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Articles/megaposts by DaveT

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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
The consensus here seems to be Tesla strength is its ability to rapidly innovate, but people are unwilling to live with the glitches that come with it and demand changes. Don't get me wrong, it would be wonderful if Tesla could innovate lightning fast with flawless execution, I'm just not convinced you can get both.

BTW. The best thing to get both is probably to go as fast as possible and then look where the weak points in the system are and fix them on the fly. As CEO you can only do such things if you have almost unlimited power and you are stress resistant.
The major problem is that they are not spotting the weak points and they are not fixing them. I am comforted by Musk's identification of communications problems as a major issue last month, but his proposed solution ("just call people directly across the hierarchy") is stupid and betrays a lack of understanding of the nature of the problem. Also, the communications problems have been serious since at least 2013, they've been getting only worse, and he's only *now* spotted the weak point?

I hope Tesla gets to the point where they are identifying the weak points and fixing them on the fly. They seem to be doing so in manufacturing, and in hardware... not so much in software... really not at all in communications.
 
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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
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Ithaca, NY, USA
Or they will become the Sirius Cybernetics Company...



I thought the media player code was part of the code released by Tesla a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I missed something.
I have the latest version now, unfortunately. The media player doesn't ****ing work, not for playing USB albums. They haven't fixed bugs introduced in 2016 which are regressions, and therefore warranty issues.

Sacking all the programmers and starting over would be a big mistake. Those are the only people who know the system as it is now. I've had to deal with code abandoned by other programmers who were no longer around, it takes a significant time suck to get new programmers up to speed.

What Tesla needs is my friend who's specialty is turning around stalled or broken software projects. She rarely fires anyone. What she does do is go in and evaluate each team member's strengths and weaknesses and reorganizes the team so people are doing the things they are best at. Some people lack proper motivation, some lack some key skill and are trying to cover, occasionally some are incompetent. But with someone at the helm who doesn't see all programmers as the same and tailors the tasks to the individuals, a disaster can be turned around and made into a successful project.

The real problem IMHO is that there's clearly nobody responsible for managing the bug tracking database, making sure that changes are properly regression-tested, maintaining viable testsuites, etc. This doesn't per se require firing the *programmers* but the people in *charge* of the department do need to be removed from management, because they don't seem to understand the first thing about basic software development management. This is stuff I learned as a *volunteer*. Their sense of issue prioritization is nil, but worse, they seem to lack testsuites and not do regression testing. The volunteer projects I've worked on required both, and the managers rejected code if it didn't have the testsuites.

Her focus is business systems, so I don't think she'd be the perfect choice for Tesla. There are some differences in approach between business systems and embedded systems, but they need someone like her.

My view from 700 miles away and from outside the company is that the software side has been somewhat neglected, especially the user interface stuff. The critical systems appear to have fewer problems. There are insane demands on everyone at Tesla, which is why I'd never want to work there, but locking a bunch of programmers in a room until the code gets done will get you something, but it will probably be very buggy. Also the code sprint lifestyle only works for a short time.
Indeed.

99% of people are initially more productive when they work more than 40 hours a week, but if they keep at it, their productivity drops down to about where they were at 40 hours a week and errors increase. I know I'm that way. Back in my 20s I had to work some insane hours for a while. After being at it for over a month one night on my way home after a 12 hour day a car stopped suddenly in front of me and I almost hit them because my first reaction was I just too tired to care. Fortunately I wasn't following that closely and had enough time to wake up and stop. I also know my productivity drops after several weeks of really long hours.

People who get obsessive about what they're doing can keep at it longer, usually until their bodies quit on them. I've known a few people who had to throttle back their lives because they got sick (including my SO). Elon is one of those people and his body hasn't given out on him yet, but it will eventually with the level of abuse he puts on it.

Tesla probably has a higher percentage of obsessive people than the general population, but there comes a point when people are pushed too far. Everyone has a breaking point.
 

lolcat

Member
Apr 22, 2016
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24
Australia
You probably shouldn't comment on something you don't know anything about. Sorry to be blunt. But ask any insider in Apple about Phil Schiller. I've observed him closely for 10+ years and even had some correspondence with him. The guy is the real thing. He's one of the main reasons the iOS AppStore is what it is (and why the iPhone has become what it is). He's handled so many developer crises I can't even count, and he's handled them well. The thing about marketing at Apple is that it's not really about advertising. That's just one part. Apple considers product development as the most important part of marketing, and Phil is brought in very early into this process as well.


