Sunday, April 27, 2008
Lagging, or buying time?
While it may be easy to assume that many of the large oil and gas companies have refused to acknowledge climate change because of the extreme wealth they are generating from hrydrocarbon based fuels, I feel most of them have a better understanding of the situation then they get credit for. Self preservation is a very powerful motivating factor, and these mega corporations are too large, and generate too much wealth to just go quickly into the night. As energy sources change they will find ways to adapt. Either they are already investing in technologies, or they are waiting for the right time to invest. It has been brought up that Exxon should be focusing on renewables as they will be missing long term benefits of not diversifying. Until economics or regulation significantly changes there is no reason companies like Exxon should deter from their core competencies as it is extremely profitable now, and will be for years to come. Additionally, companies like Exxon amass so much capital that they will be able to buy into whatever new technologies gain footing. Additionally, they can buy the expertise to manage such technologies. Much empirical evidence suggests companies often benefit from being fast followers as opposed to first movers. In many cases first mover advantage can be overrated. Learning from you competitors mistakes by taking a fast follower approach can be quite beneficial.