Elon Musk didn’t end up starting diverse startups like Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX by not being proactive. And if Tesla’s latest product update is any indication, Musk remains as entrepreneurial as ever in his role as Tesla CEO.
On 11th December, a Twitter user sent Elon Musk this tweet.
@elonmusk the San Mateo supercharger is always full with idiots who leave their tesla for hours even if already charged.
— Loic Le Meur (@loic) December 11, 2016
Loic Le Meur, who’s an entrepreneur himself, was complaining about the lack of available slots at Tesla supercharger slots. He said that users were using Tesla’s superchargers as free parking spots, leaving their cars on the chargers even after they were fully charged.
Now Musk has 6.42 million Twitter followers, and receives thousands of such tweets per day. But he immediately responded to this tweet, saying he’ll “take action.”
@loic You're right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2016
Now this could easily have been lost among the thousands of things that are presumably on Musk’s to-do list – not only is he the CEO of Tesla, he also runs SpaceX and Solar City, two huge other startups in their own right. But exactly 6 days later, on 17th December, news reports emerged of Tesla having actually implemented a clever way to prevent drivers from misusing its parking stations.
Tesla was going to charge $0.40 for every minute a fully charged Tesla would stand at its parking stations after a five minute grace period. This simple change would ensure that people wouldn’t leave their cars at parking stations, preventing others from using them.
And what’s incredible is the pace at which the product change was implemented. Tesla might still call itself a startup, but it hardly is one – it has over 30,000 employees, and large engineering teams. To have a product feature conceptualized, implemented and shipped in a week is nothing short of miraculous.
But then Musk also sends rockets into space and has a plan to send people to Mars in 6 years, so the normal rules don’t apply to him, really.