“I wanted to invest in what I was calling at the time transportation solutions,” he added. “When we started, about the only things to invest in were parking and municipal ticketing solutions. Now we’re seeing things like marine applications and marrying drones with autonomous vehicles. It’s quite interesting the number of entrepreneurs and the amount of money coming into what’s now called mobility solutions.”

But while Fontinalis can bet on everything from autonomous wind-and-solar-powered catamarans to nanostructured carbon, the Ford Motor Company has a responsibility to shareholders and the company’s bottom line as it moves into mobility. And this week, Ford said it expects profits to decline in 2017 as a result of increased investment in mobility solutions as well as electric vehicles.

Ford said that he and the company’s executive team are “spending a ton of time” contemplating where the company should invest in mobility. “I’m part of management, but I’m also part of the board,” he said. “So I feel like I have a lot of the same discussions twice, which is great because I don’t think you can have enough of them.”

Ford acknowledged that “where we are at this stage of our evolution is that we are going to try a lot of different things, and obviously at the end of the day we have to build a business.” But he added that the company’s mobility strategy by nature needs to be fluid.

“The one thing we cannot be is wed to a model and put a stake in the ground and then that’s it,” he said. “Conversely we also can’t be like kids in a candy store and just grabbing everything that we see coming along.” The challenge, he added, is finding “the robust business model as opposed to interesting experiments that are kind of cool but there’s no way we’ll ever make money at it.”

Ford recognized that “everything we’re doing and thinking about is far afield from a traditional car company. We’re disrupting the way … people access vehicles, the ownership model. But rather than look at it as something that is scary, I think it’s a terrific opportunity.”

When asked what Ford will look like in 2025, he replied, “Anybody who tells you they know is lying. One thing I do know is that there will be many different business models, lots of different partnerships, many of which will be non-traditional for an OEM. And you’ll have different income streams as a business than you do today.”

Ford ended by bringing it back to the still powerful influence of the company’s founder. “I think a lot about what’s the mission of a company,” he said. “If I go all the way back to my great-grandfather, he believed the only purpose of a company was that of service to society. That’s always resonated with me since I was a child growing up,” Ford added. “It has to be reinterpreted for the period you’re in.”

Originally published by Forbes.com