Having previously worked for Brammo, INC., I take a particular interest in the developments in the Electric Vehicle (EV) market. Tesla, a major player in the four-wheeled market, released all competitors to use their technology in good faith. Historically this would have been viewed as commercial suicide, however Tesla is in a position which makes this a bit more interesting.
One might expect for the major OEMs in the Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) world to copy the newly available technology. Another option is for startups to latch on, and use the lessons that Tesla has already learned to accelerate their development schedule. Either option has potential to be beneficial to Tesla, as new entries into the EV market will serve to validate their product. Competition can be welcomed in emerging markets, or even encouraged.
The door has been opened to more entries in the field, all of which can likely perform at a higher level than they would have achieved without this allowance. Public opinion will improve as the market becomes more saturated with functional everyday use EVs. Tesla has the head start necessary to maintain a relatively dominant position in the marketplace, but the market itself had been lacking.
It’s an interesting perspective, now that I’m working at Gyre9 in the world of consulting Engineering & Design. We are frequently working with relative startups, sometimes adding an incremental product into a market that exists, other times not. Nearly universally though, the clients have concerns about protecting their IP.
On the occasions when the market doesn’t really exist yet, there’s certainly some extra caution taken to understand why, how, when, and where the product would be used. Usually the client has done the preliminary research, but Gyre9 will still take a round of working out the use cases. The group here has a varied background, with many different interests outside of work, which means someone in the room has experience with a similar category of item more often than one would expect.
Gyre9 aims to produce the best designs possible in a given market, to give clients that competitive edge.
Could your product benefit from additional competition? It’s a strange concept, but Elon Musk seems to think that it could if you’re the leader in a small market.