Follow Adam Linkedin Twitter Facebook
Email Adam Email
Business Growth
Jul 1, 2016

Lessons Learned From Elon Musk

Sponsored Content provided by Adam Shay - Managing Partner, Adam Shay CPA, PLLC

On Thursday, March 31, my wife drove two hours each way and waited in a two-hour line for us to put down a reservation on the design-yet-to-be-released Tesla Model 3. It was a phenomenon experienced nationwide and by the time of the model unveiling at 11:30 p.m. EST, Tesla had more than 100,000 reservations. Within a couple more weeks the number had reached more than 400,000. How did Tesla do it?
 
For one, the company has a strong, if not somewhat eccentric, leader in Elon Musk. Musk was one of the founders of PayPal and in addition to running Tesla, he is also founder and CEO of SpaceX and is purportedly the real-life Iron Man. While not without his personal flaws (he is human after all), several lessons can be learned from the fan base that Musk has built.

  1. Think big and execute. When Musk started Tesla, he had a grand vision of starting with a pricey, highly specialized electric vehicles and eventually shifting more to the mass market. The Roadster, Model S and Model X were all specialized vehicles that have allowed the company to develop and learn the technology and business model necessary to mass produce the Model 3.
     
  2. Innovate and disrupt. Don’t accept the status quo. In Musk’s case, that was to create a popular electric car, an area where others had failed. It also could be to view his car company as more of a technology and software company than a vehicle manufacturer. While that could prove challenging with mass production, there is no other car company in the world that can push changes and improvements through a software update.
     
  3. Create (and reward) raving fans. Early Tesla adopters tended to be wealthy, environmentally focused people. They would have been happy with a high-end electric car. However, Tesla continued to add features and a user experience that really created raving fans. Musk has rewarded early Tesla owners by providing them with premium delivery spots for the Model 3.
     
  4. Tease demand. Drip information to potential customers so that the suspense builds demand. Continue to do so over time and deliver with a superior product.
     
  5. Upsell your customers. Build features in to your products that can be released with the flip of a button. Tesla offers more range, speed and autopilot features both at purchase (slightly cheaper) and post-purchase. Standardizing the features helps the company simplify production, while the ability to turn them on and off allows Tesla to capture value where customers see it.
Time will tell if Tesla succeeds and if Musk prevails with his vision. I hope that he does, but either way there are great business lessons here for us to learn.
 
Adam Shay, CPA (N.C. License Number 35961), MBA, is managing partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC. He focuses on minimizing taxes and improving the financial results of entrepreneurs, and is actively involved in supporting the Wilmington entrepreneurial and startup community. For more information, visit http://www.wilmingtontaxesandaccounting.com/ or email him at [email protected]. He can also be reached by phone at (910) 256-3456.

Other Posts from Adam Shay

Adam shay blk 52015121549
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Volety 0020 1121724229

UNCW to offer N.C.’s first Actuarial Science Certificate Program

Aswani Volety - UNCW College of Arts and Sciences
Tysonemery

Are You Ready To Buy Your First Home?

Tyson Emery - KBT Realty
Chris coudriet headshot 300x300 10211545555

County Projects are Investments in Our Future

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government

Trending News

Chops Deli Co-owner Explains Financial Woes Behind Fundraising Campaign

Jessica Maurer - Jun 18, 2018

At ILM, Regional Carrier's Technical Issues Cancel Flights

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 18, 2018

In The Current Issue

Labor Market Checkup

The demand for health care workers in an area like the Cape Fear region is expected to remain healthy for years to come, experts say....


Berry Farms Weather The Ups And Downs

The weather might have made the 2018 growing season challenging for local berry farmers thus far, but it has not slowed demand for straight-...


Mirimichi Looks To Changing Landscape

Russ Britton started his sustainable landscape products company with a star-studded partnership and plans to continue to grow Mirimichi Gree...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2018 Power Breakfast - Dishing on the Restaurant Biz
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes