On Tesla, Tailpipes and Responding to Change

I drove behind a Tesla S on the way home from my marathon last weekend

Though the Tesla sedan is beautiful, it's not as flashy as some sports cars or luxury sedans, and yet it still manages to turn heads. At a stoplight, I had a chance to check out the car in greater detail, and I noticed one thing that was blatantly absent...

A tailpipe. 

It didn't really come as a surprise, per sé. I already am well aware that Tesla makes electric vehicles, but for some reason this small detail stood out today. 

A tailpipe is standard. Necessary. It's part and parcel with every car, right? Internal combustion and vehicular transport have been nearly synonymous for 100 years...

But not anymore. Things are changing. No tailpipe=gamechanger. 

I liken it to personal computers having a graphical user interface. Before, everything was text. After the Macintosh... everything changed. 

The conventions, rules, regulations, standards, benchmarks... Many are made obsolete, because there's no need for a tailpipe. When I look at how cars have changed over 30 years (not much), I see some different materials being used, gradual and incremental changes, designs being modified slowly and overtime, but a lot of sameness. But when a carmaker shows up that isn't content to play the game everyone else is playing, the game changes, and people start thinking. Maybe tailpipes (and gasoline, and internal combustion) aren't so necessary after all. Maybe upgrading the packaging, lights, decal and upping the horsepower by 5% aren't enough anymore...

As with any change, not everyone will respond the same way. There will be varied reactions. Some will pretend things aren't changing. Some will attempt to prevent changes, to consolidate the power they have or the comfort they have while they are able. Some will remain ignorant, operating in an old paradigm while everything shifts around them. And some, maybe only a few, will embrace change, jump into the mysterious possibility headfirst, plummet into an unpredictable and ever-changing future that is now and not yet. 

That's how I want to be. 

Maybe not everyone is destined to be the master innovator, the inventor, the mad scientist, but everyone can choose how they respond to new possibilities and changing circumstances. 

My question for you is this: How will you respond to change and the instability it brings?

To change, choices and possibility,


Benjamin FaderComment