What happens when innovation, disruption and a billion dollars collide?

Before Tesla became the phenomenon it is today, Israel’s Better Place was ready to change the world by building the world’s first affordable, all-electric car. But then the wheels started to fall off. TOTALED tells the company’s incredible story.
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What happens when innovation, disruption and a billion dollars collide?

Before Tesla became the phenomenon it is today, Israel’s Better Place was ready to change the world by building the world’s first affordable, all-electric car. But then the wheels started to fall off. TOTALED tells the company’s incredible story.

Brian Blum’s deeply researched account is like playing a car-wreck video in slow motion: You can watch every stroke of bad luck, bad timing, and bad blood reduce a once-thrilling idea to dust.”

— David Pogue, Yahoo Finance, former New York Times tech columnist

Brian Blum’s got the wheel, and you get to ride shotgun. And you’d better hang on: this fast-paced, action-packed journey presents a side of the startup world that few ever get to see—much less survive. Blum’s breezy style, muscular prose and impeccable research are a rare combination for any business book, but his eye for detail, character development and story are nothing short of genre bending.

— Gina Smith, author of iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple and Had Fun Doing It and former ABC News tech correspondent

Part thrilling roller coaster, part slow-motion crash, Brian Blum’s TOTALED is a treasury of lessons for entrepreneurs, managers, and board members alike. Required reading for ambitious innovators everywhere.

— Ron Adner, author of The Wide Lens: What Successful Innovators See that Others Miss and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

TOTALED tells an amazing true story that reads like fiction. Shai Agassi is an endlessly fascinating, larger-than-life figure, and Brian Blum’s TOTALED ferrets out every colorful detail. In the process, the book gives us vivid living history from the early days of today’s electric vehicle revolution.

— Jim Motavalli, author of High Voltage and Forward Drive, columnist for Car Talk at NPR and longtime contributor to The New York Times

The mystery of what really crashed electric car startup Better Place is finally unraveled. It’s an account as fascinating as those that unfolded simultaneously at Fisker, Tesla and even GM. No one said getting into the 21st century would be a no-brainer—and with stories like this one, it’s easy to see why it’s already been such an epic ride.

— Chris Paine, director of Who Killed the Electric Car and Revenge of the Electric Car

Eloquent, sharp, insightful and entertaining, Brian Blum’s autopsy of a lavishly financed venture’s collapse is a must-read for inventors, investors, economists and anyone curious about the Israeli start-up scene’s culture of adventure, inspiration and risk.

— Amotz Asa-El, commentator, Dow Jones MarketWatch

There are deep lessons to be learned from this consummate insider who writes more like an author of detective thrillers than business books.

— Jon Medved, venture capitalist and CEO, OurCrowd

Brian Blum tells a story of unfettered ambition, unchecked hubris, bad luck and worse timing with the skill and dexterity of a professional driver on a rainy course. TOTALED takes us on the wild ride that is the spectacular rise and fall of the most audacious startup of the last decade.
— Chris Shipley, executive producer, DEMO conference

Brian Blum documents this remarkable meltdown from transformative beginning to sputtering end. Without his voice, the Better Place story might have remained untold. TOTALED is a riveting narrative that had me glued to each page.
— Karin Kloosterman, founder, Green Prophet

A world-changing vision, a charismatic and talented CEO, massive funding—what could go wrong? A lot, of course, and Brian Blum’s TOTALED describes in fascinating detail the players, the technology, and the missteps that ultimately brought the company down. This is a book with important lessons for startups of all kinds.
— Jeffrey S. Rosenschein, co-creator of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem entrepreneurship course; Sam and Will Strauss Professor of Computer Science

Using his deep reporting and research skills, Brian Blum brilliantly chronicles the fascinating story of this pioneering company. He makes us understand how difficult disruption is. If you love cars and are interested in change, you will be captivated reading this book.
— Sandy Schwartz, president, Cox Automotive

Brian Blum’s deeply researched account is like playing a car-wreck video in slow motion: You can watch every stroke of bad luck, bad timing, and bad blood reduce a once-thrilling idea to dust.

