Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-Hour Energy, has pledged to give 99 percent of his $4 billion net worth to charity. 

That's the opening hook of a new documentary about Bhargava called Billions in Change

It is, to be sure, fascinating that Bhargava amassed a $4 billion net worth mostly on the strength of the so-called energy shots. Likewise, it's fascinating he'd still have $40 million left, after giving away 99 percent of his fortune. 

But if you watch Billions in Change, from an entrepreneurial perspective, you'll find yourself just as captivated by Bhargava's philosophies around innovation. Here are some highlights from the 40-minute film:

The first question Bhargava asks when someone approaches him with a project. "Is it useful?" he says. "And if it's not useful, it better be entertaining. And if it's not useful or entertaining, there's only one other basket left." 

Bhargava used his wealth to build a philanthropic invention shop. The shop, called Stage 2 Innovations, has its own facility on 5-Hour Energy's 10-building, 25-acre base in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Its mission, says Bhargava, is to "invent stuff that makes a difference in other people's lives." 

Specifically, Stage 2 focuses on inventions that can "help the poorer half of the world make their lives better," he says. "That's what we define as a great invention." 

Stage 2's invention philosophy is: Go big or go home. Jack Juni, a Stage 2 engineer in the film, says that Bhargava is constantly telling the engineers: "If it doesn't make a big difference, find something else to do." 

Bhargava elaborates: "If it doesn't make us money but it really changes the lives of people, we're going to do it ... And if you come up with something cool that's not [useful], we don't do it. I have no interest. I don't want to be cool." 

On what an entrepreneur's job is all about. "My job, I think, is to make complex simple," Bhargava says. "Whereas it seems a consultant's job is to make simple complicated." That sounds like a cliché, until you see the philosophy in action in the simplicity of Stage 2's inventions. 

Stage 2 has built a generator that uses bicycle-peddle power. The film states that three billion people worldwide have no electricity or electricity for just two or three hours a day. 

One of Stage 2's inventions is a hybrid bicycle that you peddle for an hour--and it creates enough pollution-free power to provide 24 hours' worth of electricity.

The bicycle is called the Free Electric. In its simplicity, you can see the creative imprint of Bhargava, especially when you consider what a simple (but revolutionary) idea 5-Hour Energy was. Stage 2 envisions the bicycle helping not only the poorer half of the world but also wealthier parts, whenever there's a blackout or natural disaster that knocks out the power. 

On the only two things an entrepreneur needs. Common sense and a sense of urgency. 

On whom an entrepreneur should study to learn about those two things. Your mom. "She's done more than your MBA professor," Bhargava says in the film. "She has this budget, she has kids running around, seven days a week. That's hard work, learning on the job." 

Stage 2 is working on cables made of graphene that pull energy out of the earth's mantle. Why graphene? Because it's lighter than air, stronger than steel, and a better conductor than copper, notes Ravi Sajwan, CTO of Renew, an energy company housed at Stage 2. (Graphene itself is, essentially, a thin molecular layer of graphite.) 

Once Bhargava's engineers told him that graphene had the power to pull energy out of the earth in an efficient, pollution-free manner, Bhargava invested resources in building graphene cables. The project is still in the testing phase. "This would be the greatest invention, maybe ever," he says. "Because if you can get unlimited energy from beneath the earth, pollution free--that's everything." 

Here, too, you can see the connection between a game-changing Stage 2 invention and a product like 5-Hour Energy. They both involve energy, simple as it sounds. And they both are attempts to simplify a process that--for one reason or another--has become convoluted by human hands. 

So by all means--watch Billions in Change for its compellingly philanthropic hook. But pay attention as you watch for lessons from an entrepreneur who's learned how to invent solutions to problems most of the world overlooks. 

 

