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Entrepreneurship, Second Edition by Andrew Zacharakis, William Bygrave

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3.9. CASE: Jim Poss

On his way through Logan Airport, Jim Poss stopped at a newsstand to flip through the June 2004 National Geographic cover story that declared "The End of Cheap Oil." Inside was a two-page spread of an American family sitting amongst a vast array of household possessions that were derived, at least in part, from petroleum-based products: laptops, cell phones, clothing, footwear, sports equipment, cookware, and containers of all shapes and sizes. Without oil, the world will be a very different place. Jim shook his head.

... and here we are burning this finite, imported, irreplaceable resource to power three-ton suburban gas-guzzlers with "these colors don't run" bumper stickers!

Jim's enterprise, Seahorse Power Company (SPC), was an engineering startup that encouraged the adoption of environmentally friendly methods of power generation by designing products that were cheaper and more efficient than 20th century technologies. Jim was sure that his first product, a patent-pending solar-powered trash compactor, could make a real difference.

In the United States alone, 180,000 garbage trucks consume over a billion gallons of diesel fuel a year.

By compacting trash on-site and off-grid, the mailbox-sized "BigBelly" could cut pick-ups by 400%. The prototype—designed on the fly at a cost of $10,000—had been sold to Vail Ski Resorts in Colorado for $5,500. The green technology had been working as promised since February, saving the resort lots of time and money on round-trips ...

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