Dear Elon, I have followed your exploits from my perch in Washington, DC ("the other" coast), in the center of our political world, for the better part of the last decade. I am an MBA and technology visionary like you, but unlike you, I have worked with two Presidential administrations in the epicenter of national politics and policy to make the case for a renewable electric future to a largely unreceptive audience. Never have I seen as promising a catalyst as you, your company and your latest flagship product, the unparalleled and world-changing Tesla Model S. I have made enough money on your stock to purchase one of these flagship products, realizing a sci-fi childhood dream of mine. I am grateful for all your hard work in service to your family, your planet, and yes, even your shareholders, including me. But your latest blog post, while certainly welcome and satisfying in its reassurance of the long-term viability of your product, is less reassuring than it could have been regarding the the long-term viability of your management execution, and in turn, your company. I want to share with you an impression from outside the bubble of Silicon Valley, because you need perspectives that serve to strengthen the perception of your company in the hearts and minds of the public, not just perspectives that strengthen your product development (you already have plenty of those). Specifically, I'd like to offer a few suggestions that I hope could serve to strengthen Tesla Motors' chances for ultimate success in executing the Secret Plan. Elon, it's not sufficient to use the plan as a cocktail party punchline anymore -- the plan cannot be secret. It must be championed and shouted from the rooftops beyond "word of mouth." It must be spoken by people other than you. It must be publicized, and broadly. It must be so baked into the very flecks of paint of each car, that whenever the public sees your product, they think of the plan, and they are happy about it -- they want "in." And the primary cost of executing this plan is not dollars, it is trust. Trust that you must engender in your own heart. Trust of your teammates and fellow champions. Trust of your fellow managers. So here then are some bullets in the very Washington-esque style I'm sure you have read about in articles on the follies of our beleaguered government over the years: a "Lessons Learned" debriefing. Lessons Learned for Elon in Aftermath of October 2013 PR Crisis, and Reactions to 11-19-2013 Blog Post: Good sir, you have to stop assuming the media is your friend because of the strength of your product. The US public (and to an extent, the globe) is now more highly politicized and polarized than at any time in the last century. The media is the merciless representation of the political animal in each of us, and this animal can and must be tamed. You are running a company with a VERY political public brand whether you like it or not, and in politics when you say nothing, your opponent wins. Relax your engineering brain and let the lessons of Wharton come back to you, my MBA colleague. There is certainly a need to "over-think" the product to continue to build the best product in the market. But there is no need to over-think media responses to the extreme and delay them when a more modest, short response could buy you time to respond more fully and take the fire out of the inevitable media pile-on that will continue to occur with perception of any slight misstep in Tesla Motors' execution. Know your strengths (focus on your core competencies). You are a visionary leader and incredible product architect and steward. Keep it up, but let some others carry some of the load. Specifically, pay some people a modest amount to build your brand more actively, specifically with public and media relations. You CAN afford it. Hire a public relations lieutenant and/or firm from outside the Silicon Valley bubble. The messaging that works in the Bay area does not translate to the national or global stage well. Once you hire them, do the following: First, designate a primary lieutenant or set of lieutenants and trust them. Work with them to develop basic, stock talking points about your brand. Do not take more than a week do do this. No team meetings. Just you and your lieutenant. Let them have 5 minutes of your time whenever they ask for it in order to develop talking points to respond to the events of the 24-hour news cycle, which is ever-present and relentless. After establishing stock talking points and a rapid-response process, let your PR team respond in realtime with a more limited set of talking points without your direct intervention in every communication. Please don't ever discuss felonies again in a press release / blog post defending your product. Arson? Take a breath, brother! Emotional statements like this are inappropriate for a large company's public statements. Kiss your kids, remember that you're doing this for their future as well as ours, and remember that this is a protracted battle against entrenched, powerful interests that will not be won overnight. Do not underestimate your opponents. The way to win is not with the best tools, but with the best team. Hire and keep them. That's all I have for you for now. I'm more than cheering for you from the other coast. I'm a dedicated champion. But it's time to create more champions in the public, and that starts with hiring, keeping and trusting champions that can operate by your side and help bring the Secret Plan into the light. Not just for your shareholders, but for your children, my children and their children to come. Sincerely, A Long-time Admirer and Champion P.S. Should you desire more honest feedback from this dedicated champion, you have but to ask.