Harvard preppie knows Tesla can’t scale

Gigafactory advice for TeslaA young, nose-picking academic has decided he knows more about Tesla’s business than Tesla does. The company has painted itself into a corner, says Harvard Business School think tank newcomer Tom Bartman. What corner? The one it’s stuck in. You haven’t noticed? Well then, you’re not think tank material.

Yes, Tesla is moribund. That relentless growth Tesla has targeted and thus far achieved — it’s done. Why? Because the product array should have started cheap and then gone upscale. Yes, Tesla came in through the wrong door and will soon feel the noose. Big automakers will put Tesla in a sleeper hold any minute, now that Tesla has dared try to venture outside its little alcove and build a mainstream car. Boy, you won’t hear that theory — Tesla facing imminent rivalry — anywhere except in a Harvard think tank, because it’s tankeriffic thinking.

And the Gigafactory, the embodiment of scale? It doesn’t exist. There’s no mention of it in Bartman’s piece. And if someone who got himself a fresh MBA in 2014, and graduated Magnum P.I. to boot — if he deems the Gig irrelevant, well then, fuggetaboutit.

Wait. Get this — Bartman thinks Tesla salespeople will shun the Model III and try to push the more expensive stuff. Yes, we all know people looking in the $30k range are just a sales pitch away from spending more than double. What sales pitch? The pushy one you get at Tesla stores. You’re not aware of it because you’re not a tanker like Tommy.

Harvard Square panhandler TeslaMondo

Harvard in background. Not sure what’s in foreground, but he was very articulate. And he writes fairly well, too. Harvard grad?

Want an education? Avoid think tanks.

But do visit Harvard Square and mingle with the wildlife there. It’s a tank-free sociology field trip every time. You’ll discover there’s a fine line between professors and bums, men and women, genius and drunkenness. Clothing? For some, a crucial extension of self. For others, a nuisance such that T-shirts are worn inadvertently inside-out and butt cracks peer above wrong-sized pants. Harvard Square is an acid trip with the acid optional.

And do eat at Mr. Bartley’s, a burger joint so old that it predates bylaws requiring restaurants to have bathrooms. No joke! You have to sprint to the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts if you want to go wee wee. That’s if you can wrestle your way out the door. There’s always a line waiting to get in.

And that’s because Mr. Bartley’s serves the best burger in the world. It’s so big that you won’t be able to drop your mandible low enough to separate your teeth enough to park the darned thing in your mouth. And when you do attempt to bite it, warm meat juice dribbles down your chin and then down your neck. When was the last time that happened at BK?

Why is this post lapsing into a rant about Harvard Square? Because The Square is among the most eye-opening, mind-opening spots in the world, while Tom Bartman reminds us that just a few feet from the square, Harvard itself is stuck in a tank.

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4 thoughts on “Harvard preppie knows Tesla can’t scale

  1. vfxx says:

    I’ll never get that reading time back…

    “But if (Tesla’s) goal is to dominate the industry or thwart existing global automakers, “it’s chosen a very difficult strategic path,” Bartman says.”

    Read the mission statement prephead.


  2. AdrienT says:

    Rob, thank you! Got such a big laugh from this! Go TESLA!


  3. Joe Pawlak says:

    It should be remembered that Elon Musk offered all his company’s patents to any company to use in good faith.He is offering all the world to catch up to the future.I am just happy to witness the technological changes that are happening to make our miserable lives a bit healthier with clean, cheap, renewable energy. That was the promise from the nuclear energy proponents back in the 50s and sounded good until the true cost came to light concerning safety and pollution. But this time it’s different. We are beginning to harvest the power of the sun.


  4. BEP says:

    Different opinions are important, because they help you better analyze what you are doing. But many of this guy’s points are completely non-sense: either they aren’t applicable to the automotive market, or they ignore what Tesla Motors’ goals are… It looks like he spent less than two minutes doing research for his article.
    Reading other statements from Bartman, he is convinced that small, cheap, slow golf-cart-like vehicles may be the real disruption in the auto industry. We’ll see.
    Whoops, I also just read that “Tom Bartman and his colleagues” conducted “a deep study of Tesla”. Reading between the lines, I think that what they actually did is taking the “Disruptive Innovation Theory Evaluating Form” and filling it in with Tesla Motors’ data, finding out that theory doesn’t apply to this company.


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