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Well, we’ve been struggling a bit with the holiday season and some family illness that has kind of beat us up for time. But Brain and I did manage to get out a bit of a video this week to share, along with the help of some of our viewers.

Brain reminded me that it was Christmas Day of 2008 when we did the first roll of the original Speedster. We had started that first conversion in September of 2008 and we were rolling by Christmas. lots of little fixes between then and May when we did our first video.

Much has transpired in the three years intervening. In November of that year, again Brain kind of pressed for a weekly video. We of course assumed we could easily sell advertising on the show, Brian’s always been pretty good at closing such as sale, and by assembling the interested parties in such a show, it looked pretty formulaic.

The industry itself turned out to be a little pre-emergent I’m afraid. We’ve kind of had a lockup between hopelessly small entrepreneurs selling nearly DOZENS of their product and equally naive larger funded companies who are just as naively insisting on selling only to a half dozen immense Original Equipment Manufacturers.

All of this will shake out of course and some more realistic approaches will remerge. We may have been a little early to the party. So the future of EVTV is kind of a race to see if my attention span wanders before it becomes profitable.

In the early days of Boardwatch I wrote everything and participated a bit in the industry to establish credibility. I actually wrote the only known version of UUCP in assembly language (because I could of course). We worked with modem vendors on features and command sets and pretty much invented the “sysop discount” which was universally adopted by modem manufacturers to offer a 50% discount to BBS operators under the theory that this would advance sales of modems to the callers to those bulletin boards in a world where the modems were not really standardized in those days at the higher speeds.

The EV industry is kind of locked down with all vendors awaiting a call from the OEM that will fill their dreams, meanwhile not selling ANYTHING as their cash dwindles toward zero. It’s incredible. These auto guys have to be the dumbest beasts on the planet. SELL SOMETHING to SOMEONE SOMEWHERE. That’s kind of the key to business survival.

Having a plan is good. But sitting there watching yourself become irrelevant because it didn’t turn out the way you want is not it. If they would sell to who wants to buy, instead of only to their ideal customer, there is no telling where all that might lead.

We hope not to do the same thing. In any event, long term we do NOT intend to do all of it ourselves. EVTV will morph into a “magazine” of various views from various participants. In this issue we feature another installment of John Hale’s Toyota upgrade and a fascinating bit from John Hardy of the UK who has devised a cunning thermal watchdog for your battery pack.

And that is rather the point. You don’t have to swallow the whole hog to participate in the barbecue. Let’s say you have FAILED to introduce the next automobile that changes the world and become GM overnight. You might have worked out the instrumentation to tell how many amp hours you’ve used. I find the latter more interesting than the former.

New insulating materials, new corrosion preventives, the NordLock washer is the greatest discovery so far at EVTV. And for most of our viewers one little tip like that can make watching worthwhile.

The heart of the question is how do you have and participate in an industry where all solutions are proprietary trade secrets you are trying to patent and make money from? If I see far it IS because I stand on the shoulders of giants. But if all giants keep what they know secret, and don’t allow anyone on their shoulders, nobody sees very far at all now dow they?

Our economy has entered a very mean spirited “small” phase where our LARGEST corporations will bring in hundreds of Indian temp workers,layoff hundreds of veteran American workers, and do it all to make next months or next quarters numbers with no thought beyond that. It is ok to steal from each other. And any advantage should be guarded and kept secret. It is very much like the famine period setting of STONE SOUP which I shared with you earlier.

As we used to say in Boardwatch, the Internet DEMANDS a certain generosity of spirit from those who seek to profit from it, and it will punish those without it soundly. Recent goliaths such as Google and Facebook and recent developments on the Internet would tend to make this or even deny it. I don’t think so.

And on a wider front I think it holds true as well. Those who carefully guard the little they have will lose even that. Those that start giving it away will be unable to give it away fast enough to keep it from piling up on them.

In this Christmas season, nothing has really changed. The original message holds true. It is better to give than to receive. And more profitable to share than to hide away and hoard. It seems with each generation we have to learn all this over again.

Merry Christmas.

Jack Rickard