Model S

"I always deliver what I say, just maybe not in the time frame that I say it" - Elon Musk

edited October 2015 in Model S
For those of you who have not read the Ashlee Vance biography of Elon, it is definitely worth it. They spend a lot of time covering the companies he has run and Elon himself. Very worthwhile. (I cheated and did the audiobook).

In that book, however, it is clear that Elon always over promises on dates.

When he estimates something will take a day, they know it will take a week or more. When he says its a week, well, then that means 6 months.

Elon himself acknowledges this in the book and makes the quote in the subject line, though admittedly I may have paraphrased.

The bottom line is that Elon's time frame for things is never accurate, sometimes off by years! But, at the end of the day, its him trying to drive the business and the world forward. Its his way of managing (some of his management style is absolutely horrible IMHO, but it works for him).

But, the one thing he has proven (besides his poor judge of how long it takes to do anything) is that he always delivers. Will autopilot be out this year? Probably not. Its a very very difficult thing to do and lives re on the line. But, I am willing to bet he does deliver it.

How about the Model 3? Well, i bet we won't see that until late 2018. But, he will deliver it and it will change the game (if the company survives that long). ;-)

So, as I read all these posts about missed deadlines, I just smile to myself. Tesla will get there. I have just learned to add lots of time to whatever he says.
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Comments

  • edited November -1
    Soon.
  • edited November -1
    I believe it was lolachampcar who best described the timing gap between what Elon says and when it happens: A month to Elon is like 6 months here on Earth.
  • edited November -1
    Elon is a brilliant entrepreneur. That compounds the challenge for the rest of us.
    1. His vision is impatient (If I can imagine it, we can do it... now.).
    2. If he can imagine it, it should be doable... ASAP. Except a Vision rarely takes into consideration ALL the details required in the Real World AND if the implementors are not themselves brilliant visionaries, their job is much more difficult because they are dealing with imperfect interpretations of the Vision, which require time consuming iterations of change and modification.
  • edited November -1
    @PeterPlt That's true. It's either mentioned in that book or somewhere else Elon thinks the whole world works at the same pace as he does. His schedules are always based on that.
  • edited November -1
    Yep, @carik, I think you are right. That sounds familiar to me as well and I think it was in the book.
  • edited November -1
    I liked his commentary on Apple engineers lol
  • edited November -1
    @Rchop0: <i>"I liked his commentary on Apple engineers lol"

    If it's the comment I'm thinking of - "We call Apple the Tesla graveyard" - it may not reflect upon the competence of Apple's staff, so much as that Tim Cook is much easier to work for and stay working for than the notoriously driven and demanding Mr. Musk.
  • edited November -1
    Well, this is something I willingly accept, allow, and forgive... Because SOON is a helluva lot better than the NEVER everyone else predicts/predicted, and has delivered... Over the past 35 that I have observed the automotive industry with interest.
  • edited November -1
    I work in product development for a large consumer products company. The demands to get product produced and shipped "on schedule" are such that on occasion, we don't get the product right out of the gate. Think of GM at anytime between 1974 and now. I have no problem, AT ALL, with the delays, if it means getting it right the first time.
  • edited November -1
  • edited November -1
    When will then be now? Soon.
  • edited November -1
    The questions are whether he expects his team to get it done in that time frame, whether he consults with them before coming up with an estimate, and whether they or he bear the responsibility for missing the estimate.

    I once had a boss who was known for promising short time frames. When they didn't happen, he'd call an employee into his office, give his famous "I could do the whole thing in a few hours in a rrrrrooom by myself!" speech, and then possibly fire the person. But he did have people like me who would work days, nights and weekends to get things done on an impossible schedule. Somehow we managed to get things done in a much shorter time frame than anybody anticipated, and that's pretty good for the computer industry.

    Overpromising could be anything from shooting his mouth off to poor planning to having an inept staff, all of which would be his responsibility, so the blame still lies with one person. The bigger questions are what causes his estimates to be off by so much and why does he do it?

    If GM promised the Bolt for 2019 and came in a year early, it would look damn good. Plenty of auto makers come up with realistic estimates, but don't always deliver a product that lives up to the hype. If Musk had announced autopilot for the 2017 models, and promised to make it retroactive to the 2014 models with appropriate hardware at no extra cost for those who had bought the tech package, then it would have been big news when TACC got added within months. If the rest comes out this month, that would have made even bigger news since it would have been the 2014 and 2015 models. If the original target had been 2016, considering that 2015 models were coming out for competitors at the time of the announcement, it wouldn't have come across as "out in the far future." But it would have been a matter of beating expectations.

