Elon Musk, disruptive innovation & sustainability
Regular readers will need no reminder of my high regard for Tesla Motors and its maverick owner Elon Musk. And the thing I like the most is the way he thinks differently from everybody else, to take three examples:
- Launching an electric vehicle company on the back of a roadster with astonishing performance (above);
- Seeing and exploiting the cross-over between EV and domestic battery systems;
- Launching an all-electric sedan that you would want to buy whether or not you want an EV.
Well Mr Musk has done it again, throwing another innovative cat amongst the business as usual pigeons. He’s announced that he will make a number of key patents open source so others can use them without paying royalties. This flies in the face of the usual secrecy in the motor industry.
But it is classic ‘creating shared value’ thinking. The more electric vehicles on the roads, the more prices will come down and the more infrastructure will get installed which means more electric vehicles will get sold, which means carbon emissions will fall and so on.
It is very easy for commentators like me to say we’ve got to think different for sustainability – I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. But Elon Musk is a shining beacon for those of us who believe the solutions are out there – if only we free our minds from business as usual.