For me October 19, 2016 marked the climax of Tesla's story and in some ways makes me a bit sad. Like a kid opening Christmas presents, the "big ones" have now all been unwrapped. 2008 - Act 1 - Setup - Roadster hits the market 2012 - Act 2 - Confrontation - Model S hits the market - first long range practical EV, sales climb 2016 - Act 3 - Climax - Tesla goes full autonomy and mass market with Model 3, auto industry in full response mode 2017 - ??? - Denouement - Sales continue to grow, Model 3 takes over mass market, autonomy is refined. More generations of product, etc. etc. I am an optimist and I see Tesla's future success in some form as largely a foregone conclusion at this point. They will be successful on some level. Whether they dominate the industry or simply remain a player is not of chief concern in the narrative to me. They have forced the auto industry to rapidly accelerate the deployment of autonomous vehicles and EV drivetrains. They have made it embarrassingly clear to everyone that the auto industry was innovating far slower than is actually possible. Yes, nerds like us will keep yammering away at each other over the details - defining autonomy, griping about flaws in the cars, complaining about Elon's big promises and timelines, etc. But the bottom line is - he's done it. Elon Musk has gone from zero to mass produced, long range, self driving electric cars on a nationwide rapid charge network in less than a decade. It's hard to believe that the roadster came out after the iphone - so much has happened so fast with Tesla that it seems, to me, like far longer than 8 years has gone by. What's next? Elon makes Moller's Skycar a reality? There are no more major presents to open after October 19 - nothing on the "gee whiz" scale of the Model S, the Supercharger network, and full autonomy. And so to me, October 19 is the marker of the beginning of Tesla's long goodbye to Elon Musk even if he hasn't explicitly stated it yet. He himself has said he doesn't want to run SpaceX and Tesla together forever. He was always destined for and fascinated by bigger things - Mars, the stars. And so, being secular, but still possessing that deep human need to find larger-than-life gods and heroes - I hope before I die I can take a ride on a rocket ship to Mars built by SpaceX and Elon Musk. Elon Musk hints at life after the Tesla Model 3 "Musk goes on to mention the fact he may not be in charge of Tesla after the Model 3 hits retail. "I will never leave Tesla forever," Musk said, "but I may not be CEO forever. Nobody should be CEO forever."