Long-termism - pessimists are often right, optimists often succeed.

A long time ago, I heard a saying: “Pessimists are often right, optimists often succeed.” Honestly, at that time, I didn’t understand it because “being right” generally represents success. Why don’t the two correspond?

It wasn’t until recently when I bought a Tesla that I began to understand this saying. After purchasing it, I started paying attention to the car’s reviews. Most of the negative reviews were saying that its workmanship wasn’t good. Honestly, aside from my personal preference for Teslas, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the car’s workmanship. Maybe it’s that I got lucky, or maybe Tesla is making improvements to its workmanship with each iteration and has now done a decent job.

Of course, this is a difficult point to argue, as it’s hard to remove subjective feelings to objectively evaluate the issue. But I have asked Amy the same question more than once, and she said: “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the workmanship, but I think my focus on the car’s technology has surpassed my focus on the interior workmanship.”

Of course, on the internet, there are various posts and videos showing Tesla’s poor workmanship and quality issues abound. I think these are all objective facts and authentic feedback from users. It seems that I may indeed be the “lucky one,” as I happen to have received a car that was produced with decent workmanship.

But looking back, the sales volume of Tesla in China has rapidly increased, from selling thousands of units per month at the beginning of the year to selling more than 20,000 units per month by the end of the year. There are also many other rival products with “good workmanship” in the market, so what’s the secret behind Tesla’s success? Let’s analyze it from the perspective of the user’s evaluation of the product.

I think Amy’s words hit the nail on the head and reveal the secret behind Tesla’s rapid sales increase.

Firstly, Tesla’s workmanship issue. Can this problem be solved? Yes, because this thing is too mature. Take a look at Jianghuai Automobile, which manufactures for NIO, a Chinese electric vehicle company. I have looked at the actual car of NIO produced by JAC several times, and personally, I think the workmanship is very good. There are also a bunch of traditional car manufacturers like Toyota, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen, all of which have maintained a stable high level of workmanship.

I believe Tesla’s workmanship issues can be quickly solved through continuous iteration. Therefore, the reason why my car has decent workmanship is probably that Tesla has made many improvements in workmanship after mass production for almost half a year, rather than because I’m a “lucky one.”

Pessimists are often right in the moment. Optimists, on the other hand, often see the possibility of iteration and are more likely to succeed in the long run.

Secondly, Tesla shifted the user’s focus. “The focus on the car’s technology exceeds the focus on the interior”, in fact, this sentence from Amy is exactly what I want to say. Perhaps Tesla’s star function, Autopilot automatic driving assistance, is the key to diverting users’ attention away from the interior details that traditional cars care about.The real bottleneck of traditional automotive industry lies in investing a large amount of energy and resources in areas that have no significant growth potential in the long run. On the other hand, Tesla’s investment in Autopilot and its underlying technology has no growth ceiling and can bring tremendous value. Tesla has truly achieved the integration of knowledge and action, and unified the focus of users and the company in the same direction, forming a positive cycle of technology investment. The better the technology, the more people use it, and the more resources can be invested in iteration.

Pessimists often see the current mainstream and seem to believe that sticking to it is correct. Optimists often see long-term growth potential and are more likely to succeed in the long run.

Recently, after reading Zhang Lei’s “Value”, I have been iterating while reading. Pessimists are often correct, and optimists often succeed, which may also be synonymous with long-termism.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.