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","inc_code_only_text":null,"inc_pubdate":"2015-10-15 17:04:00","inc_promo_date":"2015-10-15 17:04:00","inc_custom_pubdate":null,"inc_show_feature_imageflag":true,"inc_feature_image_style":"pano","inc_image_caption_override":"How much money would you need to give away 99 percent of it?","inc_autid":3181,"inc_typid":1,"inc_staid":7,"inc_serid":0,"inc_prtid":0,"inc_activeflag":true,"inc_copyeditedflag":true,"inc_flag_for_reviewflag":false,"inc_lock_articleflag":false,"inc_react_displayflag":true,"inc_filelocation":"ilan-mochari/5-hour-energy-billions-in-change.html","inc_override_url":null,"inc_hide_commentsflag":false,"inc_hide_article_sidebarflag":false,"inc_custom_sidebar":null,"inc_show_read_moreflag":true,"inc_display_video_at_bottomflag":false,"inc_full_width_read_moreflag":false,"inc_custom_footer":null,"inc_hide_video_prerollflag":false,"inc_custom_css":null,"inc_custom_javascript":"","inc_canonical_url":null,"inc_meta_keywords":null,"inc_column_name_override":null,"inc_newsworthyflag":false,"inc_notepad":"Manoj Bhargava \r\n\r\nAs far as hooks go, it's a compelling one. There's a reason we used it in the headline. There's a reason \"Billions in Change\" opens with it. \r\n\r\nIn other words, the \"free electric\" is, for all intents and purposes, a pollution-free generator. It runs on the energy you provide it when you peddle. From the man behind 5-Hour Energy, it's a bicycle that provides 24 hours of it--if you peddle for just one. \r\n\r\nBhargava is looking for engineers and tinkerers. Kevin Moran, an engineer at Stage 2, says in the film that he was hired because--on his own--he built a nailgun-powered pogo stick. That may seem hard to believe--until you see that the simplicity of Stage 2's inventions is not that far removed from nailgun-powered pogo sticks. [[DOES THIS FALL INTO THE CATEGORY OF USEFUL?]]\r\n\r\n\r\n
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\r\n\r\nthis is it: \r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n3960000000\r\n\r\n40000000\t\r\n\r\nHi Ilan,\r\n\r\nhttp://stage2innovations.com/\r\n\r\nWe are a $100 million stage 2 investment fund established to accelerate the large-scale commercialization of innovative, patentable technologies in the global market. The core leadership of this fund is comprised of Manoj Bhargava, a billionaire philanthropist who has pledged 90% of his wealth to charity and research. \r\n\r\nIf it’s new and it’s big… we’re interested. Submit your innovation button. \r\n\r\nMr. Bhargava is a successful entrepreneur with extensive management, operations and marketing experience. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of PrimeOne Insurance Company and Cardiox Corporation, a medical device company. Manoj Bhargava is a billionaire philanthropist who has pledged 90% of his wealth to charity and research.\r\n\r\nThe founder of 5 Hour Energy has released a film on YouTube detailing a new path he is taking with the winnings he made from the company. Here is the DEK from the video:\r\n\r\npatagonia....\r\n\r\nit reflects well....or is it pinkwashing...huge issues...\r\n\r\nThe world is facing some huge problems. There’s a lot of talk about how to solve them. But talk doesn’t reduce pollution, or grow food, or heal the sick. That takes doing. This film is the story about a group of doers, the elegantly simple inventions they have made to change the lives of billions of people, and the unconventional billionaire spearheading the project. \r\n\r\nJoin us at:\r\nwww.BillionsInChange.com\r\nhttps://www.facebook.com/billionsinch...\r\nhttps://twitter.com/billionsnchange\r\nhttps://instagram.com/billionsinchange\r\n\r\nHED\r\nBillions in Change Official Film\r\n\r\nhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY7f1t9y9a0\r\n\r\nLaura suggested I send this to you for an assignment.\r\n\r\nlan and Lindsay, We thought it might be interesting to look at this successful entrepreneur who is looking to tackle some Big, Hairy, Audacious challenges. One interesting aspect of the piece is that 5-Hour Energy is sort of a specious product, akin in some ways to a “sin industry” offering, like tobacco & liquor.\r\nPerhaps for a post on his efforts alone, or a slideshow about rich guys throwing millions at such BHAG projects— I’m thinking of Bill Gates; there might be others, but maybe not.\r\nUp to you. Thanks for considering. \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n","inc_track_changesflag":false,"time_updated":"2018-05-17 11:50:03","channels":[{"id":4,"cnl_name":"Lead","cnl_filelocation":"lead","cnl_custom_color":"009CD8","cnl_calculated_color":"F7CE00","cnl_contributor_accessflag":true,"cnl_custom_article_footer":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_color":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_gradient_start":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_gradient_end":null,"sortorder":null},{"id":26,"cnl_name":"The Branding Game","cnl_filelocation":"branding-game","cnl_custom_color":null,"cnl_calculated_color":"F6861F","cnl_contributor_accessflag":false,"cnl_custom_article_footer":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_color":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_gradient_start":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_gradient_end":null,"sortorder":1},{"id":170,"cnl_name":"Corporate Social Responsibility","cnl_filelocation":"corporate-social-responsibility","cnl_custom_color":null,"cnl_calculated_color":"009CD8","cnl_contributor_accessflag":false,"cnl_custom_article_footer":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_color":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_gradient_start":null,"cnl_global_nav_background_gradient_end":null,"sortorder":2}],"categories":[],"primarychannelarray":null,"authors":[{"id":3662,"aut_name":"Ilan Mochari","aut_usrid":0,"aut_base_filelocation":"ilan-mochari","aut_imgid":31407,"aut_twitter_id":"IlanMochari","aut_title":"Senior writer, Inc.","aut_blurb":"Ilan Mochari's debut novel, Zinsky the Obscure (Fomite Press, 2013), earned rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist. Boston's NPR station named it one of 10 \"Good Reads for the Summer.