— David Pogue, Yahoo Finance

Brian Blum’s got the wheel, and you get to ride shotgun. Blum’s breezy style, muscular prose and impeccable research are a rare combination for any business book, but his eye for detail, character development and story are nothing short of genre bending.

— Gina Smith, iWoz

Part thrilling roller coaster, part slow-motion crash, Brian Blum’s TOTALED is a treasury of lessons for entrepreneurs, managers, and board members alike. Required reading for ambitious innovators everywhere.

— Ron Adner, The Wide Lens

TOTALED tells an amazing true story that reads like fiction. Shai Agassi is an endlessly fascinating, larger-than-life figure. A vivid living history from the early days of today’s electric vehicle revolution.

— Jim Motavalli, High Voltage

The mystery of what really crashed electric car startup Better Place is finally unraveled. No one said getting into the 21st century would be a no-brainer—and with stories like this one, it’s easy to see why it’s already been such an epic ride.

— Chris Paine, Who Killed the Electric Car

Eloquent, sharp, insightful and entertaining, TOTALED is a must-read for inventors, investors, economists and anyone curious about the Israeli start-up scene’s culture of adventure, inspiration and risk.

— Amotz Asa-El, Dow Jones MarketWatch

There are deep lessons to be learned from this consummate insider who writes more like an author of detective thrillers than business books. A watershed event in the development of next-generation transportation.

— Jon Medved, OurCrowd

A story of unfettered ambition, unchecked hubris, bad luck and worse timing told with the dexterity of a professional driver on a rainy course. TOTALED takes us on the wild ride that is the spectacular rise and fall of the most audacious startup of the last decade.

— Chris Shipley, DEMO conference

Brian Blum documents this remarkable meltdown from transformative beginning to sputtering end. Without his voice, the Better Place story might have remained untold. TOTALED had me glued to each page.
— Karin Kloosterman, Green Prophet

A world-changing vision, a charismatic and talented CEO, massive funding—what could go wrong? A lot, of course, and Brian Blum’s TOTALED describes in fascinating detail the players, the technology and the missteps that ultimately brought the company down.
— Jeffrey S. Rosenschein, Hebrew University

Brian Blum brilliantly chronicles the fascinating story of this pioneering company. He makes us understand how difficult disruption is. If you love cars and are interested in change, you will be captivated reading this book.
— Sandy Schwartz, Cox Automotive

Listen to TOTALED on Israel Story

Brian produced this audio documentary for the podcast Israel Story. Meet some of the people in the book. Take a virtual drive in the Renault Fluence Z.E. all-electric car. Hear the surprising – and emotional – new ending to the Better Place story.

In the News

Your story could be next

Business and technology journalist Brian Blum loves to tell the stories of the world’s most fascinating entrepreneurs and the companies they create. Combining deep research with the ability to translate complex concepts into conversational language, Brian can bring your story—and the life story of your startup, company or organization—to life, honestly and with passion.

Insights

Excerpts from TOTALED to be featured in ANewDomain.net

ANewDomain.net is one of my favorite tech websites. And it’s going to be featuring excerpts from TOTALED in the coming weeks. The first is already up. It describes how Better Place’s switching stations came to be.

Land of cars and innovation

Israel is not generally thought of as an automotive powerhouse. Israel’s only real car maker, Haifa-based Autocars has long been defunct. But today, some of the coolest next-generation car technology is coming out of the Startup Nation.

Brian can speak to what you need

Brian Blum will come to your company, organization, professional association or university classroom to speak on some of today’s most critical topics: managing change, the pitfalls of innovation, and whether the failure of Better Place is a warning sign for the Startup Nation.

Contact

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Are you a journalist and would like to review TOTALED?

We’d be happy to send you a complimentary eBook. Please send a message to reviews(at)bluepepperpress.com and include the name of your publication.

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