Cascading Miracles

Tom Eisenmann, Harvard Business School
In conversation with: Tom Byers, Stanford University

For some wildly ambitious startups, many things have to simultaneously go right for the venture to succeed. Often, observes Harvard Business School professor Tom Eisenmann, these ventures are driven by charismatic, reality-distorting founders. And such ventures do sometimes succeed. But many things can go wrong. Drawing on the story of BetterPlace, an company that aimed to revolutionize electric vehicle infrastructure, Eisenmann demonstrates just how hard it is to scale a company that requires several fundamental shifts in consumer and industry behaviors.