Friday Forward: Dreamer Vs. Visionary

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This article was originally published on Robert Glazer’s personal blog FridayFwd.com

What’s the difference between a dreamer and a visionary? A dreamer is someone who has a lot of great ideas, but never really follows through on them and believes that an idea itself is proprietary.

A visionary is someone who tells you what is going to happen in the future and then spends the next 10 years plotting an exact course to get there. It’s actually hard to know if they saw what was coming or they made the future they believed in.

Elon Musk has become the leading visionary of our time, having now founded three separate public companies (PayPal, Tesla and Solar City). Ten years ago Elon posted his “10 Year “Master Plan” (Vision) for Tesla on the then relatively unknown company’s blog. Not surprisingly, most people said he was crazy but he stated his goal which was to “help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.”

In this plan Musk declared that Tesla would:

1.  Build sports car
2. Use that money to build an affordable car
3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car
4. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

In support of #1, Musk made clear why he was starting with a luxury hybrid where Tesla would be criticized by stating, “The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model.”

For those keeping score at home, Tesla first build the Roadster ($100k+), then came out with the Model S (around $75k) and has now enticed over 400,000 people to put down a $1,000 deposit for its upcoming mass market electric Model 3 ($35,000), something unheard of in the automotive world.

Last month, Musk released his “Master Plan Part Deux.”  If you want to get a glimpse of what the future of cars and autonomous driving will look like in 10 years and understand why the traditional auto industry is so nervous, it is worth a read. I would not bet against Musk’s vision or his ability to execute. 

Quote of The Week

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg S. Reid

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