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 Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.

This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.

Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.

Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.

Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.

Tesla Adds 'Rose Gold' Cybertruck Wrap and Two Other New Colors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors

Remember when there was concern that the appeal of a Cybertruck would die down because there would be too many stainless steel beasts on the road? True story. If there was a concern, it appears to have been handled with wraps; not only Tesla’s wraps but more customized wraps are showing up on social media daily.

More Tesla Wraps

Firstly, Tesla has expanded its palette of Cybertruck wrap options, introducing three vibrant new colors. The chic Satin Rose Gold, the deep Satin Abyss Blue, and the sleek Slip Grey are joined in the lineup alongside the classic Satin Stealth Black and Satin Ceramic White. However, several Cybertruck owners are not waiting for Tesla wraps as more unique Cybertruck wraps are showing up on social media.

Priced at $6,000, while the newly introduced Satin Rose Gold and Satin Abyss Blue wraps are slightly pricier at $6,500. This differentiation in pricing reflects the unique appeal and quality of the new wrap colors.

Tesla outlines several key features and advantages of their Cybertruck color paint film, including:

  • A self-healing, urethane-based film that is significantly more durable and twice as thick as the average vinyl wrap, ensuring superior protection against scratches.

  • An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wraps, covering all exterior stainless-steel surfaces of the Cybertruck, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and resilience.

Customized Wraps are Taking Off

Since Tesla wraps were introduced, the company has been criticized for the price point being far too high, while consumers can go to other wrap companies and get their own customized look. Even the unique wraps spotted on the Cybertruck before the delivery event are unavailable. But that is not stopping consumers.

It was after Investor Day in 2023 that Morgan Stanley's managing director, Adam Jonas, a well-known figure within the investment community and someone who has been dubbed a Tesla Bull. Jonas outlined several reasons why he believed the Cybertruck might not fulfill the grand visions held by Elon Musk and the Tesla team, describing it as potentially becoming a "financial side-show," a marker of cultural zeitgeist, and a niche product for enthusiasts.

Jonas argued that the Cybertruck, with its avant-garde design, might not align with this broader affordability mission. He believed that the unique aspects of Cybertruck would be lost and that "indescribable something," when several were on the street,

Yet, the landscape around the Cybertruck and Tesla's position within it has continued to evolve. Contrary to concerns, the burgeoning market for custom and aftermarket wraps for the Cybertruck tells a different story. This vibrant ecosystem of personalization options highlights the vehicle's position as a mode of transportation and a canvas for individual expression.

The concern that the uniqueness of the Cybertruck could diminish with its popularity overlooks the creative solutions that owners and enthusiasts have embraced. From bespoke wraps that offer myriad designs outside of Tesla's offerings to the DIY spirit that has taken hold among the Cybertruck community, it's clear that individuality remains a cornerstone of the Cybertruck experience.

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