Better Place, the Israeli electric car startup, has recently been brought into liquidation procedures.
Although from the immediate business perspective Better Place failed (which failure was not unexpected to begin with), there are many bright sides to Better Place's story. Better Places\' story, is, among other things, a story of courageous Israeli entrepreneurship pursuing a worthy cause and of the power of private initiatives out of established companies.
Furthermore, there is much the Israeli Hitech and Cleantech industries can learn from the Better Place experience; for example:
- Basing Israeli startups on innovative technology development, rather than on financial models. Tech development is probably something we do better;
- Generally, in order to reach success, a startup (definitely most Cleantech startups) needs to go a long way, which requires a lot of time, patience, ability to overcome crisis situations and keeping expectations reasonable.
- The Israeli market is most unique in so many respects (inter alia, being small), so it may not be advisable to have the initial commercialization of a product in Israel.
- State incentives in any form have to be based on a reasonable and clear policy, definitely when addressing the energy sector. It has to be made sure that governmental bodies do not get carried away therefrom.
What do you think? What aspects of the Better Place story can be considered as a success, if any? Where did Better Place go wrong? What will be the next and better Better Place?