None of this means that Tesla should abandon its goal of building the world’s best electric cars. By competing on service, style, and the dependability of its vehicles, it can sell a lot of cars while also letting rivals use its core technology. But to be a great tech company, it’s no longer enough to just make great products. You’ve also got to let others build stuff on top of your technology—you’ve got to build a platform. Elon Musk gets this, and that’s why his company isn’t emulating just one tech behemoth. Tesla is Apple on the outside, but it’s Google at its core.
I love the concept of using your would-be rivals to build infrastructure for you.