I really don't get all the Musk fans. I mean, sure you can find some value in Tesla or SpaceX, sure you can think theses companies are truly innovating. But why give all the credit to the rich businessman who seems to spent more time promoting himself than really working on science stuff, and not to all the ingeneers and creatives who are really putting some hard work on every day ? All Musk is really doing is running a business. He seems to do that pretty well, agreed, but after all it's "just" that: business. He's not the genius, nor the creative. He has money and invests it well, that's all.
I don't get why so many people give all the credit to him, even here on devrant where it should be logical to find more people supporting the real brains behind the tech.

"He has a vision about the future, he's imaginative..."

- Well that's bullshit.

Once again: he has money, a lot, and a certain skill about how to invest it (and about doing some proper marketing too), which companies to buy, etc. That don't make him such a great visionary about the future of the human being, just a great businessman. I'm sure you can find millions of people around the world with better ideas about the future, but they're not in his position. They're not rich, they're not CEOs, they're mostly unknown.

Stop follow the stream by glorifying businessmen just because medias are talking lot about them. Instead, know where the real talent (and work) is. Give credit to Musk employees, not to him.

  • 2
    @Nanos Well, I don't say this is an easy thing, but thousands and thousands of companies are managing to do that every day. That's not just him. With that perspective, he's a CEO amongst so many others.
  • 10
    @Masta he started studying on a scholarship, started a company and sold it started a new one, paypal, sold that, started SpaceX and invested in Tesla.


    Not bad for someone who started without anything.
  • 2
    @Voxera Not bad indeed, it's even really impressive and I've no trouble admitting that. But again that doesn't change what I was saying at first : that's business skills here.
    Surely that's not nothing, that makes him someone successful and proves he's intelligent I guess, and has some other qualities. But I still think he receives all the credit for things his employees are truely responsibles.

    Just read or watch the medias, listen to some conversations about the topic and you quickly get to the easy thoughts: "Tesla is so innovating, Musk is a genious".

    I'm sure these companies are full of creative minds, people who really have found solutions to complex problems. But we just never hear about them, just about their boss.

    Let's try to compare with things we all know. If we try to think that way really, Berners-Lee has not invented the web, but it was whoever at thé head of CERN at the time. Eich was not responsible for creating JavaScript, the boss of Netscape was. And so on...
  • 0
    Facebook is an interresting case, personnally I think that starting this in a major university has really helped. After all, at that time many web developers were on the same path: adding more social features to their products, etc. MySpace was already there but not just it. I pretty well remember we were spending a lot of time on forums back then, and for those amongst us who knew how to code, the goal was to make a site like Facebook before Facebook was even born.

    So yeah, I thing the audience targeted by Facebook since the begining has played an important part in it's development. I think somebody else than Zuck', in the same environment, could have get to a very similar result.
  • 0

    "For success, do I just need to create a Facebook group and wait for it to fill up with knowledgable folk who can work on a project together.. ?"

    Well that's far-fetched. Of course you can't "just wait" for brilliant people and receive success. Of course management skills are useful in every project. But let's try to reverse the thinking here : You could be an exceptional leader. You could inspirate motivation and energy to people, you could bring them together around shared values and use that to make them work. But is it enough to really be successful ? Even if the people you choosed are lacking knowledge and capabilities ?

    Without even taking into account the fact that "starting a projet with folks on Facebook" and "hire professionnals by contract to make them work in their field of expertise in exchange for money every month" are to very different things...
  • 2
    @Voxera take a 6 year old child from Somalia with an arm perimeter of 9cm, and that will be "Starting from nothing". If you however talk about someone who had all the conditions to research opportunity, study and move up - he's already got stuff which 90% of the population on the globe doesn't.
  • 2
    @Nanos "If only we better understood what it takes to create leaders, we could develop more of them.."

    But we know. It is already well researched and known.

    It takes blind luck, to make people see something great there where it's an ordinary person.
    The total, complete contribution of a CEO's ability to lead a company, is at most 30%.

    Source, you ask? Check out Daniel Kahneman.
  • 0

    "Why was that, what causes folk to just give up and not keep working on a project ?

    What has Cliff got that is different to most others ?"