    What would have been the down side? The press conference would have announce "the D" as ready for market, and announced what would be coming for the following "model year." Musk said he doesn't care about short term stock price fluctuations, and customers would have bought the cars with a realistic expectation of what they would have been getting and when they would have been getting it, so why not try to be realistic?
  • edited November -1
    I always deliver what I say (should be followed by:<b> except when I don't).
  • edited November -1
    @boribrotzer


    Yup, although he followed that comment up I think with something about it being easier to make watches than cars.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/elon-musk-says-apple-hires-engineers-that-tesla-fires/

    i would tend to agree with him, personally. I bet being a Tesla engineer is probably harder, not just because of Musk's personality.
  • edited November -1
    Let him design a high quality 19 jewel watch and see if he can put it together and come up with something that works precisely. The Apple watch built on decades of iterative steps. You can't compare the two. A person who works on the Apple watch team puts in just as many hours each day as Tesla engineer.
  • edited November -1
    @ScottyNeutron +1. I'm in the engineering development/production environment too. Certain things can never be rushed. Well you can but you better not to.
  • edited November -1
    When it comes to communications skills, for a smart guy Elon appears to be a slow learner. He tweets inappropriately, he comments inappropriately, he withdraws tweets, he overpromises. But every time I drive the S, I experience the same satisfaction-best car I have ever driven in 60+ years of driving. There is no car in second place. So, I make allowances and continue to await the X.
  • edited November -1
    I think that if you have an issue, like not meeting the deadlines of things you promise your loyal customers, that you should work on it till it's no longer an issue.

    Mind you, I'm not a billionaire, so clearly I ain't got it all right myself and maybe it should be me who changes!
  • edited November -1
    I completely agree with Redsage- soon is a helluva lot better than never. I love driving my P85D, and in my lifetime at a price I could easily afford. Does anyone think there would be any drive to produce Tesla killers without Tesla. The ICE companies would continue making their crappy compliance cars and claiming that "hydrogen is the way to go"- or other BS.
    So you have to wait a little for your autopilot, not a real biggy in the overall scheme of things. I've had to wait longer than most, since I got one of the very first PDs; I sooth the pain of not having autopilot with my right foot.
  • edited November -1
    @cephellow, great points.

    I mean really, smart watches are kind of a derivative, unnecessary product category at this point, while musk has literally created a supercar family sedan that can theoretically run off the sun (with the assistance of tech from elsewhere in musk's companies).
  • edited November -1
    <strike>When they roll-out the AutoPilot</strike>
    If they ever roll-out the AutoPilot; they should roll it out in the order of purchase. So all of you holier-than-thou people that bought in June shouldn't get AP for six months after the December delivered cars.
  • edited November -1
    Bah.
  • edited November -1
    Just once I'd like to see a billionaire with the self confidence and discipline to not overpromise unnecessarily.

    Even billionaires need coaching. It's a shame that ours seems to have ignored this prescient point. And if the CEO has difficulty communicating in an optimal manner, it should be no surprise that one of the company's weakest links is... wait for it... that communication thing.

    Vision is spiffy. Being willing to revisit actual issue viable plans that exist in the real world that account for real thought-through challenges is a much better ability. Since without that, a vision is a wish masquerading as a pipe dream.

    Fortunately, even billionaires can learn to change. They just have to care enough to do it. Sugarcoat it aaaaany way you want.
  • edited November -1
    TaoJones;
    I don't think anyone here on this forum can claim to have delivered more visionary and tangible things than Elon Musk. The car you are driving isn't a wish or a pipe dream, it is real and tangible.

    Friggin 2.9s 0-60 in a large sedan? Safest cars in the world. Rocket that lands on a barge and cuts launch costs by 95%, Worlds largest battery production facility? Stationary storage at a cost per KwH at 30% below market, PayPal...Mee thinks he is over-delivering....I hope Elon Musk doesn't change, and doesn't care enough to learn to do so. He gets a pass.

    @TaoJones, have you invented/built/marketed or made anything I may have heard about or used? It is too easy to say nothing, do nothing, create nothing, promise nothing and deliver nothing, and criticize those who do great things for not being perfect.
  • edited November -1
    The man is doing some incredible things for the world and humanity and outperforms all of us. He is in a whole different league and I think we should cut him some slack. Seriously.
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