Item 2: I have just finished listening to the 17 audio discs of Thomas Friedman's book, Hot, Flat and Crowded. The main thrust of the book is to identify the global hazard we all face because of our dependence on oil, gas, and coal. For many overwhelming reasons, the world needs a new source of energy. Friedman also points out, and this is where you come in, that all this also creates great business opportunities. His example is a company in Ohio that for many years has been trying to produce and sell a solar energy system for domestic use. They had little success in getting enough volume to make it all work in this country. Then they discovered a market in Germany for their product and last year did a BILLION dollars of business. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are now customers. Someone on your staff might want to research this and write a case on it. The automobile business is crying out for a new approach with a new product.
[…] I am sorry this letter is so long but thought it was important to reply to your letter.
… and I should note that other alumni had similar, but more pointed reactions to HBS's role:
Timing is everything. Light, “an expert on finance,” had his chance to call together these panels years ago, to research the “new, but untested, financial system,” unregulated as all get-out, filled with “trust me” and “I don’t really understand the math.” Light and his experts seem to understand it now. What new information did they get that was unavailable to HBS before?
Anyway, I'll be thankful for a return to honest business, if that's ever in the cards. And I'm thankful for my grandfather, still around, and still making sense.