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Discussion in 'News' started by danny, Dec 18, 2007.
David Vespremi is no longer with Tesla Motors.
Really sorry to hear that. From what I could tell he seemed like a great asset.
He was definitely very knowledgeable about performance cars, and I thought a good communicator as well. I wonder if Martin's departure had anything to do with his exit...?
I am sure the Roadster delays have put a lot of pressure on everyone there.
I guess when you outshine others and they take credit for all of your work, you're bound to be out of a job at some point. probably sooner rather than later. Seems like a pandemic at Tesla. best of luck David.
Come on guys. I know that there is a tendency to grow attached to particular individuals who have made a strong public impression through the Tesla videos and the blogs, but we have got to try to move on from picking over the bones of changes in Tesla personel.
I don't know the circumstances of David's departure, but even if they were negative, the project still continues.
I'm sure there will be Official, Unofficial, Edited, and Spurious Histories written about the early days of Tesla. We can complain about them when they appear.
Right now, we need to do what we can to see that Tesla lives long enough to have a history.
Incidentaly, has anyone made a backup of the Tesla blogs?
I disagree (a lot). A company's well being is directly connected with the people who started it and worked for the company.
Many Silicon Valley companies have lost their ways when political types take over from the "doers" and "visionaries". These political types usurp work done by others and ultimately run the company to the ground.
I am not very optimistic for Tesla - having witnessed the dismissal of people who were key to the initial success (including the founder, VP of Sales, Director of PR and many others) I can see how things go South from this point on. Now it seems that all those functions combined in one person (VP of Sales, Marketing and Service). With him running everything Tesla is VERY UNLIKELY to make it accross Geoffrey Moore's "chasm".
Darryl, turn off the light after you left!
Thanks for your vote of confidence...
I would echo Malcolm's advice above. The nature of a startup is continuous change, so you can expect that to keep happening. The reality is usually a lot more boring than the conspiracy.
You missed my point entirely. No one said anything about conspiracy. What was said is that after the visionaries often come the hacks who run companies to the ground. And there are also that other species: the false founders and false credit takers. Nothing unusual here, happens often. This is born out by startup statistics. :frown:
Hmmm...I was trying self deprecating humor but i guess it didn't work. One of the things Martin taught me was that I need to use emoticons more. Let me try this:
thanks for the vote of confidence
I didn't miss your point, but I also wouldn't validate it. I look around this company and I don't see a lot of corporate hacks. Quite the contrary.
Is this getting blown out of proportion? I think so. Just look at the roadster. Despite the unfortunate departure of the early founders, the car is still 99.99% the vehicle they created. IMO that original vision is alive and well in the roadster and I can't wait to get mine. Martin is still a hero of mine, but so is Elon since he backed that original vision with many $$$$. This has been a dream of mine since way before I ever heard of Tesla, and without these people it would not be happening. The oil-free vehicle strikes a deep chord with me and I for one am thankful for all the Tesla people involved, past and present.
p.s. I am not a paid endorser.
Well, the rumors are true and I really appreciate the show of support on this forum. I have forged some very close bonds with my colleagues during my tenure at Tesla, and for those that have worked in a Silicon Valley start-up environment, I'm sure that the feeling of solidarity and camaraderie that comes from working long, intense hours on an exciting endeavor will be familiar.
In my case, while I would have loved to continue on and felt like I had a lot more to contribute to help Tesla achieve success, it was sadly not to be. I am indebted to those went to bat to help try to keep me on board over these past few weeks. That was a true test of character, and I will never forget the show of support I experienced from those folks. I had no fewer than four different departments within the company make efforts to keep me on board at Tesla in some capacity, but I was told by the powers that be that the outcome was inevitable.
One of life's interesting lessons is it is during challenging times like this that you come to see the true character of those around you. If I can ever help those folks that recognized what I brought to Tesla and risked their own job security to do the right thing, I will absolutely do so. Like Martin said, Silicon Valley is a small place and I'm sure our paths will cross again some day.
Thinking back, sometimes living and working in a start-up is like a bad TV reality show. The nervous comparisons to Survivor I often heard from others ring very true today.
That being said, I have no regrets and would not have changed a thing. Sure, I could have stuck around my old company, a big established automotive parts manufacturer and maybe even made VP there, but would I have been part of something as historic as Tesla? No way. In my case, no amount of job security or compensation could have kept me from jumping into Tesla given the opportunity to help further the cause. Many of us are like moths to the flame, and even while we know we may get burned, the flame burns too bright to resist.
Tesla is a very special company with a very special group of people of immense capability and talent. I can't assure anyone that Tesla will always be that way, but that is what I knew it as when I left yesterday.
As for me, I wish the folks at Tesla nothing but the greatest success and hope to see Tesla Motors flourish in the coming year. I have spent more seat time in the Roadster than many and had the unique experience of working on both sides of the business - marketing and engineering. From what I have seen and experienced during my tenure, politics aside, this technology and the promise that it holds is worth the effort to bring to market.
I will use the coming weeks to catch up on my backlog of emails and decide what my next move will be. Now that my wife and I are newlyweds and building our first house on the coast side, there is no question that we intend to stay in the Bay Area for the long term and hopefully start a family here.