    I don't know, and yeah I wish we had the answer to these questions. But I'm really well convinced that's not only due to one man. It's a social thing, fore sure, something happening between people at the right time and the right place. But in my opinion, the same "leader" with different collaborators, or a different environment, may not achieve similar results...
  • 3
    @Masta If you are a very good leader you either do not gather useless people ;)

    Or you see behind the outer shell and manages to pull out competence hidden.

    A great leader is not just a businessman but someone that inspires people to do more than they though they could.

    Thats why a coach in a sports team can make or break a team without even playing them self.

    And Musk has repeatedly manage to gather the right people and gotten them to do more while also handling the business part.

    And those three skill are not present in many leaders, most have one or maybe two skills.
  • 0
    And for Facebook and Harvard, it's not just the "physical" location that played a part, but also the network aspect in universities. Students did (and still) have the needs to comunicate quickly and efficiently. And students were (and still are) young people, happy to discover and share new things.

    At the time it was the perfect combo for Zuck': he was surrounded by people who needed his idea, and these people had the perfect age and habits to massively share this idea and the resulted product.

    So yeah, starting Facebook in Harvard helped a lot, but not just because of the physical situation. It's not the fact that it was on a campus that helped. It's the fact that it was inside an already-existing network: the students network.
  • 1
    @AndSoWeCode Ok, sorry.

    Not nothing but still not really starting with a silver spoon.

    If you compare with other successful corporate leaders I think you will find most started ahead of him.
  • 0

    "If you are a very good leader you either do not gather useless people ;)"

    Why not ? You gather people you can reach. Maybe I'm a good leader, but somewhere in a small country without anyone with the skills I need around me.
    I don't think that's such easy.

    Kind, you born a leader and in every place you will go in your life, with every person you will meet, you will achieve great things because you were born like that and that's all. That's really to Disney for me, almost magical. The real world is much more complicated!
  • 0

    "Thats why a coach in a sports team can make or break a team without even playing them self. "

    ...and not because he has the ability to choose who plays and who don't ?
    You're sure ?

    Let's be fair here: I don't say leadership doesn't exist. You're partly right, a coach can have a psychological influence on the players without using direct authority. But he also has that authority by the rules, and no reason to not use it. Which strengthens his ability to "make or break" the team. You have more fear of the coach when you know he can forbid you to play the next match.
  • 0

    You still can be ban from Facebook for spamming messages ? Really ?

    I just wich the max length of the replies to be a little much longer, if so I would not had to break my previous comment in two parts ^^
  • 0
    I agree
  • 0
    @Nanos It never hapened to me, but I can imagine the frustration.

    Actually I almost never use Facebook anymore. I have a lot of "friends" on it, but the content is too useless. The only things that keeps me from deleting my account is I still use Messenger to talk with people. I wish it's possible to delete my fb profile while keeping all my friends on Messenger... But it's not.
  • 2
    This is by far the most interesting thread I have seen in devrant in quite some time. So here's my two cents

    The media hypes Elon musk because it's their job to hype stuff. If they don't do it their rivals will, coz that's just business too.

    If there was someone else in that situation instead of Elon musk they would have done what he has and if Elon musk was present in some other situation things wouldn't be the same either.

    Yes there are a lot of companies out there but how many of them are named after a pun, how many are building spacex

    I think the true genius of Elon musk lies in challenging our perception of normal.
  • 4
    Don't get me wrong but I actually hope he's the vilian, who just say's fuck it and on the way to mars drops the bomb... Come on a programmers gotta dream...
  • 2
    Musk may be just a successful businessman, but not every businessman can create so much technological progress in so little time. Some of his ideas are crazy and unrealistic but on the way he already achieved some great things that force the competition to wake up and get shit done as well.

    People like him because he's proof you can be successful and still talk about cool technology and your sci-fi vision instead of business bullshit bingo.
  • 1
    To say Musk is anything less than a genius would be an understatement.

    Yea yea he is Rich bla bla. Look if Musk was in it for the money he would be handling things a lot differently. He invested most of his own money during the 2008 crisis while he could've have just retired. So don't give me the 'he is an evil business man' bs. That is just jealousy speaking.

