I am very pleased with the shaping up of the market and segment we'll be jumping into. Nissan and GM paying millions to pave the way for the electric vehicle mindset. You have to wonder if GM's heart is really in this though, since their margin successes are all big vehicles and trucks. The tag line to their campaign goes, "Chevy Volt- It's more car than electric." What the hell is that supposed to mean. Are they apologizing for doing another electric vehicle? Remember they called the last one the IMPACT, you know like what happens when you hit something. Gee, why not the Chevy Explode or something equally silly for their next uber car.
I have this saying about how we don't make Camrys at Paxterra. It's not that the Camry is a bad model, I've owned two if you count my Lexus ES which was a high- end, dressed up Camry. Camryesque vehicles get the job done, in some style and much comfort, for almost anyone desiring a five passenger vehicle. In the US, because those seats are largely empty when the vehicle is driven, this becomes very wasteful. All of that unused weight and space is only costing you energy when you move it across the planet. Gaia don't like it, stop the wasting, stop the wasting.
The other reason we won't do a "Camry" at Paxterra is that they are boring. They do everything so well and without feedback that motoring becomes a kind of sedation like watching TV on a coach. It will be very hard to fall asleep at the wheel of a Photon for the same reason you wouldn't nod off riding a spirited mare or stallion. Ferrari has a prancing horse on the hood for many reasons. My favorite is the promise of an adventure where the limits of physical contact with the road are probed using very sophisticated mechanicals. I guess the Photon is more like those rat rods that people built in 50's with most of the tin stripped away and a rumbling V-8 sitting between the rails wondering where the rest of the car went. And they went. Once you slice off a thousand pounds of vehicle, performance picks right up and those V-8s pulled like oxen.
Now about that conventional wisdom stuff: I started Paxterra to challenge a lot of conventional "wisdom" since, as someone who was typically very involved in the actual invention, design, engineering, and manufacturing of products, I was ruthlessly tossed about by very inept, but impressive little monsters called "Business Plans". Not that we saw them much in engineering unless you were a VP. These were never operating plans. Mostly they were hedging documents, written to calm the nerves of investors, and protect the butts of the founders from litigation.
In my corporate executive positions it was usually my job to author and implement the plan that got the product from idea to marketplace. We didn't use the business plan. It was collecting dust on some shelf having done it's "job" of securing funding.
Therefore, I decided Paxterra's business plan would be a living and breathing system of data and analysis that, when taken in the macro sense, perfectly describes the business model and plans as an investor, or other interested party, would require, but, when opened to a micro scale, contains ALL of the data and planning tools to actually run the various divisions of the company. Anyone in the company, and key associated entities, will be able to access any part of the plan that is relevant to their duties. In the larger scale companies this is done within ERP software such as Agile. These programs are very expensive, clunky to use, and have huge learning curves. Our system will be built in a spreadsheet with database capabilities such as Excel. For now, it is running on Googledocs quite nicely and will be easy to port over to a more powerful system later.
Starting in 1988 I built similar systems at every company where I had executive responsibility and reported to the senior management. They liked the top down view these systems could give and I liked that I was always ready to present to exec staff by simply printing out the live data. The computers we have today are much easier to use and incredibly more powerful so this just gets easier and less expensive, even free, as in the case of Google's products. So stay tuned, and if you are associated with Paxterra in any way, there will soon be a system you can use to see where we are and where we are going. And, of course, it will be highly unconventional.