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CNN Skeptical of Elon Musk's 'Big Promises' (cnn.com) 206

An anonymous reader writes: Tesla's electric semi-truck will be launched three weeks later than planned, CNN reports. It's been bumped to November 16th because Tesla says it's "diverting resources" to address problems with its Model 3 sedan production -- they've produced just 17.3% of the cars they'd planned -- and to make more batteries to send to areas hit by hurricanes. CNN notes Tesla's Model X "didn't start shipping until two years after it was supposed to roll out," and production of its Model S sedan "was also much slower than originally promised." Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Autotrader.com, complains Tesla "may well have far too much on its plate. It should focus and deliver on some key promises."

But Elon Musk "has a history of some pretty pie-in-the-sky promises," complained CNN business anchor Maggie Lake, citing Musk's claim that he had verbal approval for an underground hyperloop connecting New York City to Washington D.C. ("This is news to City Hall," said New York's press secretary at the time, and no actual approval has ever been produced.) Lake also noted Musk's promise to fix South Australia's blackout problems by building the world's largest lithium-ion battery within 100 days back in March. Last Friday Tesla signed a contract to begin the work, so the 100-day countdown has begun.

CNN's report ran under the headline "Elon Musk: Big Dreamer or Monorail Salesman?" -- referencing a satirical 1993 episode of The Simpson's. "Here's a spoiler alert," the segment concludes. "If you haven't seen that episode...the monorail plan doesn't work out too well. Let's put it that way."
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CNN Skeptical of Elon Musk's 'Big Promises'

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  • I am wondering why anyone and at Slashdot especially, would take CNN any serious. Why? These are folks who spread f*k* news I know.

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Spread fuck news you know?

      To be relevant to this maybe you could compare Musks claims with CNNs news and provide some proof they are less trustworthy in general? I couldn't be bothered but you seem to be very knowledgeable in the area...

      • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @02:45PM (#55332179)

        To be relevant to this maybe you could compare Musks claims with CNNs news and provide some proof they are less trustworthy in general?

        If people followed and but their cash on CNN and its claims prior to the election, they'd have lost big time.

        Anyway, I digress....but these are some of the outrageous things they've said in the recent past. Remember, they claim to be, "The most trusted name in News."

        1: They on June 6th reported that Comey was going to contradict President Trumpâ(TM)s claim that he wasnâ(TM)t under FBI investigation in his Senate testimony, a report which obviously was going to make Trump look like a liar. They had to retract these claims.

        2: CNN.com Headline: From early May, âoeRape and domestic violence could be pre-existing conditions.â CNN argued that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) could make sexual assault a pre-existing condition, preventing women who survive rape from getting health care.

        3: Claim reported as something worth listening to, while referring to WikiLeaks: "Remember, itâ(TM)s illegal to possess these stolen documents. Itâ(TM)s different for the media. So everything you learn about this, youâ(TM)re learning from us,â Cuomo said on television.

        Need more? I have 11 crazy ones for you...

    • by leonbev ( 111395 )

      The gap seems to be narrowing over the years, but CNN's news claims tend to be a wee bit more accurate than that crap that comes out of Elon Musk's hype machine.

      But, hey... I'd love to be wrong. Maybe I'll actually be able to book a ticket on that manned Mars rocket he said was going to launch in 2024, but I highly doubt it. Maybe he should focus on getting more Model 3's out the door, considering that people actually put down a deposit on those.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hackwrench ( 573697 )
        The only thing wrong with Musks predictions is that he sometimes delivers late.
      • You do know that SpaceX and Tesla are two different companies, right? It's not like he's taken guys off the Model 3 production line and has them designing heavy lift rocket engines. Similarly, I doubt that Musk is turning wrenches on the assembly line himself, and production slows down when he has to do a speech / press event or tweet something.

        The thought that this might be a hit piece because CNN is fearing competition in the business of spreading bullshit is funny though.

    • These are folks who spread f*k* news I know.

      You keep using that phrase, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2017 @02:25PM (#55332091)

    Other wise they might have known - https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/30/elon-musks-big-battery-for-south-australia-already-half-complete

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:33PM (#55332325)

      Well it's hard for CNN these days. They spend 99% of their time worrying about Trump and research on real news takes time.

      The fact that Slashdot is quoting those ass hats is more worrisome than whether Musk can meet a deadline.

    • by michelcolman ( 1208008 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:36PM (#55332337)

      Also, saying he only delivered 17% of the cars they had planned is distorting the truth a bit. They planned to deliver 100 in August and 1500 in September, ramping up to around 5000 a week by the end of the year. So if they only delivered just over 200 cars in September, that's less than a month's delay which is peanuts compared to other Tesla delays in the past.

