One of the most remarkable abilities of Elon Musk is to get things done. To accomplish seemingly impossible things. Like landing two orbital rocket boosters at the same time.
What is the secret to Elon Musk’s productivity? How can he get so many things done? Here’s a look at the Elon Musk method:
- Be a real leader: Get your hands dirty and help your team solve problems
- Urgency & speed of innovation: The only thing Elon cares about is to achieve his goal, as soon as possible. He is willing to make quick decisions, on the spot. No committees, no bureaucracy. If the decision turns out to be bad, correct it later.
- Failure is an option: If you are not letting your team fail, they will not come up with ideas
- Skin in the game: He puts his money where his mouth is. He invested all of his $180 million into SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity.
- Attract the best talent: Anyone can have grand visions. You need the right people to turn them into reality. Mission & urgency attracts the best talent. People who want to make a difference don’t want to work at boring, bureaucratic companies. Working for Elon is hard. It’s best for singles without kids. It’s all-consuming. Many burned out. But they still loved it. People who apply know what to expect. They seek the adventure. They want to make a difference.
- Have the right incentive structure so innovation is rewarded: Reward innovation. Punish lack of innovation.
- Always keep pushing forward: Always push the boundaries of what is possible. Never rest on your laurels.
- Iterative design: Build and test early, have rapid feedback loops
- Simplify: Reward simplification. Deleting a line of code, a process or a part is more important than adding one.
- Reason from first principles
Here’s my video on this topic: