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Help for a dissertation about Tesla

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by manarosi, Jun 14, 2018.

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  1. manarosi

    manarosi Member

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    Good evening everybody, i'm an italian student and i'm working on a dissertation for my degree at the university of economics. Since i've always had a big passion for motors i chose Tesla because of its status and its innovation in this sector. The subject of my dissertation is the importance of time factor in business strategy, in particular about Tesla. What i'm looking for is explaining how Tesla succeded when it first entered the market and how this success is related to its organizational structure and its business strategy. Is there anybody that can kindly provide me with some material for this dissertation? Thank you very much in advance for your disposability
     
  2. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Success Definition:
    Maybe we need to define what "success" means for Tesla.

    Many people would argue that Tesla is a failure, non-profitable, and going to be bankrupt soon.

    That includes a very respectable former GM executive Bob Lutz:

    Tesla just rolled out 2 new vehicles, but an ex-top GM exec thinks its 'going out of business'

    TSLA has been the among most popular shorts:

    Tesla is the biggest short in the US stock market

    On the other hand, I would argue that Tesla is a success because:

    1) It has kept on surviving despite critics
    2) All U.S. car companies except for Ford and Tesla went bankrupt so far.
    3) It has produced 4 different models and more in future
    4) There have been more demands from consumers years after years
    5) No problem with cashflow to pay bills despite lacking a profitable year so far
    6) Persistence of Elon Musk who refuses to give up in very bad times and every time.
    7) Cult follower.

    Business Strategy:
    Robinhood principle: Rob from the rich and give it to the poor.

    In this case, the rich may not know that they have been robbed because of good look, technology, acceleration, and handling...

    Others have been aware that they have been paying higher prices in order to subsidize cheaper models.

    The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)

    It understands the importance of range and fast charging (Nissan Leaf has been lacking both long range and supercharging while GM Bolt has good range but not supercharging.)

    Timing:
    All car companies pulled out of producing EV which created a vacuum for Tesla to lead in this area.

    Car industry refused to adopt Tesla faster charging rate which again created a vacuum for Tesla to lead in global adoption of Supercharger protocol.

    It did its research and concluded that Lithium battery is the right choice while others still cling to fossil fuel, hybrid, and fuel cell.

    Cash infusion just right in time:
    Elon Musk: Daimler Saved Tesla, DoE Loans A Bad Idea
     
  3. manarosi

    manarosi Member

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    Thank you Tam for all these informations! These will be useful, however what i'm really looking forward is to relate the strategy in certain periods (when the company entered the market, the big announcements like model 3, today's crysis) to the organizational structure and production structure. Infact the aim of my dissertation is to show how tesla has been succesful in the beginning because how innovative it was (and still is) from an organizational and a strategic point of view (time factor) but has encountered some issues later because it wasn't ready (like model 3 production problems, financial problems)
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Perhaps if you shared what you have found so far, people could help fill in the gaps.
     
  5. J X 3

    J X 3 Member

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    So
    - meeting a need that nobody is addressing and doing so by daring to innovate while others are driven by inertia and risk aversion
    - product design and removing friction
    - insourcing/vertical integration
    - marketing

    On the other hand they don't plan much, they kinda know where they are going but not when they will arrive there.
     
  6. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    Funny. Is this how they teach university students how to research topic? Go on the internet and beg others to find the material. Why don’t you start by reading all the posts on here over the years? Naw too much work, just fill me in on the essentials
     
  7. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

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    It's not a mark of weakness to ask for help, and it's not a virtue to reinvent the wheel. You don't have to participate, after all.
     
  8. trentbridge

    trentbridge Member

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    Read the bio of Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance : "Elon Musk"..

    You should be able to answer your own questions from that single book. Understand that Silicon Valley, as a place is crucial to the story.
    Tesla found an area in northern California where rich entrepreneurs were prepared to back wild ideas that involved new tech solutions..like a car running on batteries. There was an atmosphere of "anything is possible" to launch a wildly unlikely vehicle into creation.
     
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  9. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    I am not sure why you would think that Tesla was "successful in the beginning"!

    Cash Flow:
    In the beginning, Tesla kept being in a repeated crisis of almost running out of cash because it was a private company and you had to keep asking the same friends and family for the money.

