Q&A: IdeaLab's Bill Gross talks solar, opens new plant in California

Bill Gross is known as a man with many ideas. During the dot-com days, he founded IdeaLab, a technology incubator that spun out a number of huge successes (GoTo.com, which became Overture, the model for Google's advertising juggernaut), as well as its fair share of huge failures.

In recent years, Gross has reoriented his focus towards alternative energy and sustainability themes. His latest company, eSolar, is a provider of medium-to-large scale concentrated solar power (CSP) plants that use innovative software to cut production costs. "We use smart software instead of more steel," says Gross.