Businesses and leaders that changed the world

Certain businesses change the world. Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tesla are all well-known examples, all with iconic founders: Jobs, Bezos, Gates and Musk have earned themselves a position in the business Hall of Fame.

But it’s not just these famous entrepreneurs who have created such momentous shifts in consumer attitudes and business models. We share a few lesser-explored stories from a diversity of industries, covering leaders who have left remarkable legacies.

Henry Ford

How targeting an entirely new customer group can transform a business

Interested in mechanics from an early age, Ford’s experimentation with gasoline engines lead to him designing and building his own vehicles. While he was not the first to invent automobiles and he didn’t develop the best ones, he did make cars available to a wider demographic than ever before.

What can we learn from Ford?

Bringing an entirely new customer group into the fold was highly successful for Ford, attracting a large target market and allowing them into a new buyer ecosystem. The same could be said for the energy landscape – what may seem like a tenuous and disparate customer group may turn out to be the key to further market proliferation.


  • The Kiwigrid platform KiwiOS brings separate industries into a shared ecosystem, from utility companies, to OEMs, to telecommunications, to PV, to home storage
  • This is a huge opportunity for them to access new markets and a wider range of customers

Jerry Baldwin

Provide optimized products with minimal disruption and customers won’t look back

In the 1970s, Jerry Baldwin decided that he no longer wanted to drink subpar American coffee. He wanted high quality, not just for himself but for everyone. So it needed to be widely available.

What can we learn from Baldwin?

It’s inevitable that when people have access to a better product and experience, they will not return to the old way of doing things. The same is true for energy availability. If people become used to a system that is optimized for them, without disruption and at a low cost, they will move on from an outdated and old system, without looking back.


  • Kiwigrid’s suite of products is high quality and easy to use for the end customer
  • The Optimized Business package provides tools for enterprises to optimize their energy efficiency and integrate electric vehicles into fleets
  • This flexible solution provides deep insight on energy processes and data, increasing customer satisfaction and boosting profits

Peter Thiel

Trusting end-users with the power

During the dot-com boom, Thiel knew that online payments were proliferating the mainstream. Developing PayPal in response to this digital revolution had a profound impact on the way businesses and customers were able to manage their finances.

What can we learn from Thiel?

Using cash and banks has long been the status quo and the system has rarely been disrupted. However, in a digitized world, how people manage and spend their money is changing. Power is moving away from banks and governments and into the hands of end-users. The energy landscape too has some big and powerful incumbents looking to retain control. But once people are freed from what they perceive as restriction, it’s hard to reinstate trust in the service providers of old. In the future, the end-user holds the power, so energy providers need to catch up.


  • Kiwigrid allows the end-user to regain control of their energy assets
  • They no longer have to rely on subsidies and high tariffs
  • For 100% self-sufficiency, smart charging and digital upselling, Kiwigrid’s The Independent Home provides everything that a homeowner will need

Oprah Winfrey

A big vision needs genuine drive and consistent delivery to be successful

Beginning her career as a local news anchor, Oprah has always understood the power of communication and brand to propel an idea and identity. Now a writer, philanthropist and talk show host, she’s viewed as one of the most prominent business leaders and educators in the world. Beyond that, her legacy has inspired a culture of online and shared learning with numerous business leaders running thriving tutorials, books and education-based businesses.

What can we learn from Oprah?

Oprah has retained her huge fanbase by remaining authentic and true to her own personal brand identity. People trust her guidance and she continues to offer new material. A business must do the same and always push for new, mature products which can retain customers and keep them satisfied beyond the original big vision.


  • Kiwigrid is a leader in the field of digital energy
  • We continue to develop new and improved products, and empower our customers to use and sell them
  • KiwiHub is able to transform your customer delivery


The importance of powerful ideas and charismatic leadership cannot be underestimated. They are what allow a leader to assemble a capable team and successfully navigate the peaks and troughs of business life. The energy future will look very different to what it is now. It’s not only business models that need to transform, but its leaders need to adapt as well if they are to produce long-lasting, responsible companies. Changemakers choose wisely who they bring on board to serve their vision, knowing that with a strong team no obstacle is insurmountable.


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