The Ongoing Parallels Between Tesla & Apple

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Originally posted on EVANNEX.

Is Tesla the next Apple? Is Elon Musk the next Steve Jobs? Such comparisons are often amplified within investment communities. But are there really such striking parallels between these two Silicon Valley companies? Is Tesla, hovering around a $500 billion market valuation, on track to pull ever-closer to Apple’s astounding $2 trillion market cap?

Photo © Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

According to The Washington Post, “From the time they hit the mass market nearly a decade ago, Tesla’s vehicles have garnered reputations as ‘iPhones on wheels,’ a revolutionary technological leap that did for cars what Apple’s smartphone did for consumer tech. They offered large touch screens, a vast charging network and groundbreaking performance that delivered on the dream of electrification seemingly without compromise, where competing products failed to stitch all aspects of that formula into one.”

Furthermore, “the companies’ shared vision includes an emphasis on some forms of proprietary technology. Tesla uses a unique charging connector, similar to Apple products with their ‘Lightning’ connectors. It has built out what it says is the world’s largest fast-charging network, consisting of more than 25,000 Superchargers.”

Photo © Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

“Like Apple, Tesla built its brand on exclusivity and aspirational products, prioritizing the experience of ownership as much as the utility of the device itself. And both companies have integrated software with hardware in a way that revolutionized their industries, making the transition to new technologies relatively intuitive for even the non-tech-savvy user,” reports Faiz Siddiqui.

And it’s not just the tech. There’s cross-pollination between top talent at the two companies. A Silicon Valley recruiter told The Washington Post, “There is a strong Tesla-to-Apple pipeline that is well-known within both companies.”

To that end, “The person recently in charge of Tesla’s vehicle and mobile user interface design, for example, was previously a senior art director at Apple, though he recently departed Tesla as well. Tesla [also had] hired Apple alumnus George Blankenship to lead its retail strategy a decade ago, putting sleek showrooms in malls and city centers, mimicking the experience-focused store model he had pioneered at Apple.”

Even though there’s competition for employees, Elon Musk has been quick to publicly praise Apple and its workers. “It’s a great company with a lot of talented people. I love their products,” he wrote on Twitter in 2015.

Tesla Cybertruck in NYC. Photo © Mira Shahan, Brendan Miles, CleanTechnica.

So are these two businesses really all that similar? Perhaps. The Washington Post spoke with a former employee of both companies who said, “Tesla is not an automotive company, it’s a tech company that builds cars.”

Photo © Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica.

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Matt Pressman

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

Matt Pressman has 332 posts and counting. See all posts by Matt Pressman