\" He is a senior writer for Inc. magazine.","aut_footer_blurb":null,"aut_column_name":null,"aut_atyid":1,"aut_newsletter_location":null,"authorimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/100x100/Ilan_Mochari_Inc.com_31407.jpg","sortorder":null}],"images":[{"id":68373,"sortorder":null}],"inlineimages":[],"photoEssaySlides":null,"readMoreArticles":null,"slideshows":[{"id":301,"sortorder":null}],"videos":[],"bzwidgets":null,"relatedarticles":null,"comparisongrids":[],"products":[],"keys":["Lindsay Blakely","Lead","The Branding Game","Corporate Social Responsibility","Ilan Mochari","Inc.com staff writer"],"meta_description":"A new short film sheds light on why Manoj Bhargava is giving away 99 percent of his fortune--and how he built it in the first place.","brandview":null,"internationalversion":[],"imagemodels":[{"id":68373,"img_foreignkey":"178767575","img_gettyflag":true,"img_reusableflag":false,"img_rightsflag":false,"img_usrid":0,"img_pan_crop":null,"img_tags":null,"img_reference_name":"getty_178767575.jpg","img_caption":null,"img_custom_credit":null,"img_bucketref":null,"img_panoramicref":"getty_178767575.jpg","img_tile_override_imageref":null,"img_skyscraperref":null,"img_gallery_imageref":null,"credit":"Getty Images","sizes":{"panoramic":{"original":"uploaded_files/image/getty_178767575.jpg","1230x1672":"uploaded_files/image/1230x1672/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","1940x900":"uploaded_files/image/1940x900/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","1270x734":"uploaded_files/image/1270x734/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","0x734":"uploaded_files/image/0x734/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","1150x540":"uploaded_files/image/1150x540/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","970x450":"uploaded_files/image/970x450/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","640x290":"uploaded_files/image/640x290/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","635x367":"uploaded_files/image/635x367/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","0x367":"uploaded_files/image/0x367/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","575x270":"uploaded_files/image/575x270/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","385x240":"uploaded_files/image/385x240/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","336x336":"uploaded_files/image/336x336/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","300x520":"uploaded_files/image/300x520/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","300x200":"uploaded_files/image/300x200/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","284x160":"uploaded_files/image/284x160/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","155x90":"uploaded_files/image/155x90/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","100x100":"uploaded_files/image/100x100/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","50x50":"uploaded_files/image/50x50/getty_178767575_68373.jpg"}}}],"formatted_text":"<p>Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-Hour Energy, has pledged to give 99 percent of his $4 billion net worth to charity.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>That's the opening hook of a new documentary about Bhargava called <em>Billions in Change</em>.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>It is, to be sure, fascinating that&nbsp;Bhargava amassed a $4 billion net worth mostly on the strength of the so-called energy shots.&nbsp;Likewise, it's fascinating he'd still have $40 million left, after giving away 99 percent of his fortune.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>But if you watch <em>Billions in Change</em>, from an entrepreneurial perspective, you'll find yourself just as captivated by&nbsp;Bhargava's philosophies around innovation. Here are some highlights from the 40-minute film:</p>\n<p><strong>The first question&nbsp;Bhargava asks when someone approaches him with a project.</strong>&nbsp;"Is it useful?" he says. "And if it's not useful, it better be entertaining. And if it's not useful or entertaining, there's only one other basket left."&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>Bhargava used his wealth to build a philanthropic invention shop.</strong>&nbsp;The shop, called <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://stage2innovations.com/">Stage 2 Innovations</a>, has its own facility on 5-Hour Energy's 10-building, 25-acre base in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Its mission, says Bhargava, is to "invent stuff that makes a difference in other people's lives."&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Specifically, Stage 2 focuses on inventions that can "help the poorer half of the world make their lives better," he says. "That's what we define as a great invention."