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What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From China's Car-Swallowing Bus Take away some of those lessons and apply them to your entrepreneurial efforts.

By David Wither

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The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is China's first car-swallowing bus. This bus will ride over rails set into the road and essentially negate all traffic in front of it. The cars will go underneath the bus. And it's already received its first set of road tests in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao.

There's no telling when the bus will actually be unveiled officially, but it's got people talking all over the world. Engineers say one TEB could replace 40 conventional buses.

So what can aspiring entrepreneurs learn from this car-swallowing bus?

Uniqueness Will Get You Word of Mouth Marketing

Most people were surprised to hear that the TEB had conducted its first road test. The bus was so unique and so special that most people assumed it was an elaborate hoax. The majority believed that it was just a wacky concept, like the thousands of other wacky concepts that come out of nowhere every year.

Yet it's real and China is serious about putting it into production. All you have to do is create a unique product and people will start talking about it, even if the product isn't actually out yet. Think about what your product's unique value proposition is.

Solve a Problem

If you went to a site on structured settlements, you would want to know about how to cash in a structured settlement. That's the problem and explaining it would solve it. The TEB solves the problem of pollution in China. Beijing is currently the world's most polluted city. The TEB would take so many vehicles off the road, which would be beneficial for the whole country.

Entrepreneurs need to stop thinking about how they're going to fight an eCommerce war on social media and more about how they're going to solve problems.

The first thing you should think about is the main problem you want to solve. This should come before you actually get around to building a product.

Don't be Afraid to Go Big

Part of the reason why people believed the TEB was something that was no more than a futuristic concept was because it was so big. People didn't think it was possible to have something like this on the roads. And the first road test has completely proven everyone wrong.

Entrepreneurs are often scared of going big these days. They temper their ambitions because they're surrounded by statistics relating to how the majority of startups will fail in a few years. They don't have the uninhibited optimism they once did.

But the TEB demonstrates that you can still make big ideas work when launching a successful startup. Smart and savvy eCommerce entrepreneurs still know they can be ambitious, but they have to do their research first.

Carving Out Your Own Niche Can Lead to Big Rewards

Entrepreneurs may think of a product or a problem and search for competitors and existing niches. This is heavily limiting your ability to get creative.

The TEB didn't come from anything that had come before. It came completely out of nothing. There were no competitors and there were no existing niches to work on. A lot of the time these crazy ideas come to nothing because they don't solve an existing problem, or there are other problems associated with the invention.

But if you find the problem and you condense your new product into something people can understand there's no reason why it can't work.

As it has been shown with the TEB, it's potentially carved out a niche that can work across the world. Right now there are no competitors, so the head start it already has could turn it into a billion-dollar idea.

You Must Bring It into the Open Fast

The concept came only weeks and months before testing actually started. The company involved did the right thing by advancing its product forward at a strong pace. The problem of coming up with an idea and not advancing it fast enough is it opens the door for other competitors to jump in. It also allows other products to come about that could make your innovation immediately obsolete.

Speed really is of the essence. The TEB is going to have to go into mass production relatively quickly because everyone knows about the concept now. Transport companies will already be thinking about how they can make something similar.


Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the latest innovations. The TEB is no exception. By studying how they developed their product and how they unveiled it to the world you can take away some of those lessons and apply them to your entrepreneurial efforts.

David Wither

Team and Startup Management Coach, Wither Leadership Consulting


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