For those that feel that something stinks about the departure of Martin and others that poured their heart, soul, and talent into Tesla only to be pushed out under the auspices of what is "best for the business" - I don't disagree. While I don't want to end this post on a negative note, if official explanations justifying these ugly decisions sound a little too prepared and polished - trust your instincts - they probably are.
Anyway, Darryl and the others survivors have their work cut out for them. Lets wish them well for the new year and do our best to support them from the outside. I have nothing bad to say about any of the people that will carry the torch from here (at least not until someone buys me a beer) and frankly, I'd like to be able to look back on my time at Tesla as having been part of something groundbreaking and game-changing, rather than as an interesting footnote in the development of the automobile.
Happy holidays to everyone,
Darryl, problem is those people who left posted blogs, shared views and opinions etc. "The comunity" got to know them to some degree and trusted them as persons. It would be very nice if some of the "newcommers", especially the new CEO, continued in this tradition otherwise they are painting themselves in a strange light like not sharing the previously expressed opininons. This possibility scares us.
David, best luck to you and your wife!
I feel compelled to write my thoughts here too after reading David’s post and hearing the echoes in it of the many, many amazing qualities that David possesses and that I admire so much. David is truly a person of integrity and great character, much to the contrary of others involved in his departure. I watched this situation grow and morph in various ways over the last few months and I have to disagree with Darryl - the truth is really not boring at all.
Instead of commenting on the uglier details and lamenting about things, I’d like to share just a few impressions and anecdotes and leave it at that. When I first met David years ago, he was heading a small marketing team at an automotive parts company in Southern California. He liked his job and, of course, was brilliant at it - breathing much needed new life into a conservative company through a brand overhaul. I was so impressed by him because he didn’t just hire an agency to do all of the work for him - instead he put together his own media campaigns, taught his team how to produce commercials and print ads and used some very nontraditional messaging to get phenomenonal results. David taught me great lessons about team building, management and leadership. Even though I’m in a very different field (big firm attorney), I use those lessons everyday. David nurtured a very small team, believed so much in each one of them and their ability to grow that each gained so much more success than they ever would have done in the unfortunate environment David encountered at Tesla :frown: (here's an emoticon for you Darryl).
When we were thinking about relocating to the Bay Area, David mentioned Tesla as a company he was interested in. In his usual steadfast nature, David sought out Tesla for about six months before he got an interview there. He believed so much in what Tesla was doing to make a difference that he had to be a part of it. It would have been easy for him to jump into an agency job or work in-house somewhere, but he had his eye on a target and, man, once he's locked in, he does not give up.
It was a great day when the offer letter came in from Tesla. David was excited to get started and knew that he had a lot to offer the company with his unique background in law, marketing and cars - and he was right. From the Microsoft and Mattel deals to a vast amount of “real” press, including Newsweek, WSJ and Business Week, David put Tesla out in the public eye and in a positive light. It’s very telling that the only write-up Tesla’s gotten since David left the PR role (aside from news of hirings and firings) is in a neighborhood newspaper. It’s really a shame.
I think I’ve about used up my space here. Before I go, I’d also like to say a public thank you to all of the current and former Tesla employees that spent hours on the phone and in person, sent wonderfully touching emails and really supported David through a difficult time. He was so overwhelmed by all of the support and I know will forever be grateful for everyone’s kindness and gestures of good will.
Hmm... Mattel deal?
I guess this means a Tesla Roadster will be appearing in Hot Wheels form
Back on topic, the departure of Martin Eberhard and David Vespremi is creating a rather large shift in the PR direction of the company. In the past, the company had the look of a young Silicon Valley startup, fronted by bright energetic individuals. Today, it doesn't really have any standout characteristics beyond it's remarkably unique product.
It's clear that this shift is being pushed by the board of directors (perhaps Elon in particular). When you have $60 million in orders waiting to be filled, you certainly need to show a degree of maturity. Still, I have to wonder if there is some way to achieve both--fill the orders, but also keep the excitement... perhaps they expect the cars to provide their own buzz?
David I have followed your work at Tesla since the beginning. It is so sad to see you go. I wish the best for you and your family. Tesla is losing touch with me. I will be watching closely. I smell bad news ahead but we shall see. I'm trying so hard to keep positive. It's difficult.
"I have spent more seat time in the Roadster than many..."
David, after what has been done to you, I hope that you have a Roadster with your name on it.
Of course I am not speaking for Tesla Motors when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed working with David. I interviewed David when I was on a campaign to hire marketing people who know how to write - surprisingly rare, it turns out. As a published author, David was easily qualified, as you all have seen in his blog postings at Tesla.
But he also brought enthusiasm, skill, and knowledge about cars, an ability to build a strong rapport with customers, legal skills (in is spare time, he also is a lawyer!), and a great personality.
David: I am sure we will have a conversation or two as we contemplate our next career moves. The cool thing about you being booted from Tesla is that should you join me in my next venture, I am not violating my non-solicitation (i.e. anti-poaching) agreement with Tesla :smile:
I think that Roberta and I should go to dinner and compare notes.:wink:
Haha! Carolyn Motors? :wink:
It sounds like you could pretty much put back together your original team. Really the beginning is the most exciting part of a company. Of course seeing the fruits of your labor is also nice.
I currently have limited involvement with my 10 year old start-up. Let me know when you are ready to talk about your next big idea. I am also looking for my next one.