As rollouts go this one had some cracks on the surface.
When it comes to disastrous public demonstrations of new products the one most people call up to memory is the infamous Windows 95 presentation. In the course of showing off its newest OS iteration Microsoft encountered the crippling ‘’bluescreen of death’’ on the public display. The company managed to recover, but the event has become a touchstone of horrific unveilings.
Last night auto-maker Elon Musk had a new nameplate rollout and he seemed to want to challenge Bill Gates for historic public product pratfalls — and ironically this one involves windows as well. Musk was unveiling his newest vehicle in the Tesla lineup, a fortified pickup that is called the Cybertruck. First, have a look at the avant garde design.
Watch Elon Musk unveil Tesla's new pickup truck, the Cybertruck, in under 6 minutes pic.twitter.com/fADHTVXKnI
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) November 22, 2019
— CNN (@CNN) November 22, 2019
After giving some of the specs and explaining how different the design of his truck is Elon next wanted to display the ruggedness of his electric truck. First he had someone come up and take a sledgehammer to the side of the vehicle, and there was little to no damage. Rather impressive, at least from a display standpoint. That is, until…
Next he began touting the glass used on the truck Describing them as being armored windows, he said these are constructed with his proprietary product, dubbed Tesla Glass. There was a display at the back of the stage where a frame held a large pane of glass, and workers were dropping weights directly onto its surface. No ill effects were to be seen, as the blunt force was met by the weights bouncing off the surface.
Next Musk had a worker step up with what was a baseball-sized metal bearing, and he directed the man to throw it directly at the truck’s windows. What happened next was certainly not scripted. Watch as you witness a product failure in real time.
— TIME (@TIME) November 22, 2019
Musk was clearly off balance following this, stammering a bit as he quipped there was room for improvement, and that ‘’We’ll fix it in post.’’ He then had to continue with his presentation while standing in front of his premiered vehicle as it sported two very audacious spider-webbed windows.
While no firm runtime was announced many in attendance felt that the presentation had been relatively short, probably a result of the mishap. Musk spoke briefly for a time, and then had a company branded ATV ridden onto the stage, then driven up into the opened bed of the Cybertruck. Then event wrapped soon after, with not even a reveal of the truck’s interior. As for the outward design so far the reaction has been mixed, a split between those impressed with its lines and design and others commenting it sports a distinct lack of imagination. Then still others turned to cultural touchstones that may have inspired the appearance.
We outsourced the styling to a random 2nd grader, and passed on the savings to you!https://t.co/o16RopXNUN
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 22, 2019
— Disasters In The Making (@DITM_Podcast) November 22, 2019
— Jack Smith (@jackedwardsmith) November 22, 2019
Elon ThrowGlass! https://t.co/GhCsVofCtg
— RiffTrax (@RiffTrax) November 22, 2019
I would wager if there is anyone who can rebound from this fiasco it would be Musk. He has already weatherd worse and is still a name people have regard for in the industry.