A few weeks ago, during Tesla's quarterly financials call, a financial analyst brought up Uber CEO Steve Jurveston's comment that if Tesla was able to magically produce 500,000 autonomous cars today, Uber would buy them all. He then asked if this was something Tesla would consider or if the company would simply "cut out the middle man and sell on-demand electric mobility services directly from the company on its own platform."
After six achingly long seconds of perfect silence, Tesla CEO Elon Musk finally responded, "that’s an insightful question.... I don’t think I should answer it."
Obviously, Tesla revealed at least one possible option for their long, long game.
The Internet of Services is already a real thing. There are hundreds of places that will rent you 3d printing services -- email them a 3d model, and they will (snail) mail you back a finished object. We've been able to buy cloud computing on demand for years. And of course video on demand has been around since pay-per-view started broadcasting boxing matches in the 80's. But the fact is, as more and more things are connected, new services-on-demand will spring up, taking advantage of all of these new devices and the data that they create.
New needs will be created, catered to and serviced. And if one Accenture consultant's vision is to be believed, this might all happen without human interaction. While I think that last part has a ring of hyperbole to it, we're already seeing the rise of new 24/7 services -- personal digital assistants (think Siri and Cortana, not Palm Pilots) already answer our questions, take notes for us and handle our schedules. That would have been unthinkable a decade ago. And of course healthcare technology is quickly becoming ubquitous and always-on, so it won't be long before our fitness trackers schedule an appointment with the cardiologist and then cancel our recurring Amazon orders for deep-fried bacon.
The Internet of Services isn't coming. It's already here. But we haven't seen anything yet.