7 Tips On How To Be More Productive from Elon Musk

Elon Musk gets a lot done.

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.

As SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said at the 2018 TED Conference, Musk’s goals are a lot to keep up with.

“When Elon says something, you have to pause and not blurt out ‘Well, that’s impossible,'” she said. “You zip it, you think about it, and you find ways to get it done.”

Recently, Musk reportedly announced to Tesla employees that he wants to adopt a 24/7 shift schedule to get production for Tesla’s Model 3 electric car on track. In an email obtained by Jalopnik, Musk explained a number of changes in the works for Tesla.

He’s asking for quite a lot, so at the end of that email, he offered employees 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.

1. 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.”

2. 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.”

3. 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.”

4. 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.”

5. 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.”

6. 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.”

7. 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.”

 

 

 

Written By: Kevin Loria
Source: Business Insider

How Elon Musk Started – Infographic

Elon Musk is now Earth’s most future-oriented person. How did such a person come to be?

how-elon-musk-started-infographic

Source: Funders and Founders

Hey Musk, Bezos — My Spaceship is Better: Branson

Provided by CNBC

The modern day space race doesn’t pit country against country. It’s a game of thrones of sorts among three billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson.

Under the guise of “we compete in a friendly way,” Branson engaged in a little trash-talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Our spaceship comes back and lands on wheels. Theirs don’t,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview that aired Friday. “Because ours is shaped like an airplane, we hope to do point-to-point air travel one day. Theirs is not.”

To be fair, he said that Musk, founder of SpaceX, and Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, would probably give reasons why theirs are better than Branson’s Virgin Galactic effort.

Branson, who said he’s friends with Musk but does not know Bezos well, stressed that competition is good. “You need competition. And the public will benefit from the three of us getting out there and competing.”

Besides space, Branson’s Virgin conglomerate runs branded businesses worldwide in industries including mobile phones, airlines, financial services, music, as well as health and wellness.

Musk, also a serial entrepreneur, is the founder and chief of electric automaker Tesla (TSLA). He’s also chairman of energy company, SolarCity (SCTY). Bezos is founder and chief of Amazon (AMZN) and the owner of The Washington Post.

During his CNBC interview, Branson also addressed the most pressing concern for financial markets: the depressed price of oil that’s seen somewhat of a bounce recently.

He said he sees oil prices likely staying low for a long time, but he believes that’s a good thing for the global economy.

“There’s no need to try to make up a recession [case],” he said. “This is going to be the greatest boost to the economy you could imagine. And everyone is going to have money in their pockets to spend,” because of cheaper gasoline prices.

Depressed oil, which also translates into lower jet fuel prices, has been a boon to the airline industry and passengers.

When the oil hedges that many carriers engage in to lock-in steady costs come off, “they can afford to reduce fares,” Branson said. “And that will stimulate demand on planes. And they can also afford to make some decent profits.”

“I remember $149 a barrel,” he recalled, with U.S. and global crude around $31 per barrel early Friday. “If you can’t make money today, you can’t make money ever in the airline industry.”

Reflecting on what some market watchers consider a bubble in so-called privately held unicorns, Branson said: “There’s always something of a bubble in the Valley,” referring to Silicon Valley. Unicorn companies are start-ups with market values exceeding $1 billion.

There are many good pre-initial public offering (IPO) companies, Branson acknowledged, but he warned that others are going to “fall flat on their face.”

Written by Mattheew J. Belvedere of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)

Musk’s SpaceX Finds Crowd for $3.5 Billion NASA Contract

Photographer: Chris Thompson/SpaceX via Bloomber
Photographer: Chris Thompson/SpaceX via Bloomber

(Bloomberg) — Less than a decade after its first rocket launch, Elon Musk’s SpaceX finds itself in an unfamiliar position.