Phil Schiller had to be told to get on board or get out of the iPhone program because he literally could not envision a software keyboard that has become stock standard by now.

He may have customer service or developer support chops but he is NO visionary

Also you are not the only one who knows a bit about Apple
 

DaveT

Searcher of green pastures
Nov 15, 2012
3,494
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I think the majority of people view Elon favorably, but I think there is a growing number of people who view Elon negatively and/or with great skepticism. I think one of the root causes of this is the massive amounts of negative news surrounding Tesla and Elon.

This morning I was reading Elon’s tweet:
Elon Musk on Twitter

I think that Elon needs to take control of the narrative about himself (I mentioned prior that I think Tesla needs to take control of their own narrative, but I also think it applies to Elon himself). A few years ago, Elon apparently decided to stop giving interviews (except the occasionally rare one). I think this was a mistake. It appears he chose to rely on Twitter to establish his narrative, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.

When Elon was giving regular video interviews, these interviews would be posted on lots of places and many people would watch them from start to finish. They were like documentary films in the sense that they explained Elon’s thinking, his approach, and any current challenges his companies were facing. To use an analogy, they were like the Sunday morning sermon to the faithful and also to the interested. Lots of people became believers through his video interviews. And a lot of the faithful had their faith fed through these video interviews.

But the past few years, video interviews have dried up (all but the very rare one) and so there hasn’t been anything as effective to replace it.

As a result, most people are left relying on media outlets and websites who spew Elon stories with a shallow and often negative bent. And often these media outlets are just channels, sharing information that was fed to them.

Elon has a lot of options available to him. He could get an interview with practically any media outlet in the world. I think he should make time to give one video interview per week on his terms. Let the media outlet come to his location and at his requested time. And Elon’s team should reach out and choose the media outlets they want.

If Elon can’t take an hour (or two) out of his week to take back control of his narrative and also the narrative of Tesla, then I think he ought to delegate the mouthpiece of Tesla to somebody else who will be available to do so.
 

schonelucht

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2014
5,080
8,770
Nederland
I think the majority of people view Elon favorably, but I think there is a growing number of people who view Elon negatively and/or with great skepticism. I think one of the root causes of this is the massive amounts of negative news surrounding Tesla and Elon.

This morning I was reading Elon’s tweet:
Elon Musk on Twitter

I think that Elon needs to take control of the narrative about himself (I mentioned prior that I think Tesla needs to take control of their own narrative, but I also think it applies to Elon himself). A few years ago, Elon apparently decided to stop giving interviews (except the occasionally rare one). I think this was a mistake. It appears he chose to rely on Twitter to establish his narrative, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.

Specifically over the diving thing, I think the stream of tweets about technical aspects of the dive pod was just inviting people to think it's more about him, and his technical prowess than about rescuing the kids. In a way that stream of tweets ressembles exactly how a team of students entering the hyperloop competition would tweet about their progress. And with media coverage, perception is reality.
 

wnorris

Member
Mar 6, 2017
251
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Specifically over the diving thing, I think the stream of tweets about technical aspects of the dive pod was just inviting people to think it's more about him, and his technical prowess than about rescuing the kids. In a way that stream of tweets ressembles exactly how a team of students entering the hyperloop competition would tweet about their progress. And with media coverage, perception is reality.

Definitely agree with Dave's thought that Elon should be doing more interviews to support the longer term initiatives of his companies. Dial back the tweets

To lessen the focus on Elon it would be nice if he brought some of his engineers alongside to speak to some points. Share the spotlight and help develop his team's media savvy. JB would be perfect for a Ted Talk on Tesla's vision for batteries.

Edit: Elon's latest tweets regarding Flint are similar to his Thailand efforts. I cannot help but think he could go about communicating this in a better manner as this will be construed as an attempt to manufacture positive publicity.
 
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neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
A few years ago, Elon apparently decided to stop giving interviews (except the occasionally rare one). I think this was a mistake. It appears he chose to rely on Twitter to establish his narrative, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.
Elon looks good in live interviews. Comes across drier on Twitter. So I think you're right.
 

Starno

Active Member
Mar 20, 2017
1,643
3,830
BERLIN
I think the majority of people view Elon favorably, but I think there is a growing number of people who view Elon negatively and/or with great skepticism. I think one of the root causes of this is the massive amounts of negative news surrounding Tesla and Elon.

This morning I was reading Elon’s tweet:
Elon Musk on Twitter

I think that Elon needs to take control of the narrative about himself (I mentioned prior that I think Tesla needs to take control of their own narrative, but I also think it applies to Elon himself). A few years ago, Elon apparently decided to stop giving interviews (except the occasionally rare one). I think this was a mistake. It appears he chose to rely on Twitter to establish his narrative, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.

