Monthly Archives: October 2010

Rethinking the infrastructure for an electric car based system

reposted from 4/23/2009. They are starting installations now!

 

I stumbled then (2009) on this talk from Shai Agassi, a former SAP exec, on a new way to think about electric cars.

  http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

He makes a very good argument that one is today not asked to own an oil rig to get gas, so why should the same person using a battery powered electric car be paying for the electricity and the battery? Why if the service provided by “electricity stations” (as an analogy to a gas station) would be not only to recharge a battery but to swap it?

His point is making lots of sense, batteries are today standardized for electronics (AA, AAA, even lithium ones) so why not for cars. This way we would decouple -or horizontalize- the innovation on the car aspect (power efficiency, engine….) from the battery one. No one would expect a mobile phone maker to develop their own batteries, they just outsource this. I don’t see any intrinsic reason why electric car would be different.

It’s efficient, effective, scales and ensure redundancy in the system (many suppliers) and constant innovation.

A model like Shai’s would allow this and, from where I see this, would make ton of economic sense. Cars all use the same gasoline. This model is just a transposition of this paradigm in an electric car world.

Getting Things Done: My first post

Originally posted on 7/13/2007

I read the book from David Allen "Getting Things Done" (see www.DavidCo.com for more cool stuff) 2 1/2 years ago and started to apply its methodology.

Amazon.com: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: Books: David Allen
ISBN: 0142000280
ISBN-13: 9780142000281

 

 

 

 

Then, a few months after, my boss’ boss paid the whole team a GTD-like training from Sally McGhee based on her book:

Amazon.com: Take Back Your Life!: Using Microsoft Outlook to Get Organized and Stay Organized (Bpg-Other): Books: Sally McGhee
ISBN: 0735620407
ISBN-13: 9780735620407

 

 

 

She co-owns the IP behind GTD but the advantage of her approach is that she bases the implementation on MS Outlook and a email-centric business life which is much closer to my personal life than the very paper-centric one from David Allen. ( I get on average 50 to 150 emails a day, notwithstanding the DLs I subscribe to). I presume this would work with other tool like Lotus Notes, I just happen to use Outlook so this was a good fit.

After now more than 2 years faithfully following the methodology (OK, every now and then I skip a weekly review or get a bit side-tracked ) I can tell that this has made a HUGE difference in my productivity and stress level.

Oct 2010 Update: Now more than 5 years into it, I’m still a fervent proponent of these methodologies. I discovered last year another great set of tools for getting results from a fellow Microsoftie, J.D. Meir. I strongly advise you to check his philosophy and tools out. They can even be of an easier approach for people that may get overwhelmed by the GTD approach or those that struggle linked it to a broader picture.

If I look at my task list today I have more than 150 individual tasks, 80%+ of them being business ones. There is NO WAY I could have been and felt "on top of things" without this methodology. Work still needs to get done but at least I know what I need to do, when and more importantly what I decide not to do or to postpone.

If the methodology sounds a bit odd initially force yourself and stick with it. After 2-3 months you’ll be convinced it’s worth it!

note: this post was actually one of my to-do: "share with friends the benefit I got from GTD" .