Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: Tesla and You

Tesla Motor Inc. has just done something that hasn’t been done in the automotive industry since the adaptation of the V-type three-point safety belt (the most common seat belt used in modern cars): it is opening up all its patents to anyone and everyone who has an interest in advancing the electric car industry. This Wisdom.Applied Wednesday, take a look at the logic behind Tesla’s decision.

Elon Musk the CEO of Tesla Motor Inc. said to LA Times, “Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers.”

Experts opinions vary from comparing it to fighting a war were you arm your enemy to stating that this is the only way electric cars can capture more of the market to compete with gasoline powered vehicles. So far this move has not created much of a market impact, but with this announcement came interest from other big name car companies such as BMW which took interest in the Tesla Network of Supercharging Stations. The supercharging stations are like a gas pump for Tesla’s car batteries, they can refill half the battery, 137 miles of fuel, in about 20 minutes. The stations are considered Tesla’s Intellectual Property (IP)-– a trade secrete that Tesla is willing to share which will take away some of their competitive advantage in the market.

Change is something that happens when convenience outweighs the barriers to overcome. With barriers to overcome Musk’s new strategy, has a chance to be enough to change the industry. Being on the forefront of auto-manufacturing technology allows Musk to share some of his technology but of course there are secretes that he is unwilling to share as of now. His technology can bring in a new era of auto manufacturing without the use of fossil fuels, but will the big auto companies be willing to adapt to the new technology quick enough to take advantage of the new technology?

Musk is a revolutionary trying to change the way an industry thinks and advance that industry into the future. Tesla will provide all the information they can to help other companies without giving away information that would put his company at risk to help further develop the automotive industry.

Sharing their secrets about the supercharging station is comparable to Samsung and Apple sharing their technology and programs with ever other phone company as long as they would be willing to be innovative with their products. The amount of money said companies would lose would be catastrophic but innovations would be made at a higher rate. Musk is walking a tight line of risk and reward right now and it could help create a new generation of cars that are solely electric.

Imagine if other industries follow this pattern.

Cover Photo Source: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

Kevin is a Junior Executive at SJG. He earned his BBA in 2014 from Robert Morris University. In his spare time, you can find him at the beach playing volleyball or in a gym playing basketball.