Tesla’s decision to offer lower-priced cars with certain performance compromises could be viewed as expanding consumer choice and giving users flexibility. At the same time, because the underlying hardware remains the same no matter what level of software you’ve purchased, you could say that Tesla has locked the full potential of its vehicle behind an arbitrary paywall.

This is a paradigm shift. When you buy any other car, you get its full capabilities. In many cases, though less so now than in decades past, you can open up the hood and tinker with everything yourself. This has historically been the way we’ve thought about buying a car. When you roll it off the lot, you get the whole thing, and you can basically do with it whatever you want.