      • Also, saying he only delivered 17% of the cars they had planned is distorting the truth a bit. They planned to deliver 100 in August and 1500 in September, ramping up to around 5000 a week by the end of the year. So if they only delivered just over 200 cars in September, that's less than a month's delay which is peanuts compared to other Tesla delays in the past.

        Yeah, they rounded a bit. 200/1500=.1333

        Seriously, just how much koolaide have you drank? He promised x, he failed to deliver x. That's a simple fact, not a distortion of the truth.

        • by eth1 ( 94901 )

          Yeah, they rounded a bit. 200/1500=.1333

          Seriously, just how much koolaide have you drank? He promised x, he failed to deliver x. That's a simple fact, not a distortion of the truth.

          "produced just 17.3% of the cars they'd planned," while technically true, was probably chosen to sound much worse than it really is. "1500 people had to wait an extra month for their new car" is probably more accurate from a "what's actually going on" standpoint, but also probably doesn't make nearly as good of a headline.

    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:37PM (#55332347) Homepage

      Beat me to it. Looks like it's going to be done well ahead of schedule. But hey, facts havenever stopped anyone before when trying to find reasons to bash Musk.

      Facts like the fact that Musk never said he had approval from New York City - that he actually said, "verbal govt approval". Which he did - the government he was speaking of was the federal government [businessinsider.com] (DOT, asked about it: "We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector,""). But hey, let's leave that part out and pretend that Musk was just making things up.

      Facts like, for example, that Model 3's production schedule had been moved forward to July (was originally supposed to start at the end of this year), with Musk stating at the time that the reason for the July deadline was because he knew some suppliers would inevitably fail to meet their deadline and he had to have a way to hold their feet to the fire with real penalties for failing to deliver. Of course, they actually did make the July deadline.

      The Wall Street Journal will gripe about the fact that there are missing features in the (over-the-air-upgraded) software stack and that there's some manual labour / part changes in manufacture because automated assembly line isn't yet complete. Really, WSJ? Gee we all thought that the line was fully ready to produce tens of thousands of vehicles per month, but the schedule was only to produce a couple hundred for giggles. And of course, every Tesla short will whine about how there are customers acting as "beta", ignoring the fact that none of the above comes as any surprise to anyone with a deposit, particularly the earliest ones, and that they're thrilled to have the chance to get their vehicles early. I know one who, after having the car for just two weeks, already put down a deposit on a second one.

      But hey, I guess someone has to try to recoup some of their losses in their ill-advised short position in TSLA.

      • Facts like the fact that Musk never said he had approval from New York City - that he actually said, "verbal govt approval". Which he did - the government he was speaking of was the federal government

        The federal government lacks the authority to make such a commitment. And if you actually read the article you linked, and even the text you quoted, no commitment is to be found. But hey, let's leave that part out.

        Facts like, for example, that Model 3's production schedule had been moved forwa

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          The federal government lacks the authority to make such a commitment. And if you actually read the article you linked, and even the text you quoted, no commitment is to be found. But hey, let's leave that part out.

          Right. It would have been much more responsible of Elon if he had continued his tweet [twitter.com] with, oh, I don't know, something like "Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly". Right?

          He promised delivery of 'x' in September

          He did not promise anythin

        • I don't buy this "verbal approval" nonsense any more than you do, but while the Federal government lacks the authority to make any kind of final approval for such a project, they definitely have the authority to get in the way of such a project and halt it before it starts.

          You know that there is no total approval of any kind of wacky tunnel project, because not a single shovel full of dirt has been moved on it yet. And I'm sure that the States this thing would be going through have a few choice words to sa

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Heresy, pure heresy.

    Everyone knows CNN is fake news anyway, so no story here.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @02:30PM (#55332117)

    But Elon Musk "has a history of some pretty pie-in-the-sky promises,"...

    Elon Musk announced that SpaceX is developing a direct-to-home pie delivery service.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @02:31PM (#55332121)

    This is a tricky one. Do I believe the huckster with the reality distortion field that would put Steve Jobs to shame or the "news" channel where the reporters are all still pissed that Donald Trump ruined their awesome "SHE DID IT!" party back in November?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Musk's last update on when the self diving capability of Tesla cars week be delivered was the end of the year. Recently he said SpaceX would land people on Mars in 5 years.

      He's optimistic, you have to give him that.

      • There is optimism then there is straight out bullshit. Elon despite all his achievements favours the later when he is spruiking his plans, it is a shame really as the truth is just as interesting in most of these situations.
      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        Musk's last update on when the self diving capability of Tesla cars week be delivered was the end of the year.

