Yes, Elon, you put a car into space, but how about you put one in my garage.
As life-changing moments go, I remember this one pretty well.
I was on the couch, with one hand on the keyboard of my shiny laptop and the other holding my credit card aloft in triumph.
I had just ordered a shiny, new Tesla Model 3. Or at least, I’d spent a grand and half to get in the queue. All had to do was wait a few months, sell my gas-guzzler and drive off smugly into the future.
That was 2016.
It’s now 2018. The future. And the Tesla website just informed me that this car won’t land on Aussie shores until sometime in 2019. That’s the far distant future, as far as I’m concerned.
Now I have two questions, Mr Musk.
First: dude, where’s my car? While I’ve been waiting, you’ve set up an ultra-mega battery Giga factory, single-handedly solved South Australia’s power crisis and fired a reusable rocket to Mars with a bloody Tesla on board. (Simultaneously redefining the term “cargo”.)
Second: why am I not pissed off? Maybe I bought the spin. Maybe I’ve been so enamoured by your efforts to save the world that I didn’t realise I had been swindled. Maybe I’m just an Elon Musk fanboy. In the end, despite the Hershey’s Kiss Marketing Plan*, I actually can’t afford it at the moment, so I’m quietly relieved.
Actually, back up a step. Was that my car you shot into space? Are you telling me I paid fifteen hundred bucks just to watch Starman drive my Tesla across the solar system?
Ok. That’s actually pretty cool.
In fact, I’d pay another $1,500 to see that “Thunderbirds are go!” synchronised double booster-rocket landing again. If nothing else, I’ve been an admittedly small part of history here. Which was my reason for spending the money in the first place. Come to think of it, I should be thanking you!
While the detractors and naysayers laugh and point and remind me that Tesla has let me down, I reply with your own words, if I may:
Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.
PayPal. SpaceX. Solar City. The Powerwall. The Hyperloop. Neuralink. Tesla Motors. That’s a lot of innovation. So, I’ll happily accept one little failure. For now.