This very Musk-unlike statement was made by the @tesla account on Twitter when it reacted to Thomas Gallegos’ (@Tgalleg) tweets about a road trip with his daughters that he says “made me appreciate my #tesla more then ever. ?”
And then it was all about destination charging and Autopilot at low speeds.
The effusive compliments and sense of gratitude from Thomas for what I presume was a trip with his daughters to celebrate his 69th birthday encapsulate what a Tesla-hater will never understand. This is the very first car – and company – of its kind that can evoke such child-like awe from an adult. Except for that Aventador I once ‘felt’ roaring past me at a gazillion miles per hour. But I now know that as fear, not awe. This is different. More Christmasy.
Just can’t say enough about my Model X space age windows, @elonmusk autopilot at a low speed, and you can capture photos like this, without ever leaving the car! #69birthdaytour has made me appreciate my #tesla more then ever. ? pic.twitter.com/tb9ztGHE3D
— Thomas Gallegos (@Tgalleg) 10 August 2018
Tesla is not a very easy company to like. And Elon Musk is not a very easy man to like. But at the end of the day, you have to make a choice: love what he does and wish him well, or shut up and live your life, already. But that’s just not possible. If you can’t love him, you gotta hate him.
He’s destroying innocent minds with his crazy dreams of a car that will travel anywhere that a smelly gasoline guzzler can, match its range and convenience, and deliver one hell of an experience without burning a drop of what the world considers to be black gold.
He’s corrupting the adults of tomorrow with his spaced-out (I’d say lunatic but this is way past the moon) plans to colonize Mars and his loopy ideas for intercity transportation and his early oddball notions of sending money overseas without having to deal with your sour-puss bank manager.
Yeah, he’s a bad ‘un.
And yet, you have to appreciate his foresight to build a Supercharger network that is accessible by 322,443,000 Americans. That’s the 99% Tesla spoke of. That’s even before he built a mass-producible, long-range electric vehicle that you could buy for under $50,000.
But speaking to the point of the Supercharger network being that well planned, that’s like saying almost 95% of all Americans shopped at a Walmart in 2016. Which is true, by the way. Shame on you Big M Ronald, for only scoring 89% on that test.
Tesla is no Walmart, of course, nor is it a McDonald’s. I don’t think they sell anything for a dollar ninety-five, although they do sell ‘specials’ as upgrade packages for their cars. I just think the accessibility aspect of the Supercharger network could have been promoted a little more tastefully than what the retail or burger giants might have done.
The thing is, this is neither Walmart nor Tesla – nor even McDonald’s. The fact that the EV maker has built an infrastructure of sub-systems around its product is more reminiscent of what Google and Microsoft are masters at and what Apple is trying to emulate – building an ecosystem around its core product. This ecosystem is what allows Google to control our online world and Microsoft to control our personal computing needs. Google touches everything from information to communication to branding to cloud to social to mobile to…need I go on? Microsoft built that ecosystem on the personal computing side of things, with its ubiquitous operating system and its productivity suite and gaming universe and everything else we need for work and play.
Apple realized this very late in its existence and started scrambling in the last few years to launch a music service, a digital wallet, a cloud storage service and anything else that a user of its core products might need – not to mention a not-so-smart speaker with a name that Musk might have used for an escape pod to return to Earth should a Mars trip go awry.
When you look at how these big tech companies are trying to ensconce their customers in a cocoon that keeps them feeling warm and fuzzy, that’s exactly what Tesla has done with the Supercharger, the Hyperloop, the Boring Company, SpaceX, SolarCity and nearly everything else Musk has going on at the moment – to make people feel like they’re part of the future.
Musk’s real product is not Tesla or any of his other projects. Those are merely his vehicles. His product is technological advancement for the betterment of mankind – and his companies and their products are that ‘ecosystem’. Whether that’s an Autopilot feature far ahead of its time or a battery that can take you further than anything else or a charging network that lets you drive across America without gasoline or the possibility that you could one day buying a ticket to the moon and beyond, Musk’s product is his purpose of pushing the world towards a future that’ll still be around when our great-great-grandchildren are as old as we are now.
Why do you think he’s so outspoken in this warnings about AI, something that another stellar personality with larger-than-life accomplishments did until he breathed his last earlier this year? He wants technological development to help humanity, not destroy it. I’m a huge supporter of AI, but I can certainly see where Musk, Hawking and Gates are coming from.
And that’s why I think that a cheesy line like “99% of the US population is within 150 miles of a Supercharger” wasn’t dictated by Musk. It was more likely that enthusiastic employee manning the @tesla Twitter handle who felt that she’d burst if she didn’t tell someone that Tesla actually had such a penetrating network. Besides, she’d just read a puppy-cute story about a man living his dream through her company’s products.
As for Thomas, well, he’s just a guy happy to own a Tesla and take to the road with his kids without worrying about the next gas station or stopping for photos. After all, that’s what technological advancement is all about, isn’t it?
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