Friday, August 23, 2013

Tesla, Texas, and Elon Musk

If you don't yet know who Elon Musk is, you will soon.

Elon Musk is one of the great innovative minds and entrepreneurs of the past couple decades, and he has quietly gone about changing the world without bothering to ask anyone if he could. From the founding of PayPal to the pursuit of commercial space travel to the first significant and viable electric car of the twenty-first century, Elon Musk is changing the way we think about what's possible. Elon Musk is a man who conceives an idea, and then singlehandedly pursues it to fruition. And he is determined not to fail - so much so that he personally guarantees the resale value of all Tesla cars.  That, in a business sense, is crazy. Yet if anyone can break through on the sale of electric cars, it's a billionaire like Elon Musk.  This guy is an intellectual and technological rock star.

Of course,  some people - or even entire states and industries - aren't so impressed. Or rather they may be impressed, but are too frightened to admit it.  Apparently, the state of Texas has banned the sale of Teslas. This isn't too surprising, considering the state's dependence on oil revenue. However, it has as much to do with car dealerships as it does with the car's energy source. Apparently, Elon Musk's approach to car sales - similar to the way Apple sells computers - is a threat to car dealers who fear a breaking of the franchise rules that give them control of auto sales. The reality is that Elon Musk has built a better franchise system, and he seeks to expose the flaws of the current automotive sales system.

Good luck to him. And good fortune for us.


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