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TheStreet Open House

Apple, Tesla Completely Embarrass Microsoft

Stocks in this article: MSFT AAPL TSLA

I wasn't. Hear me out. You can't make a big enough deal over the travesty Microsoft contributes to in the tech space.

It's what amounts to plagiarism vs. using somebody else's work as a source of inspiration.

Tesla does the latter, Microsoft the former with respect to the Apple retail concept.

Walk into a Tesla store. You see something modeled after an Apple Store, however, you never feel like you're seeing a copycat, such as the types Steve Jobs chided at one of his last product launch presentations for Apple.

Ironically, the man who leads Tesla's retail segment, George Blankenship, masterminded Apple's, but was poached by Microsoft in 2009 to build out the company's real estate footprint.

Obviously, the Microsoft experiment didn't work out well, no matter how you slice it.

It certainly didn't drive meaningful sales, save xBox. In his defense, Blankenship's thing is that retail doesn't drive sales, it builds the brand and provides consumers with an excellent venue to experience your products.

The Tesla model not only works, it looks good as an Apple-inspired concept. It's respectable. If Blankenship was a college student, his professor wouldn't blindside him with a plagiarism charge at the end of his final senior semester.

He created something original at Tesla, showing great respect to Steve Jobs and the whole Apple legacy at the same time. It's a bit like a band such as Gaslight Anthem using Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen lyrics in their music.

They're tipping the hat to those who came before them in the most noble way. They're not pulling a Milli Vanilli or illegally lifting a famous riff and making it their own.

Tesla has done what Steve Jobs always channeled via Picasso: Good artists copy, great artists steal. It's probably better stated that great artists steal and then adapt the hot goods because that was Apple's way.

Apple took portable music devices (i.e., the Walkman) and gave us iPod. The snowball rolled uphill from there.

That's what Tesla has done in retail. It's not one of those things you can really explain, you have to experience it.

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