    Now you can say that Musk is just doing management and that management is easy *spoiler its not* but even that isn't true. Sure he might not do a lot of engineering anymore these days but at the beginning I am pretty sure he was the lead engineer because of a lack of funds. Musk is a genius for a multitude of reasons in my opinion and you haven't given any proper arguments again in my opinion why he is not.

    Starting businesses is hard, I wouldn't know where to start. Engineering stuff is easy, I do it every day. Heck all you have to do is pick up some books and read. Things will go on there own from there on.
  • 1
    @Masta I did have an “or” after that.

    If you read the rest you see that I also believe a leader can help people to be more than they seam or think they can.

    So in the end there are very few truly useless people.
  • 2
    @Nanos But if you find a position where someone can be if use they are not useless :)

    Thats part of a good leader to work around the limitations to build something more.
  • 2
    It seems like no one understands that CEOs of aerospace companies are more lead engineers than CEOs.

    People like Bruno, Musk and even Bezos don't just run the company — they could build a turbopump with a blindfold on.

    Sure, they have armies of engineers helping them, coming up with good ideas of their own, but a lot comes from their desk as well.

    Musk doesn't even run SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell does.

    People over-hype a lot of things, and with Musk it gets out of hand because he still talks like a software dev. He thinks out loud, speculating about technology, disregarding deadlines.
  • 1
    Why people are getting angry on musk? You can be like he as well just read more change your behaviour a bit more ok a lot more self control less sleep start always think about it. Put everything else behind your reputation and you will be one. It is not a secret those good ceo never born like it they read 2,4 books per week about everything how many books you do per month 4? More? ... lazy generation just crying...
  • 1
    "> It is already well researched and known

    Any pointers ?"

    You say that you've read 15000 books so far, yet did not come across a famous, well written book written by a Nobel prize laureate who has changed the world a lot more than many other people you all know and cherish.

    Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman have questioned human decision making and thought patterns, with successful attempts to bring psychology to science standards.
    Their findings are that usually professional stock brokers are no better at predicting stock values than a coin toss, that CEO ability to lead correlates with a measure of at most 30% with company success and everything else is due to luck (and provided good examples of how that is so), and many others.

    We, humans, tend to simplify observation, and create links in places where there are none. It gives us cognitive ease. It's easier to think that Elon Musk is a god, than to think that he was lucky.
  • 0
    @Nanos looks like you know what is last missing thing to improve.. to speak loud and make sure that someone listens in other words to lead and have team
  • 0
    Read and understand and connect the points requires specific thinking.. in business lucky people do not survive more than few years because they do not know how to run business if company survives more than 5 years with all those challenges i do not see any luck in it.. try be lucky by opening company and managing all documents.. to find way advertise business so all world will follow it and sell shares.. people read a lot as well opens companies just to learn how to manage business if by learning it they got lucky by selling some product it can be counted as luck but they done it not for money but to learn how to manage company.. some things are not written directly in single book but after adding few together and thinking why they got 'lucky' for some that luck took 2-10 years practising 'luck' so all programmers with courses are 'lucky' to be employed without having degree
  • 1
    @Nanos It's not a great idea to do that in front of customers though.

    With technically minded coworkers I also just blurt out: "We could build a machine learning model on top of that database, set up an API to refine suggestions, etc" -- As in: Nice to have, in a year or two, lets build the basic version, I'm just putting a dot on the horizon.

    But Musk does this out loud in front of the world, and I think it's his greatest weakness. It generates too much hype, and hype is a bubble. It will eventually pop.

    Mass production of cars is hard, digging tunnels is hard, getting to Mars is incredibly hard.

    I think his companies are of great value to the world, and will bring a lot of change, over time. But most of his timelines are off by a few years or even a decade, and there are a lot of blind fanboys cheering and believing everything he says as if he's some kind of prophet.
  • 0
    Oh, and fuck the rich kids buying a Tesla and thinking they paid off their negative externality tax.

