GIGAOM ROADMAP, SAN FRANCISCO — Back in 2000, no one wanted to buy Apple’s products. Steve Jobs realized that potential customers needed to see and play with Apple’s offerings before they could be persuaded to buy them. So he launched a chain of retail stores in malls across the country. It was risky, but it paid off handsomely.
Now Tesla, the electric car maker run by Elon Musk, is trying to do the same thing. Instead of a traditional dealership, Tesla is building a chain of car showrooms right inside shopping malls.
To build out the chain, Tesla tapped George Blankenship, Apple’s former Vice President of Real Estate, who helped to roll out Steve Jobs’ mega-successful chain.