Abhi Yerra's Reviews > Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
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really liked it

Elon Musk is the guy who seems to be taking the mantle of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs nowadays and his companies have done immense things. Though I was interested in Musk I was more interested in the methods he uses at his companies to achieve what he does and it seems to be a combination of things.

- Musk is very hands on in all of the things he works on and understands everything everyone is doing. He is extremely well read and makes people do the impossible.
- He makes people work really hard to the point of burnout and seems he is unceremonious about firing people when their use is no longer needed. I almost think that Musk thinks the people who work for him are a feature and once a feature no longer performs the way you need it to or starts affecting other features negatively you get rid of it. But replace feature here with employee. It seems harsh but taking such a stoic approach is probably why he has done so much with so little.
- He takes the Silicon Valley startup mentality and hires for youth. Pay em less and work em more.
- SpaceX and Tesla try to do as much as possible internally and try to be vertically aligned. This means that the company seems to A/B test their hardware. For example, SpaceX sends an existing radio that they bought for $20,000 and also send a custom radio that they are working on which would cost $3,000. They send both until the internal one is better and that's the one they use. Boeing and Lockheed seem to be interested in being the opposite which is having as many contractors as possible. However, SpaceX is obviously better because components work together and cut down costs but obviously not as many jobs.
- Using commodity components. Using a laptop screen in the Tesla instead of an automotive screen. Starting with Lithium Ion batteries instead of making custom batteries right off the bat.

Overall a good read but some of it reads as a marketing ad.

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Reading Progress

June 11, 2015 – Shelved
June 11, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
March 21, 2016 – Finished Reading

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