By Sophie Reinhardt
Having the next great solution is a great step in the right direction. However how can you change the mindset of a whole society to use the better solution?
What motos can teach us about changing the society
Motorcycles are a commonly used for transportation in Kenya. As of today, most are powered by fossil energy, however the number of electric motos is rising constantly. Despite the additional cost in purchase for an electric motorcycle, how did that shift in society start to happen and how can other countries benefit from their solution?
Analysis of the current state of the market and society
It is no secret that traffic in big cities is horrendous and a better way to get around are motos. In spite of being noisy, unsafe, and creating a lot of air pollution. So, there is a need for the society to reduce all these factors, hence funding these changes can be quite challenging for all of them. However, the electric motorbikes have their own disadvantages like having a different maintenance system or don't having as far of a reach with one battery filling than a whole tank of gas.
The solution for one city
Jason Grass presented the solution of his company “Stima”, which is settled in Nairobi (Kenya). They offer a system to help with the switch to electrical motorbikes. First of all, they offer loan to purchase, because loaning a motorcycle is quite common in Kenya. As a result, at some point their revenue will rise. Secondly their concept is based on exchangeable batteries, where people can exchange for full charged one's, similar to gas stations. The society is used to these kinds of infrastructures, so the change wouldn't be that hard and therefore connected with less risk.
What can work, and cannot work in other parts of the world
Unless you try, there is now certainty if a business model will work or not. However, there are some key points, that will foreshadow wherever it will be profitable. At the example from Kenya, it helps that it is common to loan a bike. For other countries that might not be the case. So it is inevitable to create a different funding option, so society can overcome the higher price of the electric motorcycle. Furthermore, you have to overcome the charging obstacle, without the infrastructure around the electric motorcycles are setup to fail.
How to change the society
Each generation have their own trends and new inventions, that are the most used in their time. Despite most people disliking change especially when they rely on the original version. Therefore, all these things needed a time to gain acceptance. In the case of the electric motorcycles, providing a similar system with benefits helps to raise the number of clients. As a pathway to change the general knowledge of society, knowing the market and their problems is key. As well as providing reasonable prices and infrastructure.
In the end you have persuaded a group of people to change their habit, give them time to adapt and hope that word of mouth advertising will do the rest. However if your solution are beneficial for a group of people, success isn't that far anymore.