&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>Stage 2's invention philosophy is: Go big or go home.</strong>&nbsp;Jack Juni, a Stage 2 engineer in the film, says that Bhargava is constantly telling the engineers: "If it doesn't make a big difference, find something else to do."&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Bhargava elaborates: "If it doesn't make us money but it really changes the lives of people, we're going to do it ... And if you come up with something cool that's not [useful], we don't do it. I have no interest. I don't want to be cool."&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>On what an entrepreneur's job is all about.</strong>&nbsp;"My job, I think, is to make complex simple," Bhargava says.&nbsp;"Whereas it seems a consultant's job is to make simple complicated."&nbsp;That sounds like a cliché, until you see the philosophy in action in the simplicity of Stage 2's inventions.&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>Stage 2 has built a generator that uses bicycle-peddle power. </strong>The film states that three billion people worldwide have no electricity or electricity for just two or three hours a day.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>One of Stage 2's inventions is&nbsp;a hybrid bicycle that you peddle for an hour--and it creates enough pollution-free power to provide 24 hours' worth of electricity.</p>\n<p>The bicycle is called the Free Electric.&nbsp;In its simplicity, you can see the creative imprint of&nbsp;Bhargava, especially when you consider what a simple (but revolutionary) idea 5-Hour Energy was. Stage 2 envisions the bicycle helping not only the poorer half of the world&nbsp;but also wealthier parts, whenever there's a blackout or natural disaster that knocks out the power.&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>On the only two things an entrepreneur needs.</strong>&nbsp;Common sense and a sense of urgency.&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>On whom an entrepreneur should study to learn about those two things. </strong>Your mom. "She's done more than your MBA professor," Bhargava says in the film. "She has this budget, she has kids running around, seven days a week. That's hard work, learning on the job."&nbsp;</p>\n<p><strong>Stage 2 is working on cables made of graphene that pull energy out of the earth's mantle.</strong>&nbsp;Why graphene? Because it's lighter than air, stronger than steel, and a better conductor than copper, notes&nbsp;Ravi Sajwan, CTO of Renew, an energy company housed at Stage 2. (Graphene itself is, essentially, a thin molecular layer of graphite.)&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Once&nbsp;Bhargava's engineers told him that graphene had the power to pull energy out of the earth in an efficient, pollution-free manner,&nbsp;Bhargava invested resources in building graphene cables. The project is still in the testing phase. "This would be the greatest invention, maybe ever," he says. "Because if you can get unlimited energy from beneath the earth, pollution free--that's everything."&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Here, too, you can see the connection between a game-changing Stage 2 invention&nbsp;and a product like 5-Hour Energy. They both involve energy, simple as it sounds. And they both are attempts to simplify a process that--for one reason or another--has become convoluted by human hands.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>So by all means--watch <em>Billions in Change</em> for its compellingly philanthropic hook. But pay attention as you watch for lessons from an entrepreneur who's learned how to invent solutions to problems most of the world overlooks.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<div class="extvideo"><iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YY7f1t9y9a0" width="560"></iframe></div>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n<p>&nbsp;</p>","adinfo":{"c_type":"formattedarticle","showlogo":true,"cms":"inc81774","video":"no","aut":["ilan-mochari"],"channelArray":{"topid":"170","topfilelocation":"corporate__social__responsibility","primary":["lead","grow","lead"],"primaryFilelocation":["lead","grow","lead"],"primaryname":["Lead","Grow","Lead"],"sub":["corpsocial","mktg"],"subFilelocation":["corporate-social-responsibility","marketing"],"subname":["Corporate Social Responsibility","Marketing"],"subsub":["brand"],"subsubFilelocation":["branding-game"],"subsubname":["The Branding Game"]},"adzone":"/4160/mv.inc/lead/corpsocial/corpsocial"},"seriesname":null,"editorname":"Lindsay Blakely","commentcount":null,"inc5000companies":[],"companies":[],"buyerzonewidgets":[],"photoEssaySlideModels":null,"custom_article_footer":null,"ser_footer_blurb":null,"dayssincepubdate":1005,"trackingpixel":"","promotions":null,"inline_script_tags":[],"promoimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/970x450/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","largepromoimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/1940x900/getty_178767575_68373.jpg","pubdate":"2015-10-15T17:04:00.000Z","author":"Ilan Mochari","authortwitter":"@IlanMochari","articlesection":"Lead"}}],"isFetching":false,"isFetched":false,"error":null,"meta":true,"current_scroll_index":0},"adminMode":{"on":false},"user":{"loggedIn":false},"mustReadArticles":{"articles":[],"videos":[],"desktoplogo":null,"mobilelogo":null,"logolink":null,"containedInList":null}};