What can we learn from Tesla’s approach to innovation?

Over the years Tesla has not just established itself as a game-changer in the automated car segment but as an epitome of excellence in science, creativity, and innovation.

The world was mesmerised and kept people hooked on to the screens when the privately developed spaceflight by SpaceX ‘Crew Dragon’ completed its space voyage with a precise landing on the Atlantic Ocean. For the first time in the USA’s space mission that used to be primarily driven by NASA, we witnessed a new possibility where private companies like SpaceX could complete the space mission with a spaceflight that had minimal human interference.  SpaceX’s success in space mission is a testimony that displays excellence driven by hard work, creativity, and innovation. Same in the automated car segment innovations from Tesla is an inspiration to many. 

4 Key Innovations by Tesla 

Speaking of the innovation displayed by SpaceX, there are numerous learnings for an entrepreneur to learn from Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla and SpaceX, who began with his entrepreneurial journey in the tech space with several ups and downs. Below are some that we can learn from Tesla’s approach to innovation: 

Providing excellent customer service

Many companies fail here. Providing excellent customer service is central to receive repeat businesses. Tesla has a chain of dedicated service centers. Its service centers are powered by a mobile technical service named ‘Rangers’ who travels to customer’s residence to assess and repair any problems. Besides, the Rangers Tesla’s cars can wirelessly upload grievances or issues to the company to which the remote technical support team can attend to the problems and resolve the malfunctions.

Increasing the product demand

 To stimulate demand for electric vehicles, a common concern for such vehicles is the power charging aspect. For this, Tesla has developed a vast network of supercharging stations where owners can charge cars for free and could increase the adoption rate of electric vehicles. 

Unique sales model 

Tesla did not follow the suit of franchisees, instead it sells directly to the consumers. It has developed its own showrooms and galleries. By gaining autonomy on the sales channels, Tesla wanted to provide a better consumer experience. Customers coming to the showroom will be dealt by Tesla-employed sales and service staff. They have also created showrooms which are a combination of retail and service centers. Tesla also leverages an online platform where customers can buy a tesla online. 

Tesla -the risk-taker 

Any new business would have adopted strategies firstly to conquer the mass market, but Tesla swam against the waves by not building products for the masses. Instead, it focussed on developing a compelling car that would create a demand for electric vehicles. Elon Musk believed that if he had followed the suit of building mass products, then, as a startup, Tesla could have never built a car with technology iterations and achieve no economies of scale. Elon was determined to introduce expensive electric cars that can be the best alternative against the gasoline cars. With this idea, Tesla introduced in the market, its first high-performance electric luxury car, the Tesla Roadster, which generated a whopping sales of 2500 cars. 

 What’s in it for Startups?

Had Tesla followed the same suit as their competitors of manufacturing products and solutions for the masses, it could have never been possible to carve out a niche for itself in the automobile market. Hence, startups and small businesses should always think doing things differently, be it providing customer service or developing solutions that add value.

Shalmoli Sarkar
Shalmoli Sarkar
An MBA in marketing and a BTech in chemical engineering, Shalmoli writes on marketing strategies and business technology for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.



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