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Now Rod Beckstrom had many interesting ideas, way more than those presented in his book The Starfish and the Spider. He is committed to the impact that we as individuals can have on the planet. If we want to do something about it, it is up to us.

Ok so I met Rod at the event in Tokyo….(this will be my final blog from the Tokyo trip) but I met hundreds of other interesting people. So who is Rod anyway and why so special. He struck me as a man with a purpose. He has achieved all he wants to do business wise…he is clearly financially independent. It is now time to do something about the planet. He said that when astronauts travel into space they first spot where they live, their town, state, country. He said but what they realise very quickly is that we live on one planet ? with one ocean, one land, one people.

I would have to agree with his bio “when Rod speaks he changes people’s lives and organisation’s strategies.

“He does this by sharing from the heart his own stories in business, peacemaking, environmental work, and from his rich travels to more than sixty countries around the globe. He has visited the palaces of kings and titans, worked with the rocket scientists in Silicon Valley, spoken with people in war zones and even lived in a mud hut in the poorest slum in Africa.

“Rod believes in people and Rod believes in miracles. More specifically he believes that all people are capable of producing miracles. All we have to do is tap into our own passions and those of others, and focus on pursuing them with clear intent, collaboration and action.

“Every person wants to contribute to and change the world in some way. Every person also wants to contribute to her or his organisation.

One of the ‘barrows’s he pushes’ is about the power of choice. And that choice is often denied to us. Case in point that the technology has been available for more than a decade to produce a motor car that gets us where we need to go without burning fossil fuels.

Now Rod committed to changing the planet, but also being in his forties and having sold several businesses successfully wants a nice car. But a Lamborghini just does not fit with the image of a guy who is changing the planet. (Greenies don’t drive Porches either)

Tesla Corporation has solved all that. Even though they don’t ship their state of the art hybrid sports car until June 2008. Rod (and many thousands of others) have paid a USD50k fee to reserve one. (Current list price USD92k). The engineering details are spelt out on the Tesla Motors website.

Of course, I cannot help but think of the marketing impact ? have 1000 famous people wait in a queue (and pay a vast sum of money for the privilege) for more than a year to get the most prestigious car ever built. Will that create brand envy, will it make the traditional car manufacturers sit up and take note? Will other manufacturers begin to sell electric cars commercially? Will it be enough for mere mortals like me to have access to a planet friendly vehicle? As a marketing case study, it is fascinating. Scarcity makes us all want something more. Tell somebody they cannot have something and that is what we strive for.

If the Tesla is half what it says it will do, the other manufacturers will not be able to ignore it. We could see the revolution in motor vehicles within just five years, a decade for sure.

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