What working for Elon Musk was like: 'He's actually a really good guy'

By Lennon Cihak
Medlock, a former employee gives us a behind the scenes look at Elon Musk
Medlock, a former employee gives us a behind the scenes look at Elon Musk
The Iced Coffee Hour/YouTube

Elon Musk is a diligent leader who is dedicated to achieving a more sustainable future for mankind. In Tesla’s early days, Musk had a “very disciplined” approach to managing the automotive company.

Carl Medlock, a former territory manager at Tesla, discussed what it was like working for Musk on an episode of “The Iced Coffee Hour” podcast, which is hosted by real estate investor Graham Stephan and Jack Selby.

Medlock joined Tesla in 2009 during the recession. He was offered a healthy six-figure salary and 40,000 stock options that he reluctantly had to sell due to divorce proceedings, according to the New York Post.

“You don’t argue with him,” Medlock said. “When Elon stands up at the end of a meeting and says, ‘This is the direction we’re going to go,’ you stand up from your chair and you better head that direction. Because he’s not one for people back-talking - he’ll just let you go.”

When Tesla was going through “production hell” for the Model 3, Musk was consistently working upwards of 120 hours per week and sleeping on the Tesla factory floor.

“I actually saw him sleep on a desk once,” Medlock said. He even took a photo of the unusual situation, but then deleted it almost immediately.

“I deleted the photo. I should have kept the photo, but I deleted the photo out of respect. I took the picture and thought, ‘Oh my God, you’re going to get fired for this.”

The stress and difficulty of running one of the world’s most valuable automakers - and one of the only automotive companies in the United States to never go bankrupt - added to the hefty burden of saving humankind.

When Medlock was interviewing at Tesla, one of his final interviews was with Musk in which they discussed his customer service and real-world experiences.

“We just had a conversation and I got the job,” Medlock said.

But despite Musk’s unprecedented work ethic and rigid management style, Medlock said he was a good person. Musk wasn’t very social in the workplace, but he said Musk is very intelligent and easy to talk to.

“He’s actually a really good guy,” Medlock said. “He’s incredibly smart, so he’s intimidating in that regard, but if you look at it based on his kids. The guy loves his kids, he loves his family, he’s a good dad and he’s just easy to talk to.”

Interview

You can watch the entire interview below.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

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