Elon Musk tweetou um anúncio de mudança de vida e ninguém percebeu

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Elon Musk constrói naves espaciais e carros elétricos. Crypto sobe e desce em seus caprichos. Se você realmente quiser entendê-lo (e ele é o assunto do meu e-book gratuito, Elon Musk tem planos muito grandes, a propósito), gostaria de ver um tweet específico de 9 palavras.

Tem dois anos. Isso despertou uma fúria rápida, mas não significava nada, e ainda assim é emblemático de uma das verdades mais importantes que qualquer inovador deve considerar no fundo de sua mente.

Preparar? Aqui está o tweet. 23 de abril de 2019. Almíscar:

“A Tesla vai desenvolver um soprador elétrico silencioso.”

Talvez você ria. Talvez você pense que estou errado.

Ao que só posso responder: claramente, você não está entre os cerca de 25% dos americanos que vivem nos subúrbios do país. (Esses são números de 2018, acima dos 23% em 2000).

Aqui, em meio às ruas arborizadas e gramados bem cuidados, perto das rampas de acesso às rodovias e das paradas de trens urbanos, não há um único problema que divida e crie mais animosidade do que o simples início de conversa: “Sopradores de folhas? Discuta.”

Não quero atrapalhar muito isso com os prós e os contras, então, resumidamente, em minha experiência:

  • os “profissionais” dizem que os sopradores de folhas são uma ferramenta importante para manter os gramados limpos e empregar as pessoas que os usam;
  • os “contras” são todos sobre o escapamento e o meio ambiente, e sim – o barulho incrivelmente intenso.

Quão alto? Até 115 decibéis para os operadores, e ainda ensurdecedor (ou pelo menos superdistrativo) 78 decibéis a 15 metros de distância.

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Então, Musk, que sabe como usar o feed do Twitter como quase ninguém, desistiu da ideia.

Então, algumas pessoas o acusaram de ter copiado a ideia de Rainn Wilson (o ator que interpretou “Dwight” em The Office). A confusão durou um ou dois dias.

Pelo menos no último ano, não consigo encontrar ninguém revisando a ideia, ou mesmo fazendo a pergunta de forma séria: O que aconteceu com os sopradores de folhas?

É surpreendente, dada a quantidade de pessoas que trabalham em casa e tiveram sua capacidade de concentração interrompida pelos sons repentinos (e ainda intermitentes) de sopradores de folhas movidos a gás.

Então, por que acho que esse tweet muskiano é tão importante? Porque sinaliza duas coisas, as quais qualquer inovador está procurando, constantemente:

  • Um uso imprevisto de nova tecnologia;
  • Um mercado de clientes prontos, clamando por uma solução para seu problema.

Em outras palavras, provavelmente ninguém tentaria reinventar a propulsão elétrica para criar sopradores de folhas mais silenciosos. Mas, agora que a Tesla e outras marcas fizeram parte disso na indústria automobilística, surge a oportunidade.

As pessoas estão interessadas. Algumas cidades já estão proibindo o uso de unidades movidas a gasolina, ou pelo menos restringindo seu uso a determinadas épocas do ano.

(Estou ciente de que já temos sopradores elétricos de folhas; na verdade, eu mesmo tenho um. Mas, embora eles possam ser silenciosos-é do que os movidos a gasolina, eles não são exatamente quieto, do jeito que os carros elétricos poderiam ser, exceto por razões de segurança).

De qualquer forma, esta é a mensagem a ser levada embora. Suspeito que Musk realmente tweetou efêmeras sobre sopradores de folhas. Em outras palavras, o homem e suas empresas estão um pouco ocupados com outros projetos.

Mas alguém por aí que pega a ideia de sopradores de folhas super-silenciosos – uma ideia que passou basicamente despercebida e ignorada por 25 meses agora – eventualmente encontrará um novo uso inteligente para uma nova tecnologia e um mercado pronto.

