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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Design Thinking- Solving today's biggest problem

Hi Everybody

The philosophy of Design Thinking involves focusing on User's problem & finding innovative answers to solve them.

Oil is one of the biggest problem that nations face today. Both its usage & limited availability create problems (Global warming & only reliable source for energy).

Siddharth (former Classmate) informed me about An Innovative venture that aims to reduce global dependency on Oil through creation of a transportation model that supports use of electric vehicles. Launched in October 1997, the Venture involves developing an Infrastructure which will support use of electric vehicles as a personal transportation alternative. A perfect example of design thinking, the venture's Objective is to reduce the global dependence on Oil and aims to replace Cars having Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) with battery powered Vehicles.

Battery Powered Vehicles : Can they run for more than 200 miles?

                                          Once I run out of battery than what?

                                          Aren't they expensive?

                                          Do they have enough power?   

Better Place will work like this: The consumer purchases an electric car that comes with a battery that can be replaced/swapped easily. In order to recharge, the consumer will go to any of the Recharge Stations where they can get the recharge (supplied by Electric Recharge Grid) or swap the battery with another one(the company owns the batteries). The business model is similar to that of wireless network operators in mobile phone business. The phone is being replaced by Electric Car, the recharge/battery is similar to the airtime you pay as per usage at the end of the month (you get a bill similar to the mobile bill) & Electric Recharge Grid is similar to network towers put in place to ensure connectivity at all times.,

But do we have people taking notice of this Venture and what's the benefit.

The company has tied up with Renault and two countries (ISRAEL & DENMARK) have partnered for this venture. Right now the company is developing infrastructure for Electric recharge grid in these countries.

The benefit:

For User: Cost of Car Usage goes down Significantly

For Government: Less Dependence on Oil hence significantly lower costs.

For Planet: Less Greenhouse gases & thus less global warming


Started by Shai Agassi (formerly President of Products & Technology group -SAP AG) this venture is a perfect example of solving problems and providing benefit to all (people, government, planet) with the help of Design Thinking. Better Place also sets an appropriate example for implementation as Shai also helped the Israeli government to set the regulations that enforce these changes. It is said that the policies and regulations were designed so well that most countries want to learn and emulate them.

For more Information on the Venture Check Out  & Shai Aggasi’s Blog you can also search for videos on


Siddharth & Neeraj

(Image Source: )