Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is known for his directness and lack of subtlety. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, The Woz wasn’t hesitant at all when asked which Silicon Valley company is most likely going to succeed Apple as the most innovative in all the land.
He said that Tesla, Elon Musk’s electric and self-driving car company, is headed in the “best direction” because it “put an awful lot of effort into very risky things.”
What makes Tesla so great?
Seemingly putting his money where his mouth is, he continued, “I’m going to bet on Tesla. They start with a car, the Model S, that made little sense in engineering terms, in how much you have to build for what price and what the market will be. But it fit one person’s ideal of this will be the most beautiful, you know, a very beautiful, elegant and simple device to use.”
When the company began designing and developing its vehicles, which include the Model S sport sedan, the Model X crossover, and the Model 3, the company did something that no other company had done before – something completely rational.
Instead of introducing EV (electric vehicle) technology into a vehicle that was already built, Tesla designed its cars to be electric from the very beginning. This has set a new standard for other companies who strive to compete with the big ‘T.’
The manufacturer also delivers wireless updates to its vehicles. While there are other car companies that do this, most of their updates are intended for software within the car’s dash functions.
Tesla takes it one more step by offering updates to other functions, such as the “falcon-wing” doors that many have been quick to criticize.
Wozniak’s endorsement speaks volumes
Wozniak also speaks to Elon Musk’s determination and willingness to do whatever it takes to be the best. “Knowing what you want in life and being in control of it,” he said of Musk’s strategy. “Not letting others get every little aspect in. That’s where you get the best products.”
There will also be a constant need for transportation, which Wozniak also pointed out. He said that by implementing more AI into vehicles, Tesla is embarking on some uncharted (and very exciting) territory.
“We’ve got artificial intelligence in driving cars,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest, most obvious moonshot because everyone knows it is probably going to be very successful in changing our lives hugely. And so many companies, almost every car manufacturer in the world, is secretly running self-driving cars in the background. In my mind, we are not far off where a car will be sold with no steering wheel. As Ford has said, something like 2022 or 2025.”
As someone who has been on the front lines of innovation and development at an up-and-coming tech company from its very beginning, Wozniak knows a thing or two about what it takes to make it in Silicon Valley. While this interview may have been a bit off-the-cuff, his words should be taken with a little more than a grain of salt.