E sim, Musk espera que seu legado tenha a ver com transformar a humanidade em uma espécie interplanetária. Isso é muito grande, é verdade.

Mas para ele – ou qualquer pessoa, na verdade – há algo mais, e tem a ver com a miríade de inovadores que são inspirados pela grandeza e que acabam tendo ideias de segunda e terceira ordem.

Você sabe, como usar o motor e a tecnologia de bateria da Tesla para alimentar sopradores de folhas.

Grandes líderes não inspiram apenas seguidores; eles inspiram mais líderes. Agora, se eles pudessem descobrir como fazer as pessoas limparem seus cachorros.

(Não se esqueça do e-book gratuito, Elon Musk tem planos muito grandes. Baixe aqui.)

As opiniões expressas aqui pelos colunistas da Inc.com são próprias, não as da Inc.com.

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Maybe you laugh. Maybe you think I'm way off-base.

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A leaf blower?  

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To which I can only reply: Clearly, you are not among the roughly 25 percent of Americans who live in the nation's suburbs. (These are 2018 numbers, up from 23 percent in 2000.)

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Out here, amidst the tree-lined streets and the manicured lawns, near the highway on-ramps and the commuter rail stops, there is no single issue that divides and creates more animosity than the simple conversation starter: "Leaf blowers? Discuss."

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I don't want to bog this with the pros and cons too much, so briefly, in my experience:

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    t

  • the "pros" say leaf blowers are an important tool for keeping lawns neat, and employing the folks who use them;
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  • the "cons" are all about the exhaust, and the environment, and yes -- the insanely intense noise.

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How loud? As much as 115 decibels for operators, and a still ear-splitting (or at least super-distracting) 78 decibels from 50 feet away.

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So, Musk, who knows how to wield a Twitter feed like almost nobody else, spit-balled the idea.

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Then, a few people accused him of having copied the notion from Rainn Wilson (the actor who played "Dwight" on The Office). The kerfuffle lasted a day or two.

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And then? Crickets. 

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At least within the last year, I can't find anyone revisiting the idea, or even asking the question in any serious way: What happened to the leaf blowers?

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It's surprising, given how many people have been working from home, and have  had their ability to concentrate interrupted by the sudden (and yet, intermittent) sounds of gas-powered leaf blowers.

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So, why do I think this Muskian tweet is so important? Because it signals two things, both of which any innovator looking for, constantly:

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  • An unanticipated use for new technology;
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  • A ready-made customer market, clamoring for a solution to their problem.

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In other words, nobody was likely to try to reinvent electric propulsion in order to create quieter leaf blowers. But, now that Tesla and other brands have in fact done some of that in the automobile industry, the opportunity arises.

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People are interested. Some towns are already banning the use of gasoline-powered units, or at least restricting their use to certain times of the year. 

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(I'm aware we already have electric leaf blowers; in fact I own one myself. But, while they might be quiet-er than gasoline-powered ones, they're not exactly quiet, the way electric cars could be, except for safety reasons).

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Anyway, this is the message to take away. I suspect Musk really did tweet ephemerally about leaf blowers. In other words, the man and his companies are just a little bit busy with other projects.

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But someone out there who picks up on the idea of super-quiet leaf blowers -- an idea that has gone basically unnoticed and ignored for 25 months now -- will eventually find a smart new use for novel technology, and a a ready market.

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And yes, Musk hopes his legacy has to do with turning humanity into an interplanetary species. That's pretty big, true. 

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But for him -- or anyone, really -- there's something else, and it has to do with the myriad innovators who are inspired by greatness, and who wind up coming up with second- and third-order ideas.

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You know, like using Tesla's engine and battery technology to power leaf blowers.

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Great leaders don't just inspire followers; they inspire more leaders. Now, if they could only figure out how to get people to clean up after their dogs.

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(Don't forget the free ebook, Elon Musk Has Very Big Plans. Download it here.)

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