“We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” Peter Theil
Growing up I found an alternate universe in Hollywood’s movies. I believed that someday in my lifetime buildings would soar past the clouds and people could move about with jetpacks–even traveling planet to planet in just a blink of an eye. I mean, have you ever watched Back to the Future? Today, I wonder why we’re so far, and it seems that other people feel similarly.
I believe we do have progress and innovation, but that over the last two decades we’ve made more incremental advances than fundamental leaps. It seems that Tesla is the greatest fundamental leap in our generation.
Our transportation systems have always been plagued with inefficiencies and yet the only fixes we’ve seen in my lifetime are incremental advances— cars were upgraded with more miles per gallon, smaller hybrid cars were built followed by painstakingly slow electric cars. Even as gas prices exploded out of control, we crept forward with incremental innovation in cars. At the same time, the software world grew exponentially with Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all claimed as children of this time. All of this, until a couple of years ago when Elon Musk created TESLA Motors, taking on the incumbent gas guzzling automotive industry.
TESLA has excited many in a way that technologies of my generation have not. Because of what Elon Musk has done with Tesla I am reminded that our potential is limitless and that our dreams are quite possible.
The company is a testament to how much we can shape the future–from a clean energy and propulsion perspective down to all the non-technical parts of our customer experience and how we purchase the car and interact with the demo. These are both functionally fundamental strides for innovation and markets-both of these drastically change the way humans interact with each other and the world.
Clean Energy & Propulsion
All of the Tesla models are powered by electricity. The car doesn’t need a drop of gas. With that, the Model S P85D can go 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds.
That’s the same 0-60 as the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570 and that’s just a second shy of the fastest car in the world, the Chevy Corvette Twin Turbo. (Fastest Cars in the World)
It’s not just about the Prius anymore. The slow-eco friendly cars. Now you can have a sleek and sexy sportscar that’s knocking down the competition. I’m sure the autobahn would be happy to have you.
There was tons of push back on this. Musk went to the top car manufacturers and told them this tech was possible and that the survival of the world was predicated on us being smarter about what we release into it. They didn’t really budget.
There’s little I hate more than Car Shopping (Mattress Shopping sucks too). In my mind I’ve got a picture of what the car salesman will be. Sell Sell Sell. All they do is sell you from the moment you walk in the store. You can never quite be sure if they’re being honest about any question. It always feels like it’s a game with them—you just want a damn product! One that fits your needs!
Tesla has cut those people out of the car game.
Instead of going to a car dealership to buy a car, you can walk right into a Tesla Store OR you can customize and order it online. They’ve got a really sleek web interface too. Almost as cool as the car itself.
Now, there are a lot of people pushing back. Car Dealerships and the salespeople that run them have the most to lose. They’re being cut out of the sales process. That’s why states like New Jersey banned Direct Sales for Cars so you can no longer get it straight from the Tesla factory. There’s a legitimate fight being waged to reverse rulings like those—many have been won, like the one in NJ.
This is something that we just assumed to be as it is. Innovation and advancement is but simply the continual improval, but Tesla uprooted the system as we know it and employed a drastically more efficient system. This fundamental shift in our inventive style has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. I am most intrigued by the potential of the Tesla Battery (the battery hasn’t been advanced technologically for decades), but the potential to have Wi-Fi Beamed down from Elon Musk’s Satellites is pretty great too.
Elon Musk has sparked an era of fundamental leaps. I’ll be following these technologies and reporting back with what I find. It’s just the beginning of a new era in innovation and technology. Stay tuned.