The upstart venture is the incumbent vying to win the bulk of a $3.5 billion U.S. contract renewal while facing rivals that include Boeing Co., whose spaceflight roots date to the 1950s. At stake: a seven-year agreement to haul supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is pushing the only made-in-the-USA entry in a four- way derby with Boeing, Orbital ATK Inc. and Sierra Nevada Corp., each of which relies to some extent on rockets with Russian engines. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will award the work as soon as Thursday as it juggles support for commercial missions while Congress clamors to end U.S. dependence on the imported motors.

“This bodes well for SpaceX because they’re the only company I can see that’s completely independent of Russia,” said Marco Caceres, director for space studies at consultant Teal Group.

Launch Competitor

NASA split the initial $3.6 billion cargo-flight contract between SpaceX and Orbital in 2008, two years after Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. sent its first rocket aloft. The win helped establish SpaceX as a competitor to United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin Corp. rocket venture whose work includes military missions.

“If NASA wants to maintain or expand the work done on the space station, they need supplies, people and a way to support all the research work up there,” said Mark Sirangelo, who leads Sierra Nevada’s Space Systems business.

SpaceX and Orbital each have a setback on their commercial- cargo records. An October 2014 explosion just after liftoff destroyed an Orbital Antares rocket laden with space station cargo. In June, a SpaceX Falcon 9 blew up en route to the orbiting lab.

‘Urgent Need’

The station’s reliance on Russian and Japanese spacecraft while the U.S. craft have been grounded highlights the “immediate and urgent need for appropriate oversight and corrective action,” Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and David Vitter of Louisiana said in a Sept. 1 letter urging the Government Accountability Office to review NASA’s contracted launch services and capsules.

Increased political scrutiny may provide an incentive to NASA to add more contractors to provide “back-up options” and avoid protests by losing bidders, said Nick Taborek, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

Unless NASA can gain additional funding from Congress, bringing in new entrants would probably mean less money for the current cargo haulers. “There’s certainly a good chance the pool of bidders will be expanding, which means less revenue for Orbital and SpaceX,” Taborek said by phone.

Expanding the pool of contractors is critical, Sierra Nevada’s Sirangelo said, because Japan is preparing to wind down its cargo missions to the station after European ended its flights. NASA would “have to do more flights, or add more participants or choose a vehicle like ours that would take more cargo up,” he said.

Cargo Capsules

Boeing’s entrant is a reusable cargo version of the Starliner capsule being developed for manned NASA orbital missions later this decade. It would be carried by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. “NASA can take advantage of all the work and taxpayer dollars spent for the Commercial Crew program and re-use it for cargo,” Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Kaplan said by e-mail.

Sierra Nevada proposes a freighter variant of its Dream Chaser, a reusable orbiter that looks like a miniature cousin of the space shuttle and is designed to land on airport runways. It would have folding wings to ride inside the launch fairing atop an Atlas V or a rocket from Europe’s Arianespace SA.

SpaceX and Orbital declined to discuss their cargo proposals. NASA had no comment this week about details of the next commercial-resupply contract.

Caceres, the space consultant, isn’t convinced that adding more contractors will solve NASA’s reliability qualms because the Atlas V is powered by Russian-made RD-180 engines — a focal point of congressional debate over import limits.

Russian Engines

“I don’t know that three companies is better than two, if two out of the three are reliant on the same vehicle,” Caceres said. Like Boeing and Sierra Nevada, Orbital also depends on Russian engines. It used them in the Antares rocket that blew up, plans to deploy a different Russian model on a new Antares, and will put its Cygnus capsule on an Atlas V next month to resume space-station flights.

The initial supply contract proved a boon for SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 by Musk — a PayPal Inc. co-founder — a year before he created his signature automaker, Tesla Motors Inc. SpaceX has completed six missions under the NASA award to Orbital’s two, and also plans to restart commercial flights in December.

Gauging the full effect of NASA’s privatization of cargo trips may take years, because follow-on offerings like space tourism aren’t quite ready yet, said Micah Walter-Range, director of research and analysis with the Space Foundation.

“It has been good to keep a lot of that money in the country rather than sending it off to Russia,” Walter-Range said. Without NASA’s resupply program, “that is what we would be doing.”

Written by Julie Johnsson of Bloomberg

(Source: Bloomberg)