When Elon was giving regular video interviews, these interviews would be posted on lots of places and many people would watch them from start to finish. They were like documentary films in the sense that they explained Elon’s thinking, his approach, and any current challenges his companies were facing. To use an analogy, they were like the Sunday morning sermon to the faithful and also to the interested. Lots of people became believers through his video interviews. And a lot of the faithful had their faith fed through these video interviews.

But the past few years, video interviews have dried up (all but the very rare one) and so there hasn’t been anything as effective to replace it.

As a result, most people are left relying on media outlets and websites who spew Elon stories with a shallow and often negative bent. And often these media outlets are just channels, sharing information that was fed to them.

Elon has a lot of options available to him. He could get an interview with practically any media outlet in the world. I think he should make time to give one video interview per week on his terms. Let the media outlet come to his location and at his requested time. And Elon’s team should reach out and choose the media outlets they want.

If Elon can’t take an hour (or two) out of his week to take back control of his narrative and also the narrative of Tesla, then I think he ought to delegate the mouthpiece of Tesla to somebody else who will be available to do so.


I don't think that's the reason.

The true reason is that a few years ago Elon was just the CEO of this innovative startup, they were producing just a few tens of thousands of cars. They were threatening no one.

I'd even say the only people truly aware of Tesla and Elon were those who closely watched the electric car space.

People thought it was an amazing endeavor. Yes people knew it was a disruptive tech, but deep down, they never thought he would actually succeed to go to mainstream level.

Now he's about to enter the "true" mainstream level. And people, who don't care at all about electric car, are starting to be aware of Tesla.


This is incredibly disturbing for many people.



Mahatma-Gandhi-Motivational2.jpg
 
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aubreymcfato

Supporting Member
Sep 16, 2016
1,147
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Italy
I agree completely. Elon is very likely an high-functioning person on the autism spectrum (if you don't believe me, listen or read Temple Grandin, an autistic herself: moreover, her mind is stunningly similar to Elon's one, regarding engineering and visualization), so he really sounds harsh & cold on Twitter.
Not everyone knows everything about him as we do, so they think he's just a boombastic billionaire with an oversized ego (which he kinda is, but we know very well his motives and rationale).
On video, he seems more nerdy and fragile, which I think helps a lot his image (I like him much more on video where I can actually see his emotions).
 

neroden

Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan
Apr 25, 2011
14,676
62,629
Ithaca, NY, USA
I agree completely. Elon is very likely an high-functioning person on the autism spectrum (if you don't believe me, listen or read Temple Grandin, an autistic herself: moreover, her mind is stunningly similar to Elon's one, regarding engineering and visualization), so he really sounds harsh & cold on Twitter.
Being on the spectrum myself, I would also agree. I can get where Musk's coming from on Twitter, but other people misread his emotions in text just like they misread mine. So.

Not everyone knows everything about him as we do, so they think he's just a boombastic billionaire with an oversized ego (which he kinda is, but we know very well his motives and rationale).
On video, he seems more nerdy and fragile, which I think helps a lot his image (I like him much more on video where I can actually see his emotions).
 

Chickenlittle

Banned
Sep 10, 2013
2,781
4,943
Virginia
I think the majority of people view Elon favorably, but I think there is a growing number of people who view Elon negatively and/or with great skepticism. I think one of the root causes of this is the massive amounts of negative news surrounding Tesla and Elon.

This morning I was reading Elon’s tweet:
Elon Musk on Twitter

I think that Elon needs to take control of the narrative about himself (I mentioned prior that I think Tesla needs to take control of their own narrative, but I also think it applies to Elon himself). A few years ago, Elon apparently decided to stop giving interviews (except the occasionally rare one). I think this was a mistake. It appears he chose to rely on Twitter to establish his narrative, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.

When Elon was giving regular video interviews, these interviews would be posted on lots of places and many people would watch them from start to finish. They were like documentary films in the sense that they explained Elon’s thinking, his approach, and any current challenges his companies were facing. To use an analogy, they were like the Sunday morning sermon to the faithful and also to the interested. Lots of people became believers through his video interviews. And a lot of the faithful had their faith fed through these video interviews.

But the past few years, video interviews have dried up (all but the very rare one) and so there hasn’t been anything as effective to replace it.

As a result, most people are left relying on media outlets and websites who spew Elon stories with a shallow and often negative bent. And often these media outlets are just channels, sharing information that was fed to them.

