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Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

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The book:
Ashlee Vance takes an in-depth look at Elon Musk's life and events that shaped his personality and goals. There's information about how Musk sees life, work, and relationships.

In the first chapters, the author talks about Elon's family and childhood, which was influenced by his grandfather and a bad relationship with his dad. Later, Vance tells stories about Musk's college life and first businesses.

Despite his initial reluctance, Elon Musk participated in the creation of this book, that is what makes it so real and special. 

Takeaways and Paths of Action:

1. Create the right environment:
While Elon Musk refuses to spend a couple thousand of dollars in electronics that he thought could be developed for less, he spends hundreds of thousands in factory floors, work areas, and inclusive-workspaces.

Look for things that improve productivity, like high-speed internet, close or shared desks, available printers, and so on. Ans why not a coffee machine and snacks (adequately located)? So that people do not have to go too far to get all these things.

Pay "maniacal attention to detail."

Take a look at Space X's offices:

2. Make communication easy:
This actually comes together with the right environment. Elon Musk placed senior engineers and executives' desks on the factory floor, surrounded by manufacturing facilities. The purpose was to facilitate communication between different teams and in some sense force them to interact every time they walk into their offices.

Elon Musk also placed his desk in this area and made himself available to as many employees as he could.

Use jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations but not too many as it may make it harder for new hires to get used to them.

Bring different teams working in the same or related projects to work (physically) close to each other.

3. Aim for the shortest:
When setting deadlines, don't be too realistic. Always aim for the most ideal and assume everyone is going to work as hard, smart, and fast as they can. In this way, even if you miss the deadline by some hours or days, you will still be on time, and the team would have improved as a result of the high demand.

4. Swear:
Yes, that's right. Ben Horowitz, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Ray Dalio, and other excellent managers were known for swearing energetically at their employees.

I do not know why they did it nor if swearing really contributed to effectively managing their teams, but they did. Now, none of them meant to offend people on a personal level. They focused on the job people did rather than their personal attributes.

Like, imagine Steve Jobs:

"What the f*ck do you mean by "we did not have enough time to finish"! or 
"I don't want you to come back until you make the client sign the f*cking contract!"
I am guessing that swearing is the result of being both direct and passionate.

Favourite quote:

"That's Elon, do or die but don't give up" -Amber


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