Throwing a Brick at a Rocket

Tesla’s Window-gate Debacle

Graham Waters
May 9 · 3 min read
Photo by Bill Jelen on Unsplash

Recently I was challenged to find an example from current events of a communications event that either supported or undermined a clear business objective for a publicly-traded company. To do this I try to explain how that event impacted the business and express my own opinion of whether the event was strategically planned or not.

Here is a great example…

The most relevant example of this in many minds is when the window of the Tesla Truck broke in its first demonstration (Brito, 2019). By simply looking at the pictures published on social media, one can see that this happened in a way that seems like no one could have expected or planned for.

It was also during a fascinating period for Tesla, where they were facing financial struggles and unable to meet its production goals. The interesting thing about this live failure was that it almost made the brand more viewed and visible online.

Tesla is clearly more focused on space exploration through SpaceX than in transportation. Their fundamental business objective is to make enough money to colonize mars. This truck was their first attempt at tapping into the trucking market. It was marketed to be environmentally conscious, and it is from a company that no one would expect to jump into this market. Tesla shares dropped 4.1% in one day following the event and, even though the truck was inspired by Blade Runner (a fantastic concept), it did impact the company (Reinicke, 2019).

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

This might have influenced their image of being a company that is out of touch with the market. What is interesting is how they have turned it around, and they are doing better now. This window breaking could have gone down in history as “window gate” or something of that nature, but the stock has skyrocketed since 2019. In the days following the event, Tesla Stock was around $60 to $65 per share and had maintained that for several years. Since then, they have reached a stunning maximum of $880 dollars per share in 2021. In March of 2020, it was around $102 (“Tesla Inc “TSLA.”, 2020). This may have been a staged event; however, the impact was positive either way you throw it.

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

References

Analytics Vidhya

Analytics Vidhya is a community of Analytics and Data…

Graham Waters

Written by

Strategic Analytics Master’s Student at Brandeis University with sales experience in both the automotive industry and Real Estate.

Analytics Vidhya

Analytics Vidhya is a community of Analytics and Data Science professionals. We are building the next-gen data science ecosystem https://www.analyticsvidhya.com

Graham Waters

Written by

Strategic Analytics Master’s Student at Brandeis University with sales experience in both the automotive industry and Real Estate.

Analytics Vidhya

Analytics Vidhya is a community of Analytics and Data Science professionals. We are building the next-gen data science ecosystem https://www.analyticsvidhya.com

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