Innovation is free. Free thinking people can create fantastic, imaginative great ideas. But as Elon Musk has said many times creating a concept car is easy, bringing it too production and ramping up is extremely hard.
Innovation is free just like thoughts they can manifest at anytime and anywhere. To create new and fresh ideas is not an easy thing to do in a world where there are over 6 billion people. One might say that more than one of them would have the same thought.
Innovation in Tesla
Innovation is what lead to Tesla becoming the leading Electric Vehicle company globally to date. Taking old ideas and reinvigorating them with new and fresh perspective. But Tesla did not stop there, they wanted to look forward and create technology that had been only found in science fiction books but never realized.
First Principles are essential
Elon has always been famous for talking about first principles thinking. This is the principle of going back to the bare bones of an idea, disassembling it, and reconstructing with new perspective. The best example of this recently was Tesla Battery day presentation. It allows the individuals to take a fundamentals look at what makes the issue tick and allows you to rebuild and find new ways. This type of innovative thinking can remove preconceived ideas and open new possibilities.
Not the first
Tesla was not the first to have new and fresh idea in the age of technology. Many large tech companies that exist today started in garages in their family house. They had an idea that had never been done well or executed well and they turned them into billion-dollar companies. Of course, I am talking about Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft.
These companies like many before, and many after, all had a fundamental truth too realise.
Innovation is free but execution is hard.
In a recent Joe Rogan interview Elon explained some thinking around the autonomous driving system. And the innovations and step change progress that has been made. But where he really highlighted the possibilities of the AI systems within the Tesla vehicles was when the subject shifted to safety.
At the heart of most things that Elon does it is to make something safer or better.
When ever Elon talks when the cameras are not on him he truly shines. He shows his passion for the technology and the possibilities they can provide for humanity. His discussion about the airbag system and the improvements in safety are what makes him get out of bed in the morning. He can see the impacts this would have on the world and is passionate to deliver.
Elon was explaining the nuances of the vehicles in regard to accidents and airbags. In current vehicles airbags are programmed to go off when the car is involved in an accident. However, Elon was explaining that the future of airbag management will be looking at the different factors that influence if the airbag is to be deployed.
He explained that the vehicle can judge if a person is actually sitting in the seat, how heavy they are and what position they are on the seat itself. Then if involved in an accident the airbag system will take this into consideration before deploying the airbag itself, thus helping to judge the pressure of the airbag the timing of deployment and the impact upon the individual to make sure that the person is less likely to be injured.
This is next level innovation and first principles thinking in action. Taking an already existing idea and making it better. Innovation at it finest.
How to Overcome
You see we have become complacent about the world around us. We don’t get that buzz when we look at something new. Or when we think of an idea that might change the world. We look at the challenges in front of us and they seem insurmountable to achieve the goal of delivering your great idea to the world.
We all need to change the way we think, see the world , and understand the goals we as a society are trying to achieve. Because at the moment we are expecting others to do it for us.
Innovation is a surprise because we have made it a surprise. However, Elon has shown that if we think differently, we can take a great idea and make it better or take a bad idea and make it great.
Innovation is a measure of success against a society. It doesn’t have to be world shaking, it just has to be an idea you’re willing to spend the time to make it better and see where it takes you.
Tesla is the most recent in a long line of innovating companies that have emerged in recent years. It is important we keep striving for the success. We can make a huge difference as long as we have the forth right to hold our ground and pursue that which seems impossible.
We are our own worst enemy, but we can do better
To innovate we need to see the world in a positive opportunistic light. We need to look at the fundamentals. Our biggest barrier is ourselves. Don’t be afraid to fail because when you do you learn many things, least of all that was not the way to do the thing. Next time change it and see if that works.
Innovation is free. When you hit a challenge, pick it up turn it over, look around the back and upside down, pull it apart and break it down to its bare essentials. Only then will first principles be possible to find a way forward.
Innovation is only as hard as we make it. So think differently and go back to basics, First Principles.