A story of Elon Musk, who regularly postpones terms and nobody gives a shit

I am currently reading a book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance.

What a brilliant book, I got to say. Very easily readable, ton of inspiration, very deep insight into Elon’s life… overall one of the best books I have ever read and surely a piece has influenced me in very positive way. After 2/3 of the book, I have nothing but incredible respect for this man. This is not a review of the book though.

Apart from many other aspects (I will probably do one more article regarding this topic) this book says a lot about Elon’s time management, truly deadly deadlines and work morals, which cost him hundreds of workers and his first wife at minimum. Today I want to focus especially on the deadlines and how they were and still are presented to public. In one sentence:

He is constantly fooling his public by setting deadlines which are almost never fulfilled.
And honestly, nobody even gives a shit at this point.

According to the book, when Elon said something is will be done in a hour, it usually took a day. When he said it is going to take a day, it usually turned out to be a week. Several of his coworkers said he just didn’t think about periods longer then 24 hours.

In a whole book, I haven’t noticed a single case of when a given deadline regarding his companies was fulfilled. For instance, initial plan for a first launch of Falcon 1 rocket was in 2003. In actual fact, it took place 3 years later and first successful launch another 2 and a half years later. Same with Tesla’s first car, Roadster, whose deliveries were being constantly postponed from 2005 to 2008. Initial plan for launch of second SpaceX’s rocket was at 2006, nevertheless the Falcon 9, how it was named later on, launched on December 8th 2010.

Back in the day, media was blaming him for these regular postpones, because the general approach to his person was way different from today’s situation. He was by far not considered as technology demigod. That was because in 2008 he almost ran out of money and saved Tesla literally hours before it was supposed to go bankrupt. Everybody was sure he is perfect example of business failure.

His later recovery is a breathtaking story, which is why he is admired by millions.

The reason why I am telling this…

I am not that kind of person that would like to dig in people’s unpleasant history. The fact I want to point out with this story is that to this day, Elon is still playing the very same PR game, but with positive approach of media, which is politely overlooking the postpones.

Oh wait, you say you haven’t heard of any lately? Let’s just look at this timetable presented in September 2016 during a reveal of Musk’s plan to conquer the Mars:

In clearly says Falcon Heavy missions should have been in full process at this time, whereas in reality the rocket not only hasn’t been shown to public yet, but not a specific date of launch has been given.

Does anybody still believes humans will departure to Mars in 2023?

And will SpaceX seriously send two people to trip around the Moon at the end of 2018? Will Tesla Model 3 seriously launch at the at the end of this year?

I doubt. And with every passing page of the book I believe Musk’s PR lesser and lesser.

This is 8th story out of 52 in 2017. I’m writing this series as part of My 2017 English Challenge

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