    Today, Tesla is successful, unlike the beginning, because it is now a public company and whenever it needs cash, it can tap to almost limitless financial market money.

    Production problems:

    In the beginning, Roadster production was a disaster and Elon Musk now said that it should have started with a brand new chassis rather than the one it bought from a third vendor.

    The same with its transmission gear. It finally brought it inhouse and did it themselves rather than contracting out to third vendor.

    Production delays have been the hallmark of Tesla since the beginning from Roadster, Model S, Model X, and now Model 3.

    I am not sure why you view production delays is an issue because Tesla has pretty much a monopoly on EV.

    By being delayed, no other Tesla-killer car companies have ever caught up with Tesla. They may talk a lot with nice prototypes but they still have not been able to take customers away from Tesla.
     
  10. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

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    You raise an interesting point about bringing things in-house that were formerly contracted out, which continues to this day (battery robots, etc.). Has this always been a thing with Elon? Is it a convenient excuse for failure, a sound remedy for problems that crop up, or an indication that he gets into ventures without sufficient in-house expertise?
     
  11. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    In theory, you barely need to produce car parts at all!

    All you need is to buy parts and assemble them together!

    Need a car seat? There are so many vendors supplying you car seats. Need a transmission/gear box? For a century, there are just so many vendors who can supply you one, and so on...

    It's amazing that Tesla has been able to produce many parts in-house!
     
  12. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    Correct. But hand feeding information only teaches him how to beg not how to do research. Today’s society, I guess begging is a useful skill
     
  13. J X 3

    J X 3 Member

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    They are grabbing opportunities, innovating or simply solving problems.
    Battery cells are not in house though, Panasonic is producing the cells, Tesla simply helped on the capital side by providing the building.
    They might even buy a mining company at some point if prices for raw materials are too high.
    Others do things how "they are done" and Tesla doesn't. This is one of the reasons others got stuck with ICE.
    If they can innovate on the production side, or in any other area, why not?
    If a supplier does a better job than you ,then you buy from them, if they can't do better, why get stuck on that model.
    Ofc one usually needs scale to do better than a supplier.
    Tesla's and Musk's core asset is that they dare .
     
  14. Tam

    Tam Active Member

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    Otherwise, there wouldn't be a very successful, popular and profitable "GoFundMe" industry!
     
  15. manarosi

    manarosi Member

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    already wrote about 200 pages, been working on it for 6 months, read textbooks in 3 different languages about it and you come here acting as an arrongant just because i asked something in this forum?? wow you should get out of your room and live your life man...you're really f....d up
    what i'm working on is the Chandler theory (Structure follows Strategy) and its relation with time. What i'm looking for is, mainly, some info about how was Tesla's structure in the beginning since what i've found already might not be enough (already have the production structure, what i'm missing is the corporate structure, who was in charge of what ecc) and how this structure has changed until about 2012. I can't really be more clever than this i think...thanks again for those who tried to help already
     
    • Informative x 1
  16. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    In fairness to the person you're responding to, you have no idea how many students come onto this forum and expect us to do the work for them, because they think 'Tesla would be cool to write about'. You didn't share how much work you'd done, there was really no way to differentiate your ask from the multitudes of others.

    Production structure? Are you looking for structure from the beginning (2006 or so) or from the point that Model S was in production?
     
  17. manarosi

    manarosi Member

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    i get it that many would come here and ask questions, but there are so many ways you can answer...or maybe just not answer at all in this case! Basically what i'm looking for is the organization chart from 2003 to 2012 (when tesla began shipping model s).
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    So what you actually need is a person on the forum who has tracked the very early history of the company & may have some of the early structure - that's a specific ask that's a LOT easier to answer than your initial question.

    @TEG, outside of the obvious very first org structure for the company (Marc Tarpenning + Martin Eberhard), do you have any info from the Series A round and forward?
     
    • Helpful x 1
  19. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

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    Your interpretation of that response is way too nice, IMO. A request for sources of information is not a request for someone to do your research for you. It happens all the time in the academy--people help each other out, especially in areas they're unfamiliar with. Besides: the easy response is not to respond. You have to go out of your way to be a huge Dickensian. At 2:07
     
  20. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    I can tell you have a great academic career ahead of yourself by how you handle criticism.
     
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