Why Companies Like Tesla Are Successful

Complex products need a new development approach

Behzad Benam
3 min readAug 31, 2020

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Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

There are two approaches to researching new products or services. Some researchers generalize problems and try to understand the market and potential applications for a new product or service. They are looking for a solution to a group of questions. This approach can be practical if the market is not too complicated.

But this approach is not effective in a complex market (meaning excessive interdependence between the demand and technical elements). It does not lead to the launch of a useful product or service.

Researchers need to look at potential market needs and dive deeper into technical issues to find possible technical pains and problems. It is essential to look at issues from this perspective, and instead of focusing on a set of pains, consider only one point but deeply. Focusing on only one problem is the right way to research complex systems. Later in the research, we will face many issues that we have to solve anyway.

Tesla is one of the companies that focuses only on electric cars and is not interested in working on hybrid and combustion engines. With this focus, Tesla designed out of scratch and used the components essential in designing an electric car. Tesla committed to solving the problems of electric vehicles as best to speed up time to market. Tesla decided to create a new modern product with modern and powerful processing units and not integrate the vehicle’s existing components on the market.

It can also happen the same for autonomous driving if researchers focus only on the abstract level of research. Companies like Waymo or Tesla have been working for years to gather data from various driving scenarios and scenes to improve their AI algorithms. Other competitors are currently focusing on theory and looking for all solutions and neglecting the data collection process massively.

The fact is that complex products require a different approach to design and development, and require a holistic approach from concept creation to field testing and lots of iterations. The weight of the beginning and end of the developmental stages becomes more critical. The concept stage is essential to examine the impact of more stakeholders and thus…

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Behzad Benam

Founder & CEO at SafeLine, providing engineering services in the automotive industry www.safeline-solutions.de