Elon has a lot of options available to him. He could get an interview with practically any media outlet in the world. I think he should make time to give one video interview per week on his terms. Let the media outlet come to his location and at his requested time. And Elon’s team should reach out and choose the media outlets they want.

If Elon can’t take an hour (or two) out of his week to take back control of his narrative and also the narrative of Tesla, then I think he ought to delegate the mouthpiece of Tesla to somebody else who will be available to do so.
So since you choose to criticize his effort to help the trapped children can you share with the forum how you helped? Did you contribute any funds to the effort? Are you also going to post about helping with the lead contamination in Flint water supply does that bother you as well? I believe it is not only a worthwhile humanitarian thing to do but also great PR in the state of Michigan with anti tesla government.

Elon’s twitter account is a reflection of what he chooses to reveal to the public. He does use it for tesla announcements but attempting to censor his public persona is above your pay grade
 

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,328
4,427
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
I think the majority of people view Elon favorably, but I think there is a growing number of people who view Elon negatively and/or with great skepticism. I think one of the root causes of this is the massive amounts of negative news surrounding Tesla and Elon.

This morning I was reading Elon’s tweet:
Elon Musk on Twitter

I think that Elon needs to take control of the narrative about himself (I mentioned prior that I think Tesla needs to take control of their own narrative, but I also think it applies to Elon himself). A few years ago, Elon apparently decided to stop giving interviews (except the occasionally rare one). I think this was a mistake. It appears he chose to rely on Twitter to establish his narrative, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective.

When Elon was giving regular video interviews, these interviews would be posted on lots of places and many people would watch them from start to finish. They were like documentary films in the sense that they explained Elon’s thinking, his approach, and any current challenges his companies were facing. To use an analogy, they were like the Sunday morning sermon to the faithful and also to the interested. Lots of people became believers through his video interviews. And a lot of the faithful had their faith fed through these video interviews.

But the past few years, video interviews have dried up (all but the very rare one) and so there hasn’t been anything as effective to replace it.

As a result, most people are left relying on media outlets and websites who spew Elon stories with a shallow and often negative bent. And often these media outlets are just channels, sharing information that was fed to them.

Elon has a lot of options available to him. He could get an interview with practically any media outlet in the world. I think he should make time to give one video interview per week on his terms. Let the media outlet come to his location and at his requested time. And Elon’s team should reach out and choose the media outlets they want.

If Elon can’t take an hour (or two) out of his week to take back control of his narrative and also the narrative of Tesla, then I think he ought to delegate the mouthpiece of Tesla to somebody else who will be available to do so.
I've also seen that his companies closed up communication and stopped sharing their failures and successes with the public. Worse, those discussions of failures were replaced with false predictions of capability, reinforcing the idea they're just lying. Finally, there's a mysterious and secretive force causing people who want to work there not getting hired and people who do work there getting fired or quitting, and no one's talking; the whole thing just sounds super bad. The whole narrative of people making things happen has just disappeared, and as you point out, it got replaced with nothing but speculation. That negativity feeds into the reputation of workers, how they feel about themselves, and the quality of work. It ends up turning into a spiraling mess as the dwindling number of authorized bosses keep chasing worsening situations, and the numbers of lies keep mounting up, meaning an environment where only liars and thieves excel, further ruining the personnel and performance. Throw in the boss making secret deals with Communists, and trying to with Turkey and perhaps Palestinians too, and it just starts to look like one big con, accurate or not.
 
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DaveT

Searcher of green pastures
Nov 15, 2012
3,494
10,495
Texas
here is the interview Dave was asking for. It shows so well why the someone can be perceived as toxic on Twitter and profoundly human in an interview and still be the same person. Twitter is just not a good medium to discuss things and in the interview Elon explicitly acknowledges that he can do better.

It's a shame that this Tom Randall interview of Elon isn't published with the video (at least as of now).

Here's the hierarchy of effectiveness:
1. Articles by reporters on Tesla suck 95% of the time. And 4.9% of the time they are just so, so.
2. Elon's tweets are better than the articles. But his tweets seed misunderstanding because they're so brief and he gets into pointless arguments/attacks with others, and his tweets don't establish the context of his sincerity, his mission and his rationale.
3. Transcripts of interviews are much, much better than Elon's tweets. They give context and rationale, have have decent persuasion.
4. Video of interview from Elon is much, much better than a transcript. Elon is able to communicate more emotion, thoughtfulness, sincerity and his persuasion level via video is very high.
 
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