Booked: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Notes:

Dvije najizrazenije karateristike su fokusiranost i upornost.

Jasnoca vizije koju ima cini da Elon Musk ne bude dozivljen kao gonic robova, jer je jasno njegovo ZASTO.

Jasnoca vizije koju ima, u kombinaciji sa fokusiranoscu i upornoscu cini da ljudi oko njega razviju blazu verziju Stokholmskog sindroma.

Process thinking vs. solution, put do rjesenja ili rjesenje samo? Slicnost sa lean developmentom?

Jednostavna vizija, koja ima stotine hiljada komplikovanih if then else petlji.

Uradi ovo vs. Ovo mi treba do tad i tad. Mozes li to? Ocekivanja od drugih vs. ocekivanja od sebe

Brzina donosenja odluka obrnuto je proporcionalna kvalitetu donosene odluke.

Nacin usvajanja novih znanja Elona Muska je slican metodama opisanim u knjizi Deep Work.

Harizma kao jedan od kljucnih faktora javne slike Elona Muska.

Manje kompanije i start-upovi kao prednost imaju to sto nemaju birokratiju, komplikovane procedure, i nasledjene projekte/proizvode koje fundamentalno ne razumiju.

Koncept start-upova kao idealan sistem upravljanja/ minimalna drzava?

Elon Musk kao brend, people as a brand vs. companies as a brand

Prozivodi kao ogledalo klase, targetiranje nise.

Bolja verzija postojeceg prozivoda ili napraviti novi proizvod? Jednostavnija verzija postojeceg proizvoda ili bolja verzija?

Da li zadrzavati ljude koji su prevazisli svoju fukcionalnost? Odnosno, da li cijeniti ljude u poslu prema znanju ili godinama rada? Slicno dilemi 40 godina jednogodisnjeg iskustva vs. 40 godina iskustva

Elon Musk prevazilazi problem Einstellunga (MOOC – LHTL) – ne dozvoljava da prethodno znanje o nekoj temi utice na moguca nova saznanja i drugaciji nacin funkcionisanja, i to postavljajuci prava pitanja.

Kratkorocni ciljevi u funkciji velikog cilja vs. suma nepovezan kratkorocnih ostvarenja / Da li je moguce povezati ih naknadno?

Interdisciplinarnost kao produkt kombinacije vise dubljih znanja

Opasnost velike usresredjenosti jeste netolerancija i nedovoljno razvijena emocionalna inteligencija.

Dostaviti novu vrijednost vs. fundamentalnu vrijednost – koja je dodatna vrijednost inovacije? Uproscavanje postojeceg procesa/proizvoda kao osnova inovacije ili je to novi proizvod?

Quotes:

 

For Gracias, the Tesla and SpaceX investor and Musk’s friend, the 2008 period told him
everything he would ever need to know about Musk’s character. He saw a man who arrived in the United States with nothing, who had lost a child, who was being pilloried in the press by reporters and his ex-wife and who verged on having his life’s work destroyed. “He has the ability to work harder and endure more stress than anyone I’ve ever met,” Gracias said. “What he went through in 2008 would have broken anyone else. He didn’t just survive. He kept working and stayed focused.” That ability to stay focused in the midst of a crisis stands as one of Musk’s main advantages over
other executives and competitors. “Most people who are under that sort of pressure fray,” Gracias said. “Their decisions go bad. Elon gets hyperrational. He’s still able to make very clear, long-term decisions. The harder it gets, the better he gets. Anyone who saw what he went through firsthand came away with more respect for the guy. I’ve just never seen anything like his ability to take pain.”

 

He tends to care less about whether or not the person gets the answer than about how they describe the problem and their approach to solving it.

 

There’s an impression that SpaceX suffers from incredibly high turnover, and the company has without question churned through a fair number of bodies. Many of the key executives who helped start the company, however, have hung on for a decade or more. Among the rank-and-file engineers, most people stay on for at least five years to have their stock options vest and to see their projects through. This is typical behavior for any technology company. SpaceX and Musk also seem to inspire
an unusual level of loyalty. Musk has managed to conjure up that Steve Jobs–like zeal among his troops. “His vision is so clear,” Singh said. “He almost hypnotizes you. He gives you the crazy eye, and it’s like, yes, we can get to Mars.” Take that a bit further and you arrive at a pleasure-pain, sadomasochistic vibe that comes with working for Musk. Numerous people interviewed for this book
decried the work hours, Musk’s blunt style, and his sometimes ludicrous expectations. Yet almost every person—even those who had been fired—still worshiped Musk and talked about him in terms usually reserved for superheroes or deities.

 

“He doesn’t say, ‘You have to do this by Friday at two P.M .,’”
Brogan said. “He says, ‘I need the impossible done by Friday at two P.M . Can you do it?’ Then, when
you say yes, you are not working hard because he told you to. You’re working hard for yourself.

 

“He doesn’t say, ‘You have to do this by Friday at two P.M .,’”
Brogan said. “He says, ‘I need the impossible done by Friday at two P.M . Can you do it?’ Then, when
you say yes, you are not working hard because he told you to. You’re working hard for yourself.

