Disruptor Status: Tesla Motors

If anyone is a fan of the show “Silicon Valley” on HBO (and if not, why?!, it’s flippin’ great), there is a scene mid-season where the main characters go to a TED Talk conference to present their new, disruptive tech idea. Every. Single. Company at the event gets up on stage and says with a note of self-inflated importance: “Our mission is to make the world a better place.”  It is a simple thing to say, and the joke of the scene is just how many companies recite that line. Some companies actually even mean it, but how many actually act on it? And if they succeed, how? We have some ideas of our own at Republic, but also always have our eye on other companies we think are getting it right. We draw inspiration from those that seem to hold similar beliefs to our own and what they do to actually make their mission happen.

One of our favorite examples is Tesla Motors. Here’s a company that perfectly fits into the “make the world a better place” mission statement with their take on electric cars. How they proved they meant it was a masterstroke of business strategy. Tesla started with a product that was good. Like really good. Their Model S car actually broke the crash test machine, making it the safest car ever made. And at every turn, they have overcome litigation that kept them from selling their cars to people because they believed in what they were doing. Then, in a moment of pure brilliance, they opened all their patents to the public.

Oh, to be at the table when that decision was made. How do you beat the game the big guys are throwing at you? Don’t play. By releasing all their patents to the world, Tesla definitively proved they are out to make the world a better place and they don’t care who helps. Now the big car companies like Ford and BMW are experimenting with their own Tesla units and are figuring out ways to implement Tesla tech into their cars (sound familiar?).

Their office is nerdy like ours too!

And what is Tesla’s response at the end of the day? Neat! “This is actually good for Tesla and the electric vehicle industry,” says Chief Executive Elon Musk. “You want to be innovating so fast [that] you invalidate your prior patents.”  Essentially, they’re saying what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. And we feel the same way about WiFi + Cell. As the big guys start catching up with WiFi + Cell plans of their own, we thinks it’s great! It means more people can stay better connected and enjoy the value that you have been this whole time. It also means we get to go after the next industry head-scratcher and fix that too (more on that to come…).

Meanwhile, we love what Tesla has done to collaborate with their customers and even their competitors. They innovate, not for just the sake of a profit margin, but to actually, in fact, make the world a better place. What companies stand out in your mind as a cut above the rest? Tell us about them or just let us hear from you over in our Community, here. Thanks!

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