A lesson from TESLA

A fortnight ago I took our Summit Group members to Silicon Valley to meet with some of the most innovative and forward thinking companies in the world.

We learned lots from Google, Facebook, AirBnB but today I’d like to focus on something we learned about TESLA.

Before test driving the latest Tesla SUV Model X we were given a lecture on how Tesla goes about the process of innovation and creative development. One point stood out above all the rest for me: “at Tesla we design first and let the technology catch up.” In simple terms, if a business designs its future based on the current technology available it will create products and services that are outdated as they or even before they are rolled out. This concept really opened the Group’s minds to the possibilities of future service delivery – rather than accepting the limitations of current tech, instead to think about what might be possible and then create accordingly.

Some will find this glimpse of the future farfetched, and they might be right, but having also heard from a Stanford University Professor on the current future projects being worked on “in the valley” we imagined driverless cars with customer service robots taking clients on guided tours of the area and having access to open homes where again robots (both customer service and security) would be on hand. Not to mention keys being delivered by drones and many other ideas.

To date tech is hardly used at all in estate agency and neither the traditional nor the new models, with a handful of exceptions, are doing anything really clever with it. But might they, or you, in the future? At Tesla the belief is that the tech isn’t limiting, what holds us back is the lack of imagination to conceive a better future. So start dreaming and conceiving and planning for 5-10 years out and be confident that the tech will catch up – having visited “the valley” I’m even more hopeful than usual that we have an amazing future ahead.

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