 

Elon is brilliant. He’s involved in just about everything. He understands everything. If he
asks you a question, you learn very quickly not to go give him a gut reaction. He wants
answers that get down to the fundamental laws of physics. One thing he understands really
well is the physics of the rockets. He understands that like nobody else. The stuff I have
seen him do in his head is crazy. He can get in discussions about flying a satellite and
whether we can make the right orbit and deliver Dragon at the same time and solve all
these equations in real time. It’s amazing to watch the amount of knowledge he has
accumulated over the years. I don’t want to be the person who ever has to compete with
Elon. You might as well leave the business and find something else fun to do. He will
outmaneuver you, out think you, and out-execute you.

 

It obsesses over something that other people might find trivial and yet he has a definite point.

 

The Model S was not just the best electric car; it was best car, period, and the car people desired. […] Elon Musk had built the automotive equivalent of the iPhone.

 

“I knew I could stay at Mazda for ten years and get very comfortable or take a huge leap of faith. At Tesla, there was no history, no baggage. There was just a vision of products that could change the world. Who wouldn’t want to be involved with that?”

 

Like Steve Jobs before him, Musk is able to think up things that consumers did not even know they wanted—the door handles, the giant touch-screen—and to envision a shared point of view for all of Tesla’s products and services.

 

Either you’re trying to make something spectacular with no compromises or
you’re not. And if you’re not, Musk considers you a failure.
What Musk had done that the rival automakers missed or didn’t have the means to combat was turn Tesla into a lifestyle. It did not just sell someone a car. It sold them an image, a feeling they were tapping into the future, a relationship. Apple did the same thing decades ago with the Mac and then again with the iPod and iPhone. Even those who were not religious about their affiliation to Apple were sucked into its universe once they bought the hardware and downloaded software like iTunes.

 

The Rives decided to make buying into the solar proposition much simpler and formed a company called SolarCity in 2006. Unlike other companies, they would not manufacture their own solar panels. Instead they would buy them and then do just about everything else in-house. They built software for analyzing a customer’s current energy bill and the position of their house and the amount of sunlight it typically received to determine if solar made sense for the property. They built up their own teams to install the solar panels. And they created a financing system in which the customer did not need to pay
anything up front for the panels. The consumer leased the panels over a number of years at a fixed monthly rate. Consumers got a lower bill overall, they were no longer subject to the constantly rising rates of typical utilities, and, if they sold their house, they could pass the contract to the new owner. At the end of the lease, the homeowner could also upgrade to new, more efficient panels.

 

But there is now a degree to which you have to ask whether his
success is an indictment on the rest of us who have been working on much more incremental things. To the extent that the world still doubts Elon, I think it’s a reflection on the insanity of the world and not on the supposed insanity of Elon.”

 

What was clear is that people who worked for him were like ammunition: used for a specific purpose until exhausted and discarded.”

 

Smil wrote to me. “The last thing a country with 50 million people on food stamps
and 85 billion dollars deeper into debt every month needs is anything to do with space, especially space with more joyrides for the super rich. And the loop proposal was nothing but bamboozling people who do not know anything about kindergarten physics with a very old, long publicized Gedanken experiment in kinetics. . . . There are many inventive Americans, but in that lineup Musk would be trailing far behind.”

 

“This becomes a competitive advantage for him, too. Why would you want to work for a defense
contractor when you can work for a guy who wants to go to Mars and he’s going to move heaven and
earth to make it happen? You can frame a problem in a way that’s really good for the business.”

 

“I’ve learned that your intuition about things you don’t
know that much about isn’t very good,” Page said. “The way Elon talks about this is that you always
need to start with the first principles of a problem. What are the physics of it? How much time will it
take? How much will it cost? How much cheaper can I make it? There’s this level of engineering and
physics that you need to make judgments about what’s possible and interesting. Elon is unusual in that
he knows that, and he also knows business and organization and leadership and governmental issues.”

 

Page holds Musk up as a model he wishes others would emulate—a figure that should be
replicated during a time in which the businessmen and politicians have fixated on short-term,
inconsequential goals.

 

You should have a pretty broad engineering and scientific background. You should have some
leadership training and a bit of MBA training or knowledge of how to run things, organize stuff, and
raise money. I don’t think most people are doing that, and it’s a big problem. Engineers are usually
trained in a very fixed area. When you’re able to think about all of these disciplines together, you kind
of think differently and can dream of much crazier things and how they might work. I think that’s really
an important thing for the world. That’s how we make progress.”

 

During a time in
which countries and other businesses were paralyzed by indecision and inaction, Musk would have
mounted the most viable charge against global warming, while also providing people with an escape
plan—just in case.

 

No, Musk just seems
to possess a level of conviction that is so intense and exceptional as to be off-putting to some. As we
shared some chips and guacamole and cocktails, I asked Musk directly just how much he was willing
to put on the line. His response? Everything that other people hold dear.

 

It seems
that he’s become almost addicted to expanding his ambitions and can’t quite stop himself from
announcing things like the Hyperloop and the space Internet. I’m also more convinced than ever that
Musk is a deeply emotional person who suffers and rejoices in an epic fashion. This side of him is
likely obscured by the fact that he feels most deeply about his own humanity-altering quest and so has
trouble recognizing the strong emotions of those around him.

 

“None of these start-ups understand the objective. The objective should be—what delivers
fundamental value. I think it’s important to look at things from a standpoint of what is actually the best
thing for the economy. If people can conduct their transactions quickly and securely that’s better for
them. If it’s simpler to conduct their financial life it’s better for them. So, if all your financial affairs
are seamlessly integrated one place it’s very easy to do transactions and the fees associated with
transactions are low. These are all good things. Why aren’t they doing this? It’s mad.”

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