        Teslas already have excellent self-diving capability; just point them towards the edge of the cliff and place a brick on the accelerator pedal.

      • Recently he said SpaceX would land people on Mars in 5 years. He's optimistic, you have to give him that.

        To be fair, he did not specify whether these people had be alive or not when they landed.

    • by eepok ( 545733 )
      Ya, that's my problem with this particular post. There are many more reputable organizations/people that don't trust Musk's promises. Showing that CNN has doubt in Musk sounds like an association fallacy. "CNN has lost much of its credibility. CNN doubts Musk. You doubt Musk. Thus, you have lost credibility."
  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @02:32PM (#55332127)

    Musk cheerleaders, Musk naysayers, and the truth.

    The way I see it, Musk is a bit of a 'showman' and in that role has a tenuous connection to the truth... but he did deliver a tail-landing rocket and he did deliver electric cars when the naysayers were calling him a liar for even saying it was possible.

    So I tend to look at what Musk promises, not when.

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      I try not to be a naysayer in regards to Musk, but his adventures tend to take a lot longer than intended and a bit oversold to the public ... now I see a lot of pots on the fire.

      There's nothing indicating that all this is going to go wrong, but there's no evidence that the company has learned a whole lot about how large complex device manufacturing works either, hence, skeptical

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      3 weeks delay is not really an issue. If all promisses by every company only would be 3 weeks late, that would be wonderful.
      Can you imagine that you are only 3 weeks late with every project you are involved in? (Yes, I know it wasn't your fault.)

    • by eepok ( 545733 )
      People may call me a naysayer, but I consider myself a "less-sayer".

      Yes, I knew Musk would produce an EV. But I also knew it wouldn't be affordable to the masses or supportable by the sales of the Roadster.

      Yes, I know Musk will produce a Model 3 (a more affordable EV), but I've been saying all along that it (1) won't feel like the Model S, (2) he can't do it with Tesla's own income, and (3) he won't meet his production goals.

      Yes, I knew Musk could potentially produce a reusable rocket, but I kne
    • So I tend to look at what Musk promises, not when.

      Musk puts new meaning to the idiom, "better late than never."

      Sure, most of his projects are behind schedule, but many people regard them as impossible in the first place.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Musk likes to throw rocks in the pond. But he's also smart (and rich) enough to get a bunch of smart people together to actually make things happen.

      If he only delivers half of what he promises, a benchmark he's been exceeding so far, then it's a good thing. Progress in the world has settled into navel gazing app development. Someone needs to come along and start challenging thinking on the big things.

  • I've always wondered how many people would be driving electric cars if it wasn't for the state/Fed subsidies (rebates) or other benefits like Leaf's free charging. Though Elon Musk, as of 2015 had benefited from almost $5B in Gov't subsidies. [latimes.com]

    I see people driving $100k Teslas, and they're not doing it to be green. It's the new status symbol of wealth (used to be BMW/Benz).

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:04PM (#55332241)

      Boo hoo, infrastructure for electric cars is getting funded with help from the public. In the end we will all benefit from it with cleaner transportation infrastructure.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Except the people living near the new electicity generating plants that will have to be built.

        • by shilly ( 142940 )

          Even if there were going to be lots of people living near new plants whose health would now be damaged, which is not the case, this would still be the right thing to do considering the vastly higher numbers of people whose health is being damaged by exhaust fumes on the roads today.

        • You know that Tesla Energy (used to be SolarCity) has generated more wattage than Tesla vehicles have used in the entire history of the fleet, right?

          I hear that people actually pay money to live UNDERNEATH the new electricity generating plants that HAVE been built. It's called rooftop PV solar.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      I see people driving $100k Teslas, and they're not doing it to be green. It's the new status symbol of wealth (used to be BMW/Benz).

      For the middle class, sure. The upper class sneers at a $100k car.

    • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @04:41PM (#55332553) Homepage

      I've always wondered how many people would be driving electric cars if it wasn't for the state/Fed subsidies (rebates)

      Our tax policy includes rebates and incentives to encourage people to do things. For example, giving to charity.

      Policy makers were hoping people would do things like switch to driving electric cars. They set up the tax rebates accordingly.

      Tesla customers getting a tax rebate on Tesla electric cars? That's the system working as intended. The government wanted to encourage the switch to electric cars, and it's working.

      Note that the incentives are really just accelerating a process that would have happened on its own. If BEVs were significantly less expensive than ICE vehicles, people would choose to buy them even without tax incentives. The tax incentives are intended to jump-start this, and help BEVs get over the initial hump.

      Selling lots of cars helps enable economies of scale; economies of scale help cars cost less; cars costing less helps sell more cars. It's hard to get the cycle going when your initial low-quