When it comes to breaking design convention, be a LITTLE Elon Musk.
It’s 2020, and the world is something we have never known before. It’s interactive, it’s accessible, and it’s accepting. The conventions of the past seem relatively insignificant when we look at the way things now work. Gone is the mathematical and formulaic nature of yesteryear and in its place is a ‘live in the moment’ mentality.
The companies responsible for breaking down the boundaries and allowing us to tread new ground are often the most heralded. Microsoft brought us a kind of technology we had never seen before, and Apple put that technology in all of our palms. Airbnb dominated archaic hotels, without ever owning a single building, Uber did the same in the taxi industry.
But when it comes to assessing these convention breakers, there’s one company that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and one man who continually strives to do so. Tesla is the company, and Elon Musk is that man.
For those looking in on Tesla, it seems all the company’s actions are purely to break any and all design conventions. From the solely electric car to the recent Tesla wagon. The brilliance of Tesla is shown through the Model S; their leading model in most people’s minds, which is still breaking the mould when it comes to productivity in the electric market. The batteries of the Model S far outlast those used in any competitor. Tesla has also changed the game when it comes to the now plushy interior, removing nearly all of the buttons and replacing them with a touch-screen console certainly makes the Tesla feel more spacious. The secret behind Musk’s reinvention of the boundaries of design comes down to the embracing of technology. Would your business benefit from the implementation of new tech? Could you streamline the look of your branding or website to make them sleek and elegant?
Outside of redesigning the electric car as we know it, Elon Musk has shown there are no boundaries when it comes to breaking previous design conventions. Musk has become the people’s champion when it comes to reaching the impossible, he’s already been behind the move to online payments via X.com, now known as PayPal, and as mentioned above the leap towards electric-powered vehicles. But how else has Musk devoured all the conventions in his path?
Keep reinventing yourself and push the boundaries others have set. SpaceX was a seemingly ridiculous suggestion when Musk announced the idea of taking people on trips around space, which let’s be honest, would still be more frequent than the trains in the UK. With the ultimate goal being to colonise Mars, most would laugh. Yet, according to the company, the Falcon Heavy has the capacity to move 64 tonnes of weight into orbit, which is over twice its closest competitor. Although still in a trial period; according to Musk and those close to him, the project is imminent. In using the previously set boundaries of competitors, Musk brought his business into the limelight. When it comes to the boundaries in your industry, could you break the age-old design conventions to reinvent your company? As an example, fast fashion has revolutionised the previous convention of conservative design and marketing. Now we see loud, brash colour palettes dominating billboards to make them stand out against grey cityscapes.
Could being controversial create valuable publicity for your business? Top of the list for Musk’s rule breaking has to be flamethrower-gate of 2018. Having devised the idea for ‘the boring company’ while sat in traffic in 2016, a company that would aim to make boring into the earth a more feasible and cheaper process. Musk decided he wanted to raise funds and ultimately the profile of the project, so what did he do? He sold 20,000 flamethrowers online! Subsequently, he had to rename the product ‘Not a Flamethrower’ due to safety concerns, which in typical Musk fashion spread across the globe in a hashtag frenzy. Raising around ten million dollars in revenue, spreading the word of the company and the project across the world, Elon Musk had done it again. In creating a media storm, Musk used the publicity to build the reputation of the project and in turn, get people talking about his next venture. Consider how you can make a media storm work for you and your company.
In the age we live in, conventions are in place to be broken. Don’t limit your potential to what you are told is and isn’t possible, and channel your inner Elon Musk, but with a little bit less flamethrower. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you break design convention in your business.