Gates and EcoMotors: An Agile Approach to Green Tech

If you missed the announcement a couple of weeks ago, Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures announced that they were investing in EcoMotors who is developing a low cost, high efficiency engine for cars.

I like this type of investment because it seems logical. The only way to get green is to dream big but make incremental steps in the meantime. It might seem counterintuitive, but think about it:

Greening tech requires 3 things:
  1. Stats: you need to demonstrate the impact that tech currently has or has had on our environment.
  2. Visionaries: the (forgive the cliche) "out of the box" thinkers coming up with the big ideas and convincing everyone of the need to work on them.
  3. Incremental change: small steps that can reduce our impact today and afford us some breathing room to develop the super new technologies.
With my tech background, I believe in big ideas and agile development — you can invent a great new thing and you can implement big projects, but meantime you need to demonstrate progress and change. Small incremental changes eventually lead to big change.

Which is why I like this announcement. Gates is investing in an incremental change to internal combustion engines which improves the problems we have with engines right now and buys us some time to come up with big ideas, actual solutions to our reliance on oil and our need to get around.

Not all change can be big. Nor does it have to be. Slow and steady will win the green race.

(Source: Fast Company)