Top 3 Lessons Learned From Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Elon Musk



Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk is recognized around the world as a “a modern visionary deserving of all our respect.” That’s what the India Times recently reported as they compared Musk to other tech icons. “The late Steve Jobs of Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google, and more recently Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have all discussed their vision of the world. They all believe(d) in technology as a force multiplier, something that’s crucial to shape our collective future. But, with [all] due respect to everyone mentioned above, Elon Musk is cut from an altogether different cloth.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Why? “The inspiration behind Iron Man’s Tony Stark persona and currently the 117th richest person in the world with a $10 billion net worth (according to Bloomberg), not to mention with an ex-wife as good as English actress Talulah Riley (of HBO’s Westworld fame), Elon Musk’s an entrepreneur who has founded (and is running) a lot of innovative companies of our time — Tesla Motors, SpaceX, OpenAI, and SolarCity — that are inventing or mass producing tech-fueled solutions to some of humanity’s biggest 21st century problems… (and that’s) why we all owe our allegiance to Elon Musk!”

Above: A 90-second look at Elon Musk’s rise to fame (Source: The Telegraph)

And UK’s Telegraph also just featured Musk (see above) in a recent series celebrating icons in the tech sector. The Telegraph reminds us that long before Tesla and SpaceX, “The South African-born entrepreneur immigrated to Canada ahead of his 18th birthday and later moved to the US. He began a PhD in applied physics and materials science at Stanford University but dropped out after just two days to set up his first company, becoming a millionaire by the age of 28.” For innovators to learn more from this inspiring figure, the folks over at Innovation Excellence* highlight three key insights from Elon Musk…

Think big

Elon Musk is not interested in just starting successful companies. He has a vision of space exploration for the benefit of mankind. He wants to find radically new and cleaner ways of transporting people. In his own way, he wants to use science and entrepreneurship to make the world a better place. He has set out to make a big impact. If you have a big vision then it can inspire people and give you and your team a stronger sense of purpose and value.

Bypass the normal channels

Tesla Motors sells direct to end-users. It has ‘galleries’ in shopping malls rather than expansive dealer showrooms. It makes all its patent innovation transparent and available to others. It is refreshingly different from conventional car companies and this increases its appeal to people who want an unconventional and cleaner car.

Use one success to build another

Elon Musk did not settle back after selling his first internet start-up. When he made his first millions he did not retire to a villa on the beach. He used his early successes to fuel his big ambitions. If you have an early victory then use it as a platform for further bigger and bolder ventures.


*Source: Innovation Excellence

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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19 Comments on "Top 3 Lessons Learned From Tesla CEO Elon Musk"

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Lesson learned.

Do not drive your million dollar supercar uninsured.


the “direct sale” approach is actually a weakness because it isn’t scaleable to the kinds of volumes that tesla seeks to achieve.

as to the suggestion that it is somehow unusual to: “makes all its patent innovation transparent and available to others”; in the first instance, patents are *always* made transparent, that’s the point. in the second instance, when a company has patented subject matter that it seeks to have included in an industry standard, that company always has to make it’s patented invention available to others. so in this regard, tesla is actually not doing anything unusual.

what is unusual, though, are the terms under which tesla makes its patents available to others. the terms are such that i doubt that there would actually be many takers. to that extent, the “open patents” scheme seems like little more than a publicity stunt.

Why so negative
So what if not every single tiny thing they do is 100% perfect in 100% of people’s eyes?
Fact is they’re the most positive-impact company on the world at large. Let’s applaud instead.

Yes indeed !

I was speaking to Peter

the direct sale structure is not a “tiny issue”. it is a very significant issue.

my point on the patent issue is not negative; i’m just basically stating that tesla isn’t doing anything particularly noteworthy in that regard.

To believe that the direct sale structure is not scalable simply demonstrates your own inability to think beyond the norm. It might be a problem if Elon personally managed each and every one but no is suggesting that’s the case.

Is it much different from a company (say GM for example) directly running its hundreds of manufacturing plants globally? Do you think each plant should
be franchised to individuals?

As far as the patent situation is concerned, what Tesla is doing is possibly more noteworthy than you writing inanely negative rubbish on an EV news site!

my statement is less indicative of my ability to think beyond the norm that it is indicative of you lack of understanding of the economics of auto sales. large numbers of people do not buy cars to order, most buy off the lot. if tesla is to scale a bigger network of tesla-owned dealerships, that means that tesla will have to scale the amount of money tied up in inventory for cars on the various lots. it also means scaling the number of service centers. stuff isn’t free, and tesla does not have infinite cash reserves.

sure, tesla could theoretically rely on changing the sales paradigm such that people do start buying cars to order. but in the meantime, tesla will have to compete with auto makers, who have dealer networks, where those customers can buy cars off the lot.

Luxury cars are frequently made to order. The earliest LEAF and Prius sales were that way as well.

This is not a new or unknown model. It should scale fine.

The new buyer does not care about the old way of doing things.

you can buy just about any car on a made-to-order basis. the reality is that most people don’t. the reasons being: a)if you find a car that is close enough to what you want on a dealer lot, you can take delivery a lot sooner than would be the case if you have to wait for a made-to-order car; b)a dealer will give you a deal on a car on the lot, while you will pay full price to get a made-to-order car.

so if getting a particular option on your car is so important to you that you are willing to wait to get it, and you are willing to pay a higher price to get it, it is not hard to find a dealer who will accommodate your preferences. you seem to believe that there is a large segment of the public that fits into that category. people have been selling cars for a very long time and i have seem little evidence of the existence of such a segment. on the other hand, if you are suggesting that there are niche segments that do fit into that category, i agree.

You used to have to go to a brick and mortar store to buy things too but assuming you wouldn’t say selling direct to the customer over the internet is not feasible.

This model is just different. It will work and most millennials tend to prefer that direct method without having to deal with the salesperson.

Need to get used to things changing … and doing so faster and faster.

“no comment” said:

“the ‘direct sale’ approach is actually a weakness because it isn’t scaleable to the kinds of volumes that tesla seeks to achieve.”

I’m sure this will come as a surprise to Apple Computers and… the latter of which is the largest retailer in the world.

One of the reasons Tesla Motors has been able to successfully compete with long-established “legacy” auto makers is because they have cut out the dead weight of the “middleman” dealership. It’s hard to imagine Tesla would cripple future sales by giving up that advantage.

BINGO…traditional dealership model would push ICE over EV because there’s more money to be made in service fees for ICE vehicles. Funny thing is I get emails from Nissan dealership to bring in my 2016 Leaf for oil change. Lol

E.M is the man don’t hate his gift

So…one of his notable accomplishments is having a famous ex-wife? I would think it more of an accomplishment to have a successful marriage that lasts a lifetime, but whatever.


Indeed. Yes, Elon Musk has achieved spectacular success in his many businesses. But it has come at great personal cost, including being twice divorced from the same woman. Some brag about Elon’s work ethic in sleeping in a sleeping bag at the end of the Tesla production line. But the flip side of that is that he’s not at home spending time with his family. The man has children, too, aged ~10-13.