A group of established business operators collude to lock a radical new upstart out of the marketplace (O’Toole, 2013). Does this sound familiar? It should: as proprietary software vendors tried to lock GNU/Linux out of the computer market, traditional car interests are trying to block Tesla Motors’ direct sales business model. In both cases, what is best for the consumer is a secondary concern to maintaining the old profit regimes.
GNU/Linux and Tesla: Kindred Spirits
Tesla Motors is running circles around the rest of the automotive industry. On June 21st, 2013, Tesla Motors introduced a robotic system for changing the electric Tesla Model S’s battery in 90 seconds (Isidore, 2013). In the 1990s, GNU/Linux began to introduce similar radical reforms to the computer operating space. For example, the concept of giving a business the operating system’s source code along with the operating system was virtually unknown prior to Linus Torvalds release of his shiny new OS in 1991. The similarity between Tesla Motors and GNU/Linux is this: both offered innovations that terrified the establishment. Anything that scares the status quo this much is probably going to be good for the consumer.
It All About Choice
At the end of the day, anything that increases the number of choices that the consumer has is good. A cabal made up of traditional automotive interests is colluding to block Tesla Motors from selling its cars directly to consumers. This game plan has been used over and over again. Instead of seeing the future, adapting, and coming up with products that bring that future to fruition, lazy traditionalists often rest on their laurels, and block the actions of real innovators. Unfortunately for them, innovation usually wins in the end. Those clinging to the old end up not being able to beat the new, so they end up joining them.
In the early 1990s, GNU/Linux was almost completely unknown to the operators of powerful supercomputers. Now, 93.8% of the world’s supercomputers run GNU/Linux (Linux adoption, 2013). In 10 to 15 years, I believe that the concepts being introduced by Tesla Motors will be as dominant as GNU/Linux now is in the supercomputing sector.
The White House Petition
A petition has been started on WhiteHouse.gov to bring the anti-competitive movement against Tesla Motors to the White House’s attention. The petition needs to get 100,000 signatures by July 5th, 2013. That petition is here:
Thank you for reading TLWIR 57. Here is a great YouTube video that I found: a test drive of the Tesla Model S.
- Isidore, C. (2013, June 21). Tesla unveils 90-second battery-pack swap. CNN Money. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/HYwLp
- Linux adoption. (2013, May 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:43, June 22, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Linux_adoption&oldid=554457479
- O’Toole, James. (2013, June 21). Pending law would block tesla sales in new york. CNN Money. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/c70dy