The beginning of the week was tough for the U.S. stock market, but Tesla shares were hit especially hard. The stock fell by 7.6 percent after Tesla cut the Model 3’s price in China and CEO Elon Musk promised to reimburse U.S. customers if they miss a tax credit deadline due to Model 3 shipment delays.
Reuters reported this weekend that the Model 3’s prices on Tesla’s China website had been reduced by up to 7.6 percent, with the starting price now at 499,000 RMB (about $72,000). This is the third time since November that Tesla has lowered the price of its vehicles in China.
Elon Musk Shows Off With The “Starship”
In the early morning hours of Christmas Eve Monday, CEO Elon Musk shared a picture of the prototype version of his “Starship” under construction.
Starship is the new name for the huge rocket previously known as “BFR” that SpaceX plans to use to send people around the moon, to Mars and on super-fast international flights via space.
Stainless Steel Starship pic.twitter.com/rRoiEKKrYc
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 24, 2018
Musk tweeted that the massive rocket prototype being built at the SpaceX test facility in Texas has a stainless steel skin. In subsequent comments, he said steel will perform better than lighter weight carbon fiber material at high temperatures like those felt during reentry.
The 46-year-old entrepreneur and CEO is revolutionizing the spaceflight industry with SpaceX, transforming the world of the electric car at Tesla, and pushing neuroscience and transportation forward at Neuralink and the Boring Company.
We already wrote of the recent unveiling of Musk’s underground transportation tunnel, when he allowed reporters and invited guests to take some of the first rides in the revolutionary albeit bumpy subterranean tube — the tech entrepreneur’s answer to what he calls “soul-destroying traffic.”
Guests boarded Musk’s Tesla Model X and rode along Los Angeles-area surface streets about 1.6 kilometres away to what’s known as O’Leary Station. The station, smack dab in the middle of a residential neighbourhood — “basically in someone’s backyard,” Musk says — consists of a wall-less elevator that slowly took the car down a wide shaft, roughly 9 meters below the surface.
Musk’s Tips for Better Productivity
Recently Musk started ‘coaching’ his employees offering them a list of his own productivity recommendations.
From those tips, it’s clear that Musk is clearly not a fan of meetings, bureaucracy, hierarchy, or any system that impedes immediate communication. He prefers people apply common sense to the task at hand.
He also told employees that if they had any ideas for making work at Tesla better and more efficient, they should let him know.
Here are the seven productivity tips Musk offered in the letter, in his own words:
Large-format meetings waste people’s time
“Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get [rid] of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.”
Meetings should be infrequent unless a matter is urgent
“Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.”
If you don’t need to be in a meeting, leave
“Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”
Avoid confusing jargon
“Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software, or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.”
Don’t let hierarchical structures make things less efficient
“Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the ‘chain of command’. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”
If you need to get in touch with someone, do so directly
“A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen.”
Don’t waste time following silly rules
“In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a ‘company rule’ is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.”