Competing Against the Non-Consumption

SiliconBeat published a post featuring the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sport car. OK it has a top speed of more than 130 mph and it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds, nonetheless I think the company producing it could invest its money more efficiently.

They could, for instance, compete against the non-consumption (a term frequently used by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen). There are many costumers who would be willing to drive an all-electric car, despite the reduced performance, because the alternative would be not driving at all. Consider parents who are worried about how far and how fast their kids might drive. An electric car could be the perfect choice.

There are many other examples where competing against the non-consumption makes sense. Consider the solar energy case. Millions of dollars have been invested in the technology, yet it has not been commercialized consistently. It can hardly compete with the cost-effectiveness of traditional electricity. What if companies, however, instead of trying to compete against the consumption (electric energy) aim for the non-consumption, that is the millions of people living in central Asia and Africa. In those poor regions the alternative for the solar energy is not having energy at all, so consumers there might be willing to store energy during the day in order to have lighting and air conditioning at night. This solution might sound rough to an occidental user, but it would represent a large advance for such poor communities.

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