    It's a nice car, but don't pretend you just single-handedly saved all the polar bears. My bike was one-hundreth in manufacturing efforts, and it also has zero carbon emissions.
  • 0
    Employees are leaving if they see that is something wrong with ceo or management.. so business is not just going bust for no reason. Once smart people left 'lazy' ones nobody does work now and business goes bust
  • 0
    @Nanos "they probably aren't any good.." - it's in the bestseller list for non-fiction in virtually any online book store.
    It's an amazingly accurate, carefully-written, insightful book I ever came across. "Thinking, fast and slow".
    Or even Michael Lewis's book "The undoing project", although it's more about the biography than the details, and does not mention the intention of success fallacy (not actual name, I just made it up. Don't remember if it has a name).
  • 1
    @Nanos "I guess the key word there is 'usually' :-)"

    The point made is that you might find someone who is better at predicting, but it might be a statistical anomaly. Pretty much every big data enthusiast, statistician, or anyone working with numbers, will agree that it's virtually impossible to predict the stock market or to determine what will be successful or not.

    A good example to illustrate the illusion that CEOs are geniuses, consider Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
    They're geniuses, right?
    Their decisions, at least at the very start, were all right, which is why they own one of the biggest companies on the planet, right?

    They tried selling Google to Yahoo, for 1 million.
    They made one of the stupidest decisions, at the very beginning.
    They were lucky that it never got fruition.

    They were stupid (in hindsight) and lucky.
  • 0
    @Nanos let's just say that Daniel Kahneman is one of the smartest people alive.

    He is responsible for Israel beating the incredible odds in its first years of life as a sovereign state surrounded by enemies. Yes, THAT big of an impact.
    His work has influenced tremendous changes in the way we live our lives:
    * How people get hired
    * How to make education better
    * Mobile phones cause car accidents
    * Thanks to him, the overwhelming majority of drivers in some European countries are now organ donors in case of fatal accidents.
    He basically brought truth in the misconceptions about human perception
    His work has shaped the 20th and 21st century societies arguably more than Einstein's.
    And he wrote a book explaining the findings and the research behind them.
  • 0
    If company makes more profit every year you can predict that stock price will grow because profit grows you do not need broker for it because funds and big companies invests only in shares were they think that company profit will grow. Predict that profit will grow or not you do not need broker because nobody knows it.. past profit results done by analyst doesn't tell if company will make profit next year.. if profit goes done shares goes down if you do not agree check profit changes and share price reaction to it.. bubble is different thing it is same as telling i think they will be and everyone thinks but nobody has prove in the end someone understands that is no profit and starts selling and other follows..
  • 1
    "One thing I learned from him was to study history and the economic cycles you see in history to better predict what is going to happen next, and why."

    That will give you a false sense of understanding that which you just can't.

    People are very prone to committing the fallacy of saying that if something has behaved in a particular way in the past, it will behave like that in the future. Despite overwhelming evidence that people who have used this principle for prediction in the past, have mostly failed. But you only see the ones that succeeded in their prediction because of the survivor bias (you never hear about failures).

    Time is not correlated to anything. Effects stack up in a deterministic system - true. But that's not a time correlation, but a feedback loop, which is entirely different.

    Right now, we're only capable of making very lose predictions on aggregated long-term behavior. Everything else is wild guesses.
  • 0
    "Is that why we are hiring more idiots today than ever before ?" - evidence?

    Good HR that have studied the latest science in psychology, will have great success at hiring the best people for the money.

    Oh, by the way, the Oakland Athletics baseball club has had an unprecedented winning streak on a very low budget precisely because of the work based on this.

    "Is that why education is worse than its ever been and dumbed down ?"

    Dude, 2 problems:
    1. Bring evidence
    2. Could you expand your reach to beyond the availability bias?

    Where is it dumbed down? Our scientific progress is now so fast that you can find scientific breakthroughs in DAILY papers, as opposed to once every month just 100 years ago.

    Changes in teaching techniques include more interaction, which force the activation of "System 2", rather than relying on memorizing and "System 1" intuition. Derek Muller (Veritasium) wrote his PhD on this and is using the principle in his videos.
  • 0
    It's true that lower level staff builds the actual products but when people have only that argument I can't stop thinking how stupid they are.

    For anyone disagreeing with that just look around you and name a single engineer that designed and built the products you use on a daily basis.

