The Wall Street Journal received some nice letters after their story about Tesla launching the Cybertruck with no market research. They published a few of the more interesting ones today:
Thank god Elon Musk didn’t do any market research before creating Tesla’s Cybertruck. I hate everything about American pickup trucks, particularly the stultifying sameness—except in successively larger versions of that sameness, with massively outsize hoods and grills. I’d never consider buying one. But when I saw the Cybertruck, botched rollout and all, I was electrified, and immediately put in an order for one. The Cybertruck will redefine what it means to be a truck. Mr. Musk’s gut knew exactly what I wanted before I knew I wanted it. Market research would have never found me.Ray Balestri, Dallas
Your article, though well-baked, is missing a key ingredient: Tesla’s customer profile. I think what Elon Musk has designed is brilliant. Think about who drives Teslas, and then think about whether they own trucks. Let me tell you without any research.
They mostly don’t. If the core competence of Tesla is to come to market with innovative, tech-forward products, then design is a key element as well. A same-same looking vehicle may neither have gotten Tesla so much publicity nor would it have gotten it slices of the customer segment who would never buy an “I do agriculture”- looking truck. Why should we define company success with only incremental improvements on mundane products?Deepak Mehrotra, San Ramon
Of course, the journal missed the obvious fact that Elon engaged in discussions with tens of thousands of experts and potential customers on Twitter. The end goal is truly being in touch with the customer and their needs, and there are better ways to do that than traditional corporate “market research”.
Wall street journal reader letters: @elonmusk’s Cybertruck is a Stroke of GeniusTweet