Elon Musk: Tesla Shorts, and Why Big Companies Struggle to Innovate

Elon Musk: Tesla Shorts, and Why Big Companies Struggle to Innovate

Elon Musk: Generally, when I talk to people
who short the shares, they’re not shorting it because of anything they know about Tesla,
they’re just shorting it because of historical precedent. It’s like, there hasn’t been a
successful car company in ages, so Tesla’s not going to succeed. How about looking
at the fundamentals? You know? So, the thing is that whenever there’s a big
change in technology, whenever there’s a big technology discontinuity, that’s when opportunity
arises in an industry. And if you look at, say, the computer industry, IBM was extremely
dominant in mainframes. Everyone thought, oh, they’ll be extremely dominant in PCs and
everything. And they weren’t. They have a hard time with the technology when there’s
a sharp change in technology. Gradual changes, they can deal with. But sharp changes,
they tend to not do well with. You can look at the Internet and say, well,
why wasn’t Microsoft the leader in search? Why didn’t they beat Google? Why didn’t Google
beat Facebook? It’s just tough to deal with big technology change. And what we’re seeing
in the automotive industry is the biggest technology change since
the moving production line. Part of what Akio Toyoda trying to do with
his company is trying to push it to be more entrepreneurial. He remembers the days of
his grandfather, when it was very entrepreneurial. Toyota made sewing machines in the 30s. Then
they decided one day they were going to make cars. And people were like, “Ha, they couldn’t
possibly make a car that anyone would want to buy.” And they made a great car. But they
were very entrepreneurial. Akio Toyoda is concerned they’ve become too set in their
ways, they’ve become too convinced in their own rightness. That’s part of what led to
some of the issues that he came in to fix. Akio Toyoda is a really great guy, by the
way. Toyota is really fortunate to have him at the helm there. But he wants to push his
team to try new things because when he went to his team and said, “Hey, what about electric
vehicles?” They said it couldn’t be done. It’s like, “OK, let’s see if a little company
like Tesla can do it.” And we’re doing it, and then they’re like, “Ooh, OK, I guess it can be done.” Bill Mann: Why don’t you think they
could do it? They tried for a long time. They put millions of dollars into
developing the technology. What’s different? Musk: I think they will be able to over time,
but it is just not very quick. The mindset of trying something new and radical was just
not there. People have written books about this, like Crossing the Chasm and Innovator’s
Dilemma and all that, about how it’s difficult to do radical innovation at a big company,
because if you try to do radical innovation and you fail, you get a huge ding.
Mann: Especially if you have something to protect to start with.
Musk: Right, exactly. You decide that you’re going to cannibalize your existing business
and take a big risk and deal with all the issues that inevitably arise when you’re trying
to push a new technology, and not get fired along the way. It’s pretty hard.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Lol MF getting into the tsla bandwagon and claiming they were all along, without having to throw Nick Sciple, Brian Feroldi & Jim Mueller under the bus.

  2. If americans dont stop shorting and support Tesla, Possibly the greatest innovative American company to actually lead us in to the future, we will fall behind as a leader in the world. The US gov is already selling oil reserves knowing demand will fall drastically within 10 years. The whole saudi/iranian oil concern was staged to raise prices so it can be sold at a premium before its inevitable downfall. Unless we can push enough propaganda to nuke china which we are being fed alot and quite successfully, They will come up as the next world leader which is what all this anti-China rhetoric is for.

  3. Tesla is a tax farming scam, nothing more. Keep making excuses for lies. If solar city did not teach you, nothing can or will.

  4. Beautiful, I think that people that short Tesla are trying to be a contrarian and not do the obvious thing. Investing is simple and the obvious choice is usually the right one. Trying to be “unique” by doing the opposite of what most people do is a losers game. Shorts will wake up soon

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