Iterating = Long Term Success: The Tesla Example

On October 10, 2014, Tesla Motors announced that their latest software update for their electric cars includes autopilot features, which can be downloaded within minutes through a wireless service provider on the newest model.

This isn’t the first autopilot feature on a car, nor will this update suddenly shift the auto industry to only sell cars that operate solely on autopilot. However, what we can expect is that more and more of the larger products we purchase will be built for continuously deploying updates, similar to Tesla or an iPhone.

This is important, because these update in technology challenge us to trust our lives with machines, so the best way for us to build that trust is by accepting iterative product adaptations based on customer experiences. By doing this, a market ready car like Tesla can afford to launch features incrementally, like auto lane change or cruise control that adapts to approaching speed limit signs.

So what’s the key takeaway?... Put yourself in the Tesla engineer’s shoes. Think of ways you can add value to your current customers with products you already offer. Then find ways to incrementally test these additions. Along the way you might find things that customers particularly like or dislike and they will be excited that their feedback helps shape your products or services.

Eventually, you will have added value to your business and done so in a way that is mindful of customer interactions as well as ease your customers into trusting the changes you’ve made.

-Jordan Carlisle