Why Didn't Portugal Discover America?
In the 15th century, India was the focal point of European exploration efforts. The Portuguese in particular went to great lengths to find a sea route around Africa. This focus led them to renounce any claim to the space west of the Tordesillas meridian in 1494. But the uncertainty of exploring the globe worked against them, because it was not the trade with India that transformed the global economy but Christopher Columbus’s bold exploration of the uncharted space to the west.
“Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged.”— Andrew Carnegie
The prolonged period of stability in the 1980s and 1990s reduced the scope of exploration in the automobile industry. Faced with the steady rise in gasoline prices that peaked in 2008, growing environmental concerns, and the phenomenon of “conspicuous conservation,” most players were unable to decode and exploit the shifts in the environment. One prominent exception is Toyota: the hybrid Prius was launched in 1997 and became the world’s top-selling hybrid electric vehicle, surpassing the 3 million–unit milestone in June 2013.