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EEStor Blogger Interviews EEStor Blogger Again, this time for Ultracapacitors.org
Today, as Ultracapacitors.org's special guest, we have me, the EEStor blogger from TheEEStory.com interviewing another special guest who also happens to be me. I take both roles seriously and only ask that any questions after the interview address me as a single unified entity for the purposes of efficient deduplication.
Why did you start blogging about EEStor?
After inking an agreement with Kleiner Perkins 18 months ago to promote EEStor and Zenn Motor Company using anonymous blogging as a viral marketing technique, I had no choice but to carry out my part of the contract. I'm kidding. I started blogging about EEStor because I read that with their technology you could charge a car for 5 minutes and drive it for 250 miles. That seemed like a cool company/technology to focus in on with a blog. I reasoned that if EEStor produced on it's claims, it could be come one of the most famous and successful companies of all time. Having a blog that keeps pace with it's developments would be exciting. So, I started blogging about it.
What have you learned about people in general from being the EEStor blogger?
What I learned is that even when you're doing something for nothing, you start to feel pressures as if you were doing it for your job. Feedback from some of my initial articles lead me to start posting word for word interviews. Criticism of who I was interviewing lead me to interview people disbelieved in EEStor's viability. Inadequacies of the blogger platform, lead me to build out a blog-chat-forum website. Basically, I learned that I get kicked around a lot for someone bankrolling, maintaining and updating what must surely be one of the most addictive technical dramas on the web today. I don't say that in the sense that I'm creating the drama. I'm just uncovering it and putting a spotlight on it. But in doing that, for some strange psychological reason I can't quite put my finger on, I learned that I had to listen to my reader feedback and try to do it right. I have an open policy with the website. Anyone who thinks they have an interesting viewpoint on EEStor can approach me and I'll be happy to get their thoughts where people can examine them. But getting back to me. I think the other thing I've learned is that innovation and especially unproven purported innovation is a source of much hysterical commentary. There are people on my site who aren't simply casual observers of EEStor. I think they hate Dick Weir as a person. It's very odd to me but I guess if my way of life or my company or product or market were threatended by something like EEStor, I too would have an emotional response.
Are you interested in Energy storage in general or EEStor in particular?
It was interest in EEStor that lead to an appreciation for the importance of energy storage in solving our world energy problems. Ian Clifford of Zenn Motor Company first brought that to light for me. I've interviewed him twice now: once on the phone and once via email. He's got a great vision for his company and is inspired by noble motivations. We need better energy storage to take advantage of any energy source but especially alternative energy sources like wind, solar and wave. Even if there were no EEStor, I think I would want to blog about energy storage. I'm not so interested in the science as the benefits and advantages of better energy storage from an business angle or energy revolution enabler. Obviously, I'm like many Americans who simply want energy independence for our country. So this flows from that.
If a reader were interested in purchasing an EEStor license today, what advice would you give them?
Just my personal opinion, but I don't think EEStor has any more licenses for sale, not of the exclusive type that Zenn Motor Company and LightEVs received for 2, 3 and 4 wheeled vehicles. If there's still an opportunity there, it is shrinking fast and becoming more expensive by the day. I think what we will see next is EEStor producing a 3rd party validated prototype built by their production line and delivered to Zenn Motor Company as both have indicated would happen in 2008. After that, I think EEStor enters a massive publicity problem. If they are able to get into their offices to work each day, it will be difficult to get meetings with them because every company and financial firm in the world will be beating down their door. To some degree, I get the sense they've already talked with quite a few big names around the world. But after they produce on a subset of their claims, the world will change for them literally overnight. What I would advise is trying to talk to them initially now. Anyone wanting to do business with EEStor had better be in relationship building mode today....(actually a long time ago.) I think companies and people who have handled this poorly via their skepticism may find it difficult to do business with EEStor Inc. For example, I think if you take 2 companies in any one of the many markets their technology could be the disrupter of, if one holds back now in contacting them for fear of EEStor not being able to deliver, but the other approaches them open minded...it will carry over to any future deals. If they deliver, it sets up a serious competition for their attention. And no, I don't think having a connection with Kleiner or Zenn is going to be the door opener. In fact, going forward, only I will be the premier door opener for EEStor partnerships. So, companies wishing to do business with EEStor should be wining and dining me. Taking care of me. Looking out for me. Scratching my back. You know what I mean? Ok, again, I'm only kidding. But I'm serious about the role that relationships and personal interaction plays in a situation like this.
Reading through your site, there appears to be a fair number of skeptics of EEStor's claims. Some of these are enthusiastically skeptical and emotional and caustic. How do you feel about that?
I'm happy that people who feel strongly about a topic engage in the human activity of debate and dialogue. On my website, there's been some very quality discussion about energy storage, batteries, capacitors and related adjacent technologies. There's also been some good discussion of underlying issues related to forming beliefs in the absense of scientific data. What to draw from info in patents, NDA's, competing in marketplaces, utilizing VC funding. Etc. EEStor has been a great case study in how to navigate through the maze of being a breakthrough startup company.
