Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells the truth (mostly) about layoffs

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In a layoff, a company gets rid of people to boost profits. Everyone knows it; no one ever actually says it. Except Elon Musk. Rather than using corporate layoff doublespeak like downsize, rightsize, and RIF (reduction in force), why not tell the truth? Take a look at what Musk said and how he said it. Tesla’s stock price took a … Continued

Is a Tesla on Autopilot safer? Maybe, but Elon Musk’s stats are crooked

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Elon Musk says Tesla is twice as safe with Autopilot on, but his stats don’t add up. Here’s Musk’s tweet. Here’s the quote from Tesla’s report, as published in Teslarati: “In the 4th quarter, we registered one accident for every 2.91 million miles driven in which drivers had Autopilot engaged. For those driving without Autopilot, … Continued

The best and worst of Elon Musk’s bizarre and arrogant investor call

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Elon Musk conducted Tesla’s Q1 investor call last week — and behaved in an arrogant manner completely unlike any typical CEO, insulting analysts and correcting his own executives. I’m all for more directness in communication, but Musk is appearing unhinged — and Tesla’s stock took a dive immediately after his bizarre performance. Quarterly analyst calls … Continued

The SpaceX Tesla and the military parade are both legit branding exercises

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Yesterday, we learned about two promotional stunts, one executed and one planned. Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster into solar orbit and word leaked that Donald Trump and the U.S. military were planning a massive military parade. These are both branding exercises. What do they say about the brands they reflect? Sports cars in space … Continued

2016 was a good year for me, if not for the world (plus, top posts)

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It’s been a hell of a year for dead artists, democracy, truth, and corporate stupidity. When I started 2016 I had a plan. I would complete the manuscript for Writing Without Bullshit, HarperBusiness would publish it, and I’d use the bullshit in the election season to promote it. I had no idea that this crazy election would … Continued

How to be as clear as Elon Musk

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While others write bullshit-filled press-releases, Elon Musk tells you exactly what he’s planning, in plain language. Here’s what you can learn from Musk: write directly to the reader, be clear, be organized, and be engaging. Elon Musk’s Master Plan, Part Deux Yesterday, Elon Musk posted “Master Plan, Part Deux” on the Tesla site. It begins like this: … Continued

A presidential debate worth watching

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Good evening, everyone. I’m Josh Bernoff, your moderator for the PBS/WOBS presidential debate, here in Washington, DC. This is a historic debate in a brand-new format, which I’ll now describe. For the first time, we’ve brought together the leading candidates from both parties in one debate. There are no time limits on your answers. However, I and … Continued