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Tesla: Hotbed of misinformation

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Reposted from Tesla’s blog:

“Tesla has to be hardcore and demanding, not for the hell of it, but because we are fighting for a good cause against giant, entrenched competitors who just want the status quo to continue. The list of companies that want to kill Tesla is so long, I’ve lost track – a week doesn’t go by without some “Tesla Killer” article. The only way for a little company to prevail against those much larger companies is to work faster, smarter and harder. The passing grade at Tesla is excellence, because it has to be.”

 
 

 

Elon Musk Inbox – Exchange May 31, 2017 at 2:37 AM

Doing the right thing

To: Everybody

About four years ago, I sent out an email describing some of the core principles of Tesla. Since then, we have grown from 4,500 people to
33,000, so the vast majority of the company has never received this note. We are redoing the first day orientation and Tesla handbook to more
clearly capture and emphasize these points, but I thought I should send this out in advance.

In my email below, please pay particular attention to the first point on the list. Tesla has to be hardcore and demanding, not for the hell of it, but
because we are fighting for a good cause against giant, entrenched competitors who just want the status quo to continue. The list of companies
that want to kill Tesla is so long, I’ve lost track – a week doesn’t go by without some “Tesla Killer” article. The only way for a little company to
prevail against those much larger companies is to work faster, smarter and harder. The passing grade at Tesla is excellence, because it has to
be.

However, this does not give license to anyone to be a jerk. It is incredibly important that people look fonlvard to coming to work in the morning.
One of the best feelings in the world is to be part of a team that is fired up to achieve what most industry experts say is impossible! For many
companies out there, work is like jail — employees look forward to Friday and dread Monday. That’s horrible. We never want to be like that.

Part of not being a huge jerk is considering how someone might feel who is part of an historically less represented group. They have endured
difficulties that someone born or raised in a more privileged situation did not. This doesn’t mean that there is a different standard of performance
or that you can’t give critical feedback. You should – doing anything else would be an insult to the hard work it took to get there — but don’t ever
intentionally allow someone to feel excluded, uncomfortable or unfairly treated. Sometimes these things happen unintentionally, in which case
you should apologize.

In fairness, if someone is a jerk to you, but sincerely apologizes, it is important to be thick-skinned and accept that apology. If you are part of a
less represented group, you don’t get a free pass on being a jerk yourself. We have had a few cases at Tesla where someone in a less
represented group was actually given a job or promoted over more qualified highly represented candidates and then decided to sue Tesla for
millions of dollars because they felt they weren’t promoted enough. That is obviously not cool.

What it comes down to is this: do what would make your parents proud. If you can’t look someone you respect in the eye and explain what you
did, don’t do it.

Thanks,

Elon

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