Elon Musk On Tesla's Approach To Innovation: Don't Play With The Same Old Chess Pieces

Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk made comments on social media late Wednesday that he perceives the electric vehicle maker to be a “collection of a dozen startups," rather than a single company.

What Happened: The chief executive was replying to a 2019 tweet by Disruption Research, a platform that focuses on innovative companies.

“Tesla is best understood as a collection of about a dozen startups, mostly in series, increasingly in parallel,” Musk said.

“Every product line [and] new production system was invented," the billionaire entrepreneur added, touching on the automaker’s research and development prowess. "Instead of playing chess with the same pieces as everyone else, create new pieces.”

Why It Matters: David Chang, Disruptive Research’s co-founder, also started Nomad Capital Partners that has provided capital solutions to companies in “special situations.” The venture firm has invested in Musk’s SpaceX, according to Chang’s LinkedIn page.

Disruptive Research webpage says they are currently focussed on companies such as Tesla, SoftBank Group Corp SFTBY, Slack Technologies Inc WORK, and Shopify Inc SHOP.

Benzinga’s Take: Musk's chess-piece analogy is better understood if we put his other comments in context. The serial entrepreneur has suggested on multiple occasions that Tesla sees the process of making auto parts as a goal in itself. According to Musk, a gigafactory, as Tesla refers to its manufacturing facilities, is a "machine that builds machines."

The Palo Alta-based company has also entered ventures, not typically taken by automakers, including its recent plan to manufacture vaccine printers in collaboration with CureVac BV CVAC, a move that could potentially prove game-changing in the efforts to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available. 

Price Action: Tesla shares closed nearly 10.9% higher at $366.28 on Wednesday and rose almost 2.4% to $374.98 in the after-hours session.

Posted In: Disruptive Researchelectric vehiclesElon MuskEVssocial mediaNewsEventsTop StoriesTech