Friday, May 30, 2008

How Fast Can You Partner?: Part 2 Interview with EEstor's Richard Weir

To understand the mindset of Richard Weir, CEO of EEStor Inc, you have to reflect on how intent he is on not allowing his intellectual property to fall into the chaos of a hype machine prior to it's delivery to the market. Keeping a low profile, as the story goes, will allow his team to complete its scientific work of proving, quite simply, that what they have can do what they say it can. It's very likely that we wouldn't know anything about EEStor if it weren't for Zenn Motor Company, who introduced us to the concept of an electric vehicle that could charge in 5 minutes and drive 400 miles. So, Weir is focused and doing his best to avoid the chaos of hype. Perfectly rational, right?


But what if that aversion to chaos were really stemming from that most unscientific outlook known as greedy fear? You're not familiar with greedy fear? Let me explain it to you. Let's say you're out scuba diving, maybe visiting an old wreck that's been explored countless times before by many other divers, but this time you see something no else has seen. So, you move in for a closer look and a little bit of dusting off here and there and you find yourself staring at $500 billion in gold and diamonds. After you almost drown due to improper breathing brought on by hysteria, you might feel a different form of fear. After all, you've just become one of the richest people in history. That is, if you can actually get the goods from where they are now to where they need to be so they can be liquidated and entered in to your checking account. I imagine most of us would not walk up on the beach and make a public announcement about what we found, where we found it and how we're going to begin carting it out of the water....much less build a corporate website laying everything out for remote users.


A more likely outcome is greedy fear and involves having a series of paranoid thoughts ranging from the frustration you might feel if a monied organization dropped anchor right over your find and began rapidly sucking out every last dime of your treasure with a giant vacuum. On the other side of things, you might wonder if anyone out there has surreptitiously learned of your find and are finishing up final walkthroughs of your pending accidental death--perhaps scheduled for next Tuesday when you're out walking your dog at 5:30am.

When Mr. Weir walks his dog, what or who might he be thinking about? "Here's what I'll tell you, this is pretty well known. We fit everything from iPods, cellphones all the way up to batteries for Bradley Tanks." So goes Weir's answer to my innocuous question as to what applications we might gain besides car batteries. Did you hear that Steve Jobs? Weir has a new battery for your iPod. Only, when you connect it to your car, it would also power the car not just the iPod. Finally, something truly insanely great! Along with the gadgets he lists, throw in toys and flashlights, etc. In other words, look for a head-on collision with any of these 330 companies. And let's not even mention the automobile or oil industry here to create real spookiness. It's easy to see how there might be alot of unhappy wealthy and organized groups of people who may not see Mr. Weir's work as a great boon.


And if you have all these potential enemies out there, who are you going to turn to for a little coverage in case anyone gets trigger happy? Why not team with the world's largest weapons contractor, Lockheed Martin, a company currently supplying the US Dept of Defense and Homeland Security with technology, people, and know-how. Get in real tight so that anyone who takes you on is really taking on a massive organization with connections all over government and beyond. That sounds pretty good. What does security like that cost anyway? In EEStor's case, Lockheed only asked for exclusive rights to the entire defense and homeland security industry. Done!

So, I wasn't surprised when I asked Mr. Weir to please give me something new and interesting that no one has written about, something exciting if possible. His reply? "Go back and read what Lockheed Martin said about this. I think that's very exciting. They said two things. They said it works. And they didn't say it works with this or that caveat.... they just said it works. And second, they said it could ramp up into a high volume production environment. I think that's very exciting. So go read what they said about it." In other words, go ask my big brawny, highly trained, well-armed partners what they say about it. So, I took him at his words and did reread the press release and then called the Lockheed press point of contact. That interview will be posted next week.

In summary, a pattern is emerging which may be becoming clearer to you if you want, for example, to invest in the outcome of EEStor's work. Just my opinion but, I would bet that other business deals are forthcoming that involve inking deals with large players in well established markets. EEStor seems fond of exclusive rights deals, so if you want to do business, better have the means.

So you might wonder how EEstor stacks up with Maxwell Technologies, certainly their most advanced competitor. In my next posting, Weir will comment on just that. Also, without asking, Weir provides an update on production schedule and a few personal observations.