Eco system lock in, Tesla has grown from a small startup car company to a global leader in EV technology.
Are Tesla heading down a road that is predicated on the fact that people need to be in the ecosystem to get the benefits of the companies’ technologies?
Since apple’s recent concern regarding the app store I have been wondering if this is something that Tesla needs to manage as well.
Apple has in recent history been criticized for not being more transparent and open. They pride themselves on privacy, which is good business sense, however it does come with some draw backs.
When you as the customer buy apple products you are open to the opportunities apple provides. Firstly, you have the ability to create an account, once you have the account the following becomes available to you;
- Access to the app store
- Apple Music
- Find my family
- Apple Maps
- Apple TV, Apple TV+
- iTunes Store
These are mostly software application portals. These days you can get a credit card (USA Only) which locks you into their banking, Apple pay system, where they offer incentives for spending more.
Apple is working to be part of your health management with the apple watch, health app, integration with Medical Record systems like Cerner and aligning with the Mayo Clinic to develop research projects that utilize the customers of the apple products.
This innovation has a lot of positives that benefit many people and make their lives better. It also helps to keep people locked into their ecosystem.
Let’s Imagine for a second
Let’s Imagine that you have been using and integrating with apple products for 10 years and a new company with the newest and greatest product comes along and you want to change!
It is at this point that Eco system lock in becomes real.
Trying to transition all your devices and your information from the last 10 years could prove to be a challenge, not to mention costly.
So why does Tesla need to be cautious?
Tesla is starting to build a singular experience for the amazing technological cars they design and build.
These cars require an account, and they have an inbuilt ecosystem within the vehicles. This is complimented by the phone application that allows you access to your car and account.
Tesla offers an eco-system that is not beholden to just cars either. Their products include solar panels, solar roof’s and Tesla batteries.
Their mission is to transition the world to sustainable energy and in doing so it would be reasonable to consider that this would include realization of new and innovative products.
As any new product is introduced it is another way to get locked into the Tesla Ecosystem.
Tesla has the opportunity to avoid ecosystem lock in and look at the ability for the products to integrate with other systems long term. To bring others along for the journey to a sustainable nonpolluting energy production future.
This is the start of an ecosystem.
Elon Musk is a very smart guy and he has helped to bring some of the brightest minds in the world to Tesla to develop the amazing products we see today. These people have started Tesla down the road of creating an Eco system that is exciting and futuristic.
One of the most interesting parts that highlights the different thinking that Tesla is bringing in the early days that even apple did in the early days of its resurrection.
They are offering the ability for other car companies which may not have the technical know-how of electric cars to utilize their drive chain and batteries.
This is encouraging to see. I would hope that into the future the software systems may also be integrated.
It shows the thinking that is occurring in Tesla that just may indicate that they hopefully are trying to avoid the issues related with Ecosystem lock in.
Tesla is aspirational and is looking to grow and develop a fandom and customer base that keeps coming back for more.
The Tesla community are passionate, sometimes to a fault. They are driven to see the world and the Tesla Mission realized.
This group of passionate people want nothing more than to enjoy their cars, spread the fun and passion they have to the rest of the world and hope that Tesla comes out on top. They profess that once you go electric you will never go back.
This is extremely true for Tesla because they are so far ahead in technology and performance.
Tesla’s ecosystem is growing, and the passionate fans are growing with them. The early adopters have been the vocal few for many years and have continued to share their passions with their family and friends and the rest of the world.
I am an apple fan boy and have been for many years. In my collection of products i own iPhone, iPad, apple TV’s etc. I am a tragic ecosystem lock in having influenced friends and family to buy.
This has been not just because I love their products but also because their operating system just works and is easy to navigate.
Tesla aligns with similar features, they have products of which I do not own any yet, but when I do, I will want to buy more and share that with family and friends.
Both companies have a number of similarities;
- Create an account
- App helps to manage that account
- Applications can be access through the products
- Software updates bring new functionality
- New products help to improve your lives
At the heart of any company wishing to sell their products Customers are the life blood. Customers are the ones that will make or break you as they will do their talking with their money and their feet.
In the case of Tesla, the customers are their greatest asset. They do a large amount of promotion across social media and they expect a lot from the product.
They are passionate and loud, but they do not go into buying a Tesla blindly, they do their research they understand the products and the company well before purchasing.
Elon Musk is the most vocal CEO of any car company across the globe and with that it allows a unique opportunity for people to engage and influence how the world of Tesla moves forward.
This unique relationship helps to allow the community voice to guide the future of the car company.
This unique relationship can help to avoid the ecosystem lock in with the customer helping to show the way and have a voice at the table.
But ecosystem lock in Is real.
Eco system lock in is real and once a customer purchases all Tesla Products one could argue that they are locked-in to Tesla’s Ecosystem.
One of the main reasons that the customer would consider Tesla first if already part of the Ecosystem is the familiarity of the products.
It is a person’s ability to realize it is easier to connect to an already established eco system than it is to buy new cars, solar panels and batteries. Tesla sells large purchases, it is hard to change your solar panels, car or house battery year to year.
Tesla stands out, and looks to the future
There is, some positive things to look towards that indicate that Tesla is trying not to have a walled garden completely. Recently, Elon Musk said on twitter that they are open to allowing other car companies to use their components from Tesla for their cars, drive train and batteries. In the future it may even be software.
This glimmer of positivity to open the Tesla ecosystem to others is important and should be pursued. It is a positive step towards improving the ability for other companies and products to interface and avoid the eco system lock-in that other companies have become accustomed to.
Tesla has a mission that is greater than the parts of Tesla itself and that shows the true human factor behind why they want to change the world for the better.
If there is to be an ecosystem lock-in then lock in to the ecosystem we live in and help the environment we live in.
People at the end of the day have a choice, they have a chance to decide for themselves.
Eco system lock in is something that could happen to Tesla and the customers. The question is will it? That is yet to be decided.
I hope that the future they wish to achieve, based upon their mission, is the one that we all focus on and use of the technology they produce to help achieve this goal is open for everyone to enjoy.
I would think that the ecosystem supports the goal not the other way around.