The press repeatedly warns us that Tesla Motors might succumb to competition. Never mind the fact that Tesla is trying to foster competition with its open-patent philosophy. Well now Tesla Energy is generating identical headlines, despite an identical open-patent stance.
Why does the press insist on telling war stories during peacetime? Two reasons. First, because it brings the clicks. And second, because Elon’s behavior makes everyone wonder if this is really peacetime. On the car end of the business, he laughed at BMW and BYD in interviews. Ditto for SpaceX/Boeing. Laughing is a pretty odd olive branch. And now on the battery end of things, he boasted to Reuters that Tesla has a commanding first-place lead: “We’re just not aware of who would even really be second, honestly.”
Is he trying to egg on competitors by boasting? That’s one way to look at it. But the other way is this: He doesn’t really want competition. Even the open-source thing might be a diss, i.e. “Let’s see if you can build this and price it like this, suckers.”
And so the war-mongering headlines will continue despite Tesla’s patent-sharing gestures. That’s certainly no reason to sell your shares of TSLA. It’s just one of many Tesla paradoxes. But if Tesla wants the press to stop telling war stories during peacetime, Elon needs to put his cannon away.