Elon Musk and Steve Jobs: True Masters Of Disruption

Both Elon Musk and Steve Jobs have made it clear that they can pull out all the right stops when it comes to a “big reveal”. Jobs was the true innovator of such “circus-like” spectacles when it came to company product launches. We haven’t seen very much to match that style until less than two weeks ago when Tesla’s Model 3 was unveiled.

Jobs always voiced the attitudes of confidence and thinking big. He led Apple to a point of superiority, by disrupting the market and changing common perceptions and expectations. Apple offered quality and unmatched products. All of this is becoming increasingly true for Monk and Tesla.

325,000+ people put up $1,000 each to reserve the new car. This all happened in a matter of days. The crazy part is, the car won’t even be delivered to the very first on the list for almost two years! Aside from this, many details of the car, including the price, are not even verified.

Obviously, this type of occurrence takes a lot of trust and loyalty from fanboys and “girls”, and huge product excitement. What is the key? Ben Thompson, tech commentator said:

“Both men understand something about disruption that most people, even the experts, miss.”

Clay Christensen, Harvard business professor, religious leader, and consultant explains disruption:

“Scruffy, low-end competitors blindside slower and more established industry behemoths. In the business equivalent of pirates in dinghies attacking a gargantuan tanker, successful disrupters start out cheap and fast and only later sail out to meet the market with higher-end products.”

Both companies have worked to create a very high level of interest and excitement in products that are/were a “really big deal” in comparison to the competition. Unlike the Christensen explanation, Apple and Tesla flipped the concept. Innovative and high-end products served as a starting point, so that the companies could fire customers up and create loyalty, and then come out the door with lower-priced, practical products for the masses.

Thompson pointed out:

When the first iPhone was revealed it “was, contrary to the then-conventional wisdom, not likely to suffer from low-end disruption, and not only has that proven to be correct, Apple has in fact expanded its global marketshare. And now, with the iPhone SE, Apple is expanding the high end to a price point accessible to customers in developing markets who very much want an iPhone but simply don’t have the means to afford top-of-the-line prices.”

Despite some recent press concerned with the quality of Apple’s products, the company has been able to maintain strength and stay in high demand. Once the loyalty is there, and the company has proven compelling, life-changing products, it can likely push through any obstacles.

There is fear that Tesla’s Model 3 could be later and more expensive than anticipated and projected. However, 325,000 loyal fans put up their money regardless, and in the end, most will likely be very happy with the grand scheme of things.

Thompson concluded:

“Tesla … means amazing performance and Silicon Valley cool … It was Musk’s insistence on making ‘an electric car without compromises’ that ultimately led to 276,000 people reserving a Model 3, many without even seeing the car: after all, it’s a Tesla.”

Jessica Stillman of Inc.com said:

“A Samsung is a phone. An iPhone is an iPhone. A Chevy is a car. A Tesla is a Tesla.”

Source (Inc.)

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