    In most cases you can hardly name a single person working in the company that built the stuff you use.

    No one really cares about the engineers that work at Musk's or anyone else's company, they just want to try and give some credibility to their pathetic attempts at getting some attention by not agreeing with the majority just so their insignificant lives get some meaning.

    Conspiracy theorists claim they know the "truth" no one else knows because that gives a meaning to their, buried in brain-dead routine, lives.

    As for you OP, name 3 persons that made this app a reality.
  • 0
    What education we talking about if companies start hiring devs without degree and some those are telling that you do not need degree or education so they can not even discuss things or understand... if you try to bring your opinion either they ignore or start thinking that you are negative about they opinion even if you want to bring some discussion to see and understand what point they are trying to make.. in some cases i just got that they do not even have a point just want to find the thing to cry or start argue.. i am not sure if it is mistake of parenting or education or social networks?
  • 1
    @Nanos "What you perceive as fast, I see as slow. :-)" - the problem is that I see, you perceive.
    I see, because I base my assessment on objective data - number of scientific advancements.
    You perceive, because you still think it's lower (it's not, because one can easily compare 2 numbers, and there is only 1 response).

    It now takes months (not years) to develop an efficient mass-produced vaccine for a completely new disease, as long as its antigens don't change every 2-3 weeks.
    It is now possible to create new life forms, out of nothing. It happened. The scientists also encoded their names and credits in the DNA as "junk DNA", of that life form that replicates itself.
    It is now possible to encode in DNA, and leave it there, information like photos, written works, etc. Ensuring that it will last much longer than any other media out there because it replicates itself.
    We're now developing AI at unprecedented speeds and with great success.

    I could go on.
  • 0
    @rim01 "if companies start hiring devs without degree and some those are telling that you do not need degree or education" - that's not new. This was always the case. In fact, the need for highly educated people is on the rise.
  • 0
    @Nanos " when I went to collage I wanted to know how to work out square roots.
    But they don't teach that anymore.."

    But they teach a lot more which wasn't taught before.

    Do you need to compute square roots in your head?

    How useful will that be?

    You know what they also don't teach any more? How to make stone spearheads.
  • 1
    @Nanos "Is that considered a mistake ?" - It's an avoided risk.

    Hindsight bias will lead you to take it as a mistake in one case, and a good decision in another.

    Aggregated results however show that risk-taking people will fail most of the times, but when they don't - it will make them famous.

    Coupled with survivor bias, we only hear about successful people who took risks and won. We rarely hear about their road full of failures, and surely never hear about the people who did exactly the same, and even more and better, but never saw that success because they weren't lucky.
  • 0
    @Nanos "I need to at least know how to do them on paper"

    Our progress rests on us relying on particular information, without knowing how it was determined. That gives us time and resources to develop further from that.

    We have documents showing how it was achieved, so anyone interested can look. But it's not useful in practice to anyone.

    What do you choose? To have useful knowledge about the new stuff that needs to be adopted in many places, or about stuff that one could do using anything from a coffee machine to a mobile phone?

    If you're curious, you can find out. But you will most likely never ever need it.

    At the university I learned the entire maths behind linear regressions and error checking. Its premises and how to get to the results, and how to tackle different problems, by using nothing but 19th century math, which I could already deduce using maths from Pythagora's era.
    Completely useless. I would have rather learned about more machine learning methods in that semester.
  • 0
    You study in uni architecture designs and falls.. without uni people can make good programs but without knowing design and decisions they should never be lead dev ir lead architect.. i see a lot if companies start moving on microservices like it is solution for st.. designs it is even worst because they do not know what is bad with it and this technology is from 90s not new!
  • 0
    @Nanos "I'm not sure teaching more people how to be hairdressers is as important as teaching folk to be automotive mechanics.."

    That's not what I meant. I meant that it's teaching more in every individual field.

    And like it or not, we're still humans, that need to be entertained, that like parties, that like art, and like fashion. Hairdressers are trained because we're willing to give them money for their ephemeral art.

    Thanks to them, hair products are developed, designed, produced and distributed, hair salons have to be built and maintained. And that creates a demand for many other jobs, including IT, where it creates new demands in solutions, and the respective science behind those solutions.

