I have been following the story of Elon Musk for several years now. His attitude toward innovation, risk taking and the possibility of failure is what I consider to be an “example of good.” This attitude has earned him a handsome fortune (worth $12b as of 2014) and a top spot in my “must interview” list for my book. In my previous world of new business development, my team and I had followed Musk’s company Tesla Motors closely as we were working on opportunities in the electric vehicle industry. At the time Musk had just begun general production of the Tesla Roadster and while it had won an award from Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2006 it was far from certain that the company could survive.
This weekend electric vehicle (EV) charging company Better Place announced that they are shuttering the company and liquidating their assets (WSJ Article). Over the previous few years, Better Place had raised more than $850m in venture funding from well-known investors like Morgan Stanley, GE Capital, HSBC and VantagePoint Capital Partners. Armed with lots of money and ambition, Better Place wanted to revolutionize the automobile industry by allowing EV customers to have a monthly subscription to their fuel plan just like they did to their mobile phone plan.
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