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Friday, March 28, 2014

Anthony Weiner tells Elon Musk to Stop his Disruptive Innovation


In his inaugural article for the Business Insider, Anthony Weiner has decided that he needs to give Elon Musk some advice. That advice is to shut-up and get in line. That's right Tesla should just do things like every other car company has since the first Model T rolled off the line. Specifically, Weiner suggests that the ban on car direct sales that New Jersey and other states have is a good thing and Tesla should just go along to get along. Here is a snippet:
Reasonable people may think regulations that get in the way of tech companies are all just bad laws. In Tesla’s case, some might consider bans on direct auto sales to be part of a protectionist regime set up by a powerful lobby—neighborhood car dealers—and unchallenged by a lazy industry that didn’t want to antagonize its sales force. Still, dismissing all existing regulations out of hand without recognizing them as the product of reasoning and careful consideration isn’t the answer.
Tesla and these other tech disruptors might want to put more of their energy into finding ways to fit their innovations into existing regulations.
Cornelius from Pixar's A Bug's Life
says "They have been selling cars like
this ever since I was a pupa!"
Little known fact is that Anthony
Weiner actually voiced Cornelious for the
movie, but, alas, is uncredited. You can,
however, clearly see the resemblance
that the animators took great care to include. 
He suggests that innovators spend more of their energy trying to find ways to be like everyone else! Maybe he should look up the meaning of the word.

If the regulations are useful and important, as he contends, then they should be able to stand up to scrutiny. Weiner continues:
...why don’t these founders and tech executives focus on getting wider public support or convincing lawmakers their causes are just? Instead, they seem to show up expecting the world to be wowed by their shiny new companies and losing it when people don’t get out of the way. Gnashing of teeth via press release doesn’t make the case where it counts. If you want to be in the business of selling great cars, there may be more productive ways to spend your time than bitching about the laws that the majority have passed and reaffirmed from the time of the Model T.
Let me see If I understand what he is suggesting. If you want change, just say please and then if it does not happen just walk away and maybe, just maybe, someday, if you are lucky, things will just change on their own when the benevolent lawmakers deem it to be the right time. Don't gnash your teeth, or make press releases, or <gasp>bitch.

Getting active, being vocal, and yes maybe even getting mad are the only ways that change comes about.

Weiner is not an innovative leader. And, well, when he did try to adopt some new technology, look how that turned out; so I guess it is not too surprising that he would now be a luddite.

With our system of government, the states have the right to put sales restrictions on various industries. And businesses have a right, if not an obligation, to streamline their processes, including sales and distribution, to deliver the best customer experience that they can, in a profitable manner as their shareholders expect.

Specifically, in this case, New Jersey can prevent direct sales if that is what they think best serves their constituents. And if they do, Tesla has every right to "bitch about the laws". If NJ does prevent direct sales, then maybe Tesla will  give in and find a dealer partner, or maybe they'll just setup shops near the border and Pennsylvania and New York will have a few extra vehicle sales and the jobs and tax revenue associated with them.