Tesla's Pace of Innovation
I've had my Model S (P85) for over 3 1/2 years now, and I still marvel at what an amazing car it is. However, even more impressive is how fast Tesla has innovated to make my car relatively obsolete. Sure, my P85 is still a great car but it doesn't have Autopilot 2.0 or AWD. And while it was the fastest Model S available when I got it, now even Tesla's base model S is almost as quick (0-60 mph).
When I think about what's driving this aggressive pace of innovation, I find myself attributing much of the source to Tesla's management. Elon and his team are pushing the envelope on innovation, and are constantly challenging the status quo and what people think is not possible. There are definitely certain risks in pushing the envelope too fast, but so far Tesla has navigating that balancing act rather well.
When compared to the competition, Tesla is in a pack by itself. There is no other auto maker that I'm aware of that's innovating as fast as Tesla or pushing the envelope as aggressively. Sure there are startups that are innovating quickly, but once a company starts delivering cars at scale most companies tend to err on being overly conservative. But in Tesla's case, even with thousands and thousands of cars delivered, they keep iterating and keep pushing out better technology.
This is the reason why I think that Tesla's biggest risks are not competition from existing auto makers. Rather, the biggest risks to Tesla lie in their own execution and supply chain. What if a major supplier has a plant burn down and it delays critical parts for 6 months? Or what if there's a major earthquake that hits Tesla's Fremont factory and Tesla is unable to produce cars for 3 months? Tesla still has bills to pay and it could cause a cash crisis.
Overall, I think Tesla can and will overcome the challenges ahead. And I don't think the future of Tesla has ever looked brighter. Just reflect on the pace of innovation... and enjoy the ride as Tesla releases more and more amazing products that delight their customers.
ps., if you enjoy my newsletter please consider helping out by passing along my referral code for $1000 off a new Model S/X and free supercharging, http://ts.la/david7556.