Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins

(New York: Doubleday, 2021), 400

  • "The idea of an electric car is as old as the car itself...Henry Ford's wife had an electric car in the early 1900s..." (15)
  • "Ryan Popple, a recent Harvard Business School grad, was hired to begin the work of preparing the company books for a public offering. In his first week on the job, however, Popple realized tings weren't as rosy as they seemed from the outside. His first assignment was to build a financial model of the company—a state-of-the-business document. He asked to see the current financial model. 'That model's bullshit,' he was dismissively told." (63)
  • "Elon Musk subscribed to First principles thinking, a way of problem solving that he attributed to physics but that was rooted in Aristotle's writings. The notion was to drill down to the most basic ideas, ones that can't be deduced from any other assumptions. Put in terms related to Tesla: Just because another company did it one way, that doesn't mean it's the right way." (139-140)
  • I don't have it anymore, but I got this email: "At almost 1 a.m. on June 7, 2013, he sent out a memo to his employees at SpaceX, which was still privately held and where some workers undoubtedly were looking forward to the payday associated with an IPO. It wasn't to be, Musk announced." (167)
  • Short sale: borrow the stock and sell it right away, betting that it will drop in value at which point the buy the stock back, return it to its original owner, and pocket the difference. If it goes up, they have to buy it back at that higher price, meaning in theory there is no limit to how much they can lose. (209)

    • Jim Chanos: "I'm convinced to the deepest part of my bones that short-selling plays the role of real-time financial watchdog. It's one of the few checks and balances in the market." (211)

  • Asked why he had pulled Model 3 production plans ahead when members of his team had warned him of the pitfalls, he replied, "People have said that my entire life; what else is new?" He added, "They also said we couldn't land rockets." (277)
  • As for Musk, he was given numerous opportunities to comment on the stories, facts, and characterizations presented in these pages. Without pointing to any specific inaccuracies, he offered simply this: "Most, but not all, of what you read in this book is nonsense." (335)

Topic: Elon Musk

Source: Mom & Dad (birthday)


Created: 2022-02-19-Sat
Updated: 2022-03-18-Fri