Do Ideas

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21 Aug 2013

Working with Elon Musk, what is it like?

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Elon Musk has once again been causing a stir, most recently with the announcement of his Hyperloop design, which is pretty rad I must say! Seeing his name all over the net got me thinking about the people behind him, making things work,  making things happen- what must it be like to work for Elon? I have a particular interest in company culture and work environments so when my colleague Trev shared an article about exactly that- I had instant inspiration for this post!

Thought leader, visionary etc … yes that’s all true but what’s it like to wake up every morning and know that you are getting out of bed to go work for Elon Musk? This is what some current and ex-employees had to say…

  • “It is said that you cannot dream yourself a character; you must hammer and forge one yourself. If any leader and any company has done that, and continues to do that it is SpaceX.” This is such an insightful summation of Elon Musk and his explorations.
  •  Amazing visionary: if Elon says to do it, we do it. Sure enough, each seemingly crazy request was grounded in a logic only Elon understood at the time. 
  •  Crazy smart with no tolerance for bullshit:  When we met with Elon, we were prepared.  Because if you weren’t, he’d let you know it.  If he asked a reasonable follow up question and you weren’t prepared with an answer, well, good luck… 
  •  Execution:  You always need to be making progress. It was unacceptable to keep problems to yourself. Which is quite simply the way it should be.
  • No fear of making the hard decisions, drive to do the “right thing”:  It doesn’t matter what the status quo is. 
  • Hands on: He has all vehicle engineering changes first installed on his Model S or Roadster so he can personally approve it before it goes to customers. Personally I think that is friggin awesome- mega props for this simple standard Elon abides by.  
  • His push to improve the auto industry is refreshing.  His dedication to improving the quality of the world we live in is inspiring.  It’s a rarity in the business world.  I hope we each do our part in making his vision a reality, as it’s ultimately in our best interest.
  •  At SpaceX there is an expression: “No matter how hard you work, someone else is working harder”… You can guess who that is. Quoting my friend: “Elon is a serious powerhouse…well that hardly surprises- you don’t get to where he’s gotten without a ton of hard work.

Overall it seems like a work hard, no bull, high reward environment to be a part of!

If you’d like to read the whole article check it out here.



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