    Thanks to hair stylists, someone at Rowenta will buy software to design and simulate physical products, together with airflow and shit. Thanks to them, new machine learning and AI fields will find their applications.
  • 0
    @Nanos you see that, for which there is a high demand.

    Very few people need someone who can re-invent the bicycle.

    We're more and more narrowly specialized because there's just too much information.

    My parents were taught how to raise crops, even if their majors were engineering and finance.
    My grandmother was taught how to assist birth, even though she wasn't in medical school.

    I don't need either of these:
    * Survival in the wilderness (crafting tools, shelters, hunting, gathering)
    * Farming (how to raise animals, how and when to plant stuff, how and when to water, etc)
    * How to cook food on wood fire without suffocating with CO2 inside the house.

    In order to move forward we have to specialize. Specialization is the backbone of all civilization.
    I am not a lawyer, plumber, builder, musician, architect, doctor, electronics enginner etc. I am a skilled software engineer. I do my stuff best and pay for someone who is best to do their stuff best.
    That works best.
  • 0
    .... To be fair, I am genuinely interested in other fields, and am quite good in some of them. I am a handy man, who fixes stuff around the house quite well. But this is because I want to do this, not because I need to or because I'm better than professionals at this.

    Same with everything else. You are interested? Learn! The information is all out there, more accessible than ever. But it shouldn't be taught if it's not expressly needed.
  • 0
    @Nanos "So, the lesson there is ?
    Take repeated risks, but only risk what you can afford to lose !"

    Learn to lose better, so that you can afford pretty much everything that doesn't outright kill you or lands you in jail for the rest of your life.
  • 1
    "It's never exactly the same though. :-)

    So, what are the vital variables at play which cause success in one case, and not in another very similar one ?"

    Not exactly the same in detail, but not quantitatively or qualitatively different.
    More effort will not necessarily translate to more success.

    Luck is a far more important factor, and one which is out of anyone's control, and one which is impossible to predict.

    "Luck" - the thing that is influenced by factors far more complex than we or anyone else is able to even list.
  • 0
    Luck does not exist you can calculated possibility
  • 0
    @Nanos "Figuring out what folk want in a car, that's fairly easy, just ask folk, they will tell you !"

    asking people doesn't work.

    Pebble did that. Look where they are now.

    It just doesn't work. As observed by people like Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, and documented in his "meh" book, "Everybody Lies".

    Of course comparing a shit product that some idiots might think it would fly, to a product built to appeal people, with an unprecedented advertising campaign, is not even in the same ballpark.

    I'm talking about ambiguous decisions like:
    Should I go freelancing again?
    Should I sell my house and invest all my money in bitcoin?
    Should I make a startup that uses deep learning to predict an advertisement's success rate, using borrowed money?

    Was it a good idea to invest in Yahoo in 2006?
    Was it a good idea to buy GoPro stocks when they went public?
    Was it a good idea to short sell Bitcoin when they reached 11k the first time?
  • 1
    @rim01 "Luck does not exist you can calculated possibility" - good luck with that.
  • 0
    @Nanos "All decided by the best of what the latest research says is the best way to hire people I hear !" - but that's not the best way to hire people. Far from it.

    Instead, take the qualified people for the job, and make a 6-7 question test, with answers that can be unambiguously assigned a score from 1 to 3 (worst to best). Include questions that would be hard to fake an answer for, that would highlight that trait. Ex. "How many times did you scold junior developers in the past? Never? Half the times they fucked up? Every time they fucked up?". Each answer gets a score (answers can be equal in score value). Each question can be assigned an importance weight. Compute the score at the end and get an objective fitness score, that is not influenced by looks, impressions or any other prejudices (and there are A TON of prejudices that we're not aware of). Use that, fuck gender/race hiring quotas, fuck subjective opinions about candidates, and build a team around the best people.
  • 1
    @Nanos "But isn't that just what Tesla did ?" - not really, no.
    Made slight improvements to existing ideas about cars, electric cars, batteries, by combining existing technologies into a final product - that they did.
    Spend a lot on marketing and creating a mountain of hype - that they did.
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