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CEO who developed Tesla of electric scooters shares innovation tips

Horace Luke isn’t a fan of the word “no.”

“If I ask the first time [whether] I can do something and it’s a ‘no,’ I’ll find another guy to ask. If the second guy says no, then I’m going to do it,” the entrepreneur said. 

“I’m just going to do it myself because I really believe in the idea.” 

His philosophy of “not asking the third time” has taken the 52-year-old far — he is the founder of Gogoro, a Taiwanese maker of electric scooters and a battery-swapping network. 

Launched in 2011, the startup says it has since built a network of over 2,300 swap-and-go battery stations, powering 350,000 daily battery swaps for two-wheelers.

“By the end of this year, we will have more locations than gas stations in Taiwan,” Luke told CNBC Make It

Its investors include Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, Foxconn — one of Apple‘s biggest suppliers — and Indonesian app GoTo.

Despite his success, Luke’s approach to urban mobility and sustainability was not always welcomed. 

“Not only was nobody working on such a topic, at the same time nobody believed in us … when we launched our flagship store, people came in [and] asked, ‘Who will own [this] battery when you go bankrupt?'” 

The CEO added with a laugh, “That’s a really rude question to ask. But I think the usability and convenience of battery swapping really took hold of the consumers’ hearts.” 

I think of innovation as an upward spiral and my everyday job is to keep that spiral going.

Horace Luke

Founder, Gogoro

Luke is no stranger to innovation — he has worked at Microsoft, where he led product ideation and brand development for its important products, including the original Xbox and Windows XP. 

Prior to founding Gogoro, he was also chief innovation officer at smartphone manufacturer HTC

With more than 15 years of experience under his belt, Luke has a number of tips for developing new products. CNBC Make It finds out what they are. 

1. Listen to others 

2. Think outside the box

3. Finding the right product fit 

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CEO who developed Tesla of electric scooters shares innovation tips

2022-08-11 18:16:25

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