All that aside, I do feel badly that some of the discussion contains mean spirited attacks on EEStor and it's partners. I know that that negativity actually can have an impact on mood because some of that negativety is sometimes aimed at me. I've learned--to some degree-- to ignore it and I think all the principles in the story have also learned to ignore it. But that said, there's still a tiny part of me that wants to track down all those skeptics on the day EEStor unveils it's technology and laugh in their face hysterically unto convulsions collapsing into near seizure quality spasms on the ground. If I could do that with each of the top 25 EEStor skeptics for about 4.5 minutes each, it would make a great video blog in itself. Of course on the flip side, if EEStor lets me down, there could be a parade of skeptics out there trying to perform the same childish routine on my front doorstep.
What can I say? It's the nature of the beast when it comes to EEStor. They've made extraordinary claims and whether they like it or not, people have built up expectations for delivery on those claims. If they fail, there will be a lot of dissappointed people. But if they succeed, they deserve a hero's welcome out of stealth mode.
If you could achieve 3 things with your blog over the next 3 years, what would they be? The main thing is I want the site to maintain it's status as a focal point for all things EEStor. If that means that somehow there were a commercial aspect, I would welcome that. And actually, I would throw it out there that I am looking for ideas on this now. So email me at
if you have one.
Secondly, without a doubt, this whole experience of tracking EEStor's progress is worthy of a book. (Incidently, there's also a documentary being created about EEStor now). Even if EEStor failed, the whole process of EEStor obtaining all this attention and the various discussions it has spawned would be...I think....fascinating. To that end, I made a conscious decision a long time ago to not put everything I knew or learned out on the blog. There's been a ton of things happening in the background that I think people would find fascinating, amusing....and even mysterious.
Thirdly, I have some plans for other websites building on what I've learned about operating this one. Stay tuned...
Thank you Mr. Blogger. Everyone loves you. Thank you, I love you too.
--EEStor Blogger at TheEEStory.com
Readers have left 15 comments.
Great interview, B. Also, good timing as we've got new content on EEStor's relation to the rest of the capacitor market.
I can see why people would be skeptical. We've seen so many promising technowlogies not pan out or mysteriously vanish. As Mike C said, (in other words) if they obtain the energy density to power a car then certainly it will be enough for replacing batteries in home power systems. And everything else pretty much! Widespread and game changing!
No.3 I Agree With Skeptic
I agree with skeptic. I am skeptical too and we have seen too many pie in the sky technologies that never panned out.
Michael C is so correct.
I don't believe in the EEStor Bunny!
anyone with a serious scientific background that reads the posts put on theeestory.com knows that they are biased in believing in EEStor. B's sense of judgement has been warped by the fact that he has purchased Zenn stock and watched the value of it plummet over the last year.
No.6 Why LightEV
Why would EEStor pick Light EV's? That is very odd and makes me think they are stalling.
Sadly, I must agree that the EESU will almost certainly never be produced. If they had a functioning prototype, they could have gotten tons of cash from any of hundreds of sources - yet they signed an exclusive license with LightEVs? That makes no sense whatsoever.
I'd love to be proven wrong, but I'd love to win the PowerBall -- and I think the odds of the PowerBall win are better than the odds of Eestor coming through.
No.8 I am a believer
Did I hear my name mentioned? Yes, I did. So what do I think?
First off - good article E.B., I'll have to get to your site some time. You sound like good people to me so to coin a phrase I heard in some future movie "You have and always will be - my friend"
But I can't afford to buy a license, maybe just one cap. Why would I like a BIG cap, to survive the "Peak Oil" collapse. Unlike others who when I tell them about the collapse tell me they want to shoot themselves or worse yet don't believe. I want to live, I want to simply have light. I already have the solar components needed to utilize the caps I get.
Second - To the skeptics. Yes some "technical devices" have been "con" games. The perpetual motion machine for example. But there are other technologies that are real and for sale - like solar power. How many of you skeptics have solar power? It has been real for over 50 years now and even the oil companies sell it. In fact, my solar installations are better producers than the stock market. The stock market is another con game, if you skeptics try and take your money right now - 99% of you would lose. As far as powerball - another con game - but if you don't play, you can't win.
Third - I think that EEStor teaming with Light EV is a natural. They are both small, nimble companies with expert staff that don't have the kind of overhead (or overload) that a big company has. They won't pull the "idea theft" that a big company would because they are both small enough to litigate each other.
Now, can EEStor do it? If they have the right experts (people who know ceramics) sure. But, just like me they are up against the "Peak Oil" clock and stage one (economic collapse) is almost over.
Thanks Michael C.
I believe TheEEStory.com has a rich reservoir of pro and con information on EEStor. As others have pointed out, beware, as I am a beliEEver. :-) As someone with an acknowledged bias, I think I've done a pretty good job of providing food for skeptic thought. My critics never point that out. Oh well, can't make everybody happy....which is a good segway to highlighting my favorite charity: