Will Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) end up buying Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)? This isn’t the first time that question has been asked because of the connection between CEO Elon Musk and the Google guys. But now it has arisen again thanks to a post by Forbes contributor Chunka Mui, who is responding to a problematic post by TechCrunch.


The trouble with creativity

Let’s start by addressing that problematic post. When any news site publishes a post, it’s important to not only (of course!) verify that the story is true, but also consider the style of writing. Is it written in such a way that people will miss the tongue-in-cheek tone of it? Are there enough clues that the post is nothing but a guess, or will people misconstrue it and believe it’s true?

This appears to be what happened to a weekend post written by Ryan Lawler of TechCrunch. It’s about the company Uber, and the headline states that the company is buying 2,500 driverless cars from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). It’s clearly a story about the future, and the dateline on the story clearly states that it’s July 25, 2023. But let’s face it. Some people are very dense or just don’t take the time to read the details carefully enough, and this is where Lawler got into trouble.

Hints about the fantasy

Unfortunately a number of news outlets have written this story up as if it, indeed, is true, and as a result, the post has gotten blasted by irate readers. There are several hints that the post is nothing but a fantasy, but unfortunately people just didn’t pick up on it.

Aside from the obvious dateline at the top of the story, there’s the fact that it’s talking about Uber’s latest earnings report, but Uber isn’t currently a public company. Therefore, it doesn’t release earnings report. And then there’s the fact that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has not sold any of its driverless cars because we’re still years away from them being ready for the consumer market.

That anyone at all could read this story and think it’s happening right now actually amazes me. But Lawler’s writing is so vivid that people are seeing it and don’t even know that it isn’t reality yet. He certainly scores points for creativity, but the story needs an explanation up top before we dive into it. But Forbes contributor Chunka Mui’s problem with the TechCrunch post isn’t that it’s misleading (he also thinks it’s obvious that the post isn’t real), but rather that he doesn’t think it goes far enough in imagining the future of driverless cars.

So what about Tesla?

Earlier this year, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk made some comments about perhaps including Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s driverless technology in future Tesla models. Of course those comments sparked speculation that we might see a marriage of the two companies at some point in the future.

This is where Mui picks up and drags Tesla into the fantasy woven by Lawler of TechCrunch.

Google to buy Tesla?

Instead of theorizing that Uber will one day buy driverless vehicles from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and use them to create a city taxi system (like TechCrunch), he believes that Google will end up buying Tesla. Interestingly, his headline reads: “Dispatch From 2023: Google Considers Buying 250,000 Driverless Cars From Tesla, But Buys Tesla Instead.”

Of course a Tesla vehicle with Google’s self-driving technology does make sense because the automaker is essentially the king of electric vehicles. And it might not be much of a leap for Google to one day buy Tesla.

But a lot can change in 10 years. The possibilities for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are endless, and I don’t believe anyone can really guess about what will happen to the company. No one guessed it would get to where it is now, and I believe we place great limits on the company by trying to imagine a future that’s 10 years away.