteries, I’d start with whatever company had made the most vehicles out of those 1.2 million, and then work down the list. (We’d also want to know why the most experienced market participant, Toyota, is moving so fast to fuel cells.)
The team that is doing the work will know more about the market that anyone else.
Outsiders will have opinions. Think tanks will have twenty year projections. Politicians will feel for public opinion and move accordingly. The people that really know the market will be the ones with their hands dirty, their heads down and with a customer on the other side of the equation.
Too often we are quick to believe a report, a piece of analysis or some opinion derived by an outsider, rather than someone with a vested interest. Examples are everywhere:
- While working in Private Equity, we would often be told how things, ‘should work’. We’d invested over USD 2 billion in the space. Abstract conversations about finance aside, we knew what did and did not work.
- Still now in membrane development, we see new market entrants all the time declare, “This is how we will work with multi-billion dollar turnover global players.” It is nice to imagine clever business practices, but the reality is very different.
- Often times in lists of new technology and potentially disruptive developments, we find interesting discussion from outsiders. Sometimes those outsiders are close to being insiders – maybe they are academic experts with good industry contacts. Even that is a long way away from being the team on the ground doing the work.
If we were updating Latin mottoes, one of the following extends from “Labor omnia vincit.”
- Labor knows the most: Labor scit maxime.
- Labor will learn the most: Labor discere maxime.
- Labor learns fastest: Labor discit ieiunas.
- From labor, knowledge: Laboris, desierit.