This is possibly the best example of attractive thinking applied to product innovation that I have ever seen. It has bigger potential than any project I have contributed to. This will be “a product that customers love”.
Elon Musk (founder of Tesla cars) launched three new products yesterday.
- The Powerwall – a home battery linked to solar panels
- The Powerpack – an industrial battery for commercial and factories
- The Gigafactory – manufactures the batteries, this is an open source replicable design
Watch this video, Elon Musk explains it better than I can. Look not just at what he says but how clearly and naturally he presents. (BTW I often don’t watch videos as I find they take up too much time to say very little, but this one is worth the time)
What did I learn about creating better product from watching this?
This is not a not a new battery, this is a challenge to the whole power industry. The market opportunity for these batteries is not the size of the battery market. It is the size of the power supply industry.
Power supply companies would never have come up with this idea. It is so far away from their frame of reference and looks like a threat to their established stream of profits.
- A great product solves a real problem that customers have. Reducing carbon emissions is one, but the potential to remove all the unpleasant infrastructure associated with power generation and distribution is another hugely attractive feature. For each of us there an opportunity to save money and detach ourselves from the utility company’s ever increasing charges.
- The top attribute of a better product is “It just works”. He uses this phrase several times. It is clear there is a lot of technology under the hood. But it seems that all that technology is about making it easy for the user. Working overtime on the “it just works” will help us create better products
- Design matters, it is a part of the “It just works” The Powerwall will be an attractive feature of the home, it goes on the wall, it takes up no space. It also looks good, unlike any battery I have ever seen before. Design is function here. This picture shows it located next to the car.
What did I learn about giving a speech from watching this?
- Be yourself, Elon Musk stumbles a little, but none of that matters because he is talking about something he believes in, he looks at the audience and he smiles. He has clearly rehearsed every detail, so the presentation is consistent with the product “it just works”
- Simple language – he uses no jargon, he use short sentences and short words.
- Use Graphics and photos not words in your slides. The images each reinforce a simple point that is hard to solely express in words.
So how much marketing will this product need?
I suspect it will need just two things. The first is simple. Just create publicity to make sure we know about it. The second is harder. Create the distribution so we can buy it.
But what this will not need is clever persuasion, or special offers, or loyalty schemes, or other marketing tricks to try to sell products that are not exactly what people need or want.
This is a stunning example of why we need better products not better marketing
This is my new standard to aspire to for creating products people love to buy.