Success to the successful

The concept of success to successful can be thought of like this. Imagine a ball perched at the topic a hill. There are three ruts running down the hill in three different directions. The owners of those three ruts are each trying to pull or push the ball down their side of the hill. Once it gets started down one path it gets easier and easier to get the ball rolling in that direction.

Until eventually the balance is tipped and there is no more choice. The ball rolls down the hill in one direction only as the market conforms to the path.

At the bottom of the hill is a hole that just gets deeper with time. Now the ball is stuck.

This was the situation with automobiles: at one very early stage the choice was combustion, steam or electric engines. Clearly we saw how this played out. We’re now at the bottom of a very deep hole with our petroleum based transportation infrastructure.

At this point, getting the ball out of its current situation and into a different hole means digging out the ball and starting over again. Which, in this analogy, would mean excavating the ball by running out of oil or otherwise convincing consumers of the dangers of our current commitments. At which point the ball is back on another hill with a new set of companies digging ruts and pushing the ball around.

You can kind of see these ruts being dug by companies like Tesla Motors and others, but clearly the ball is still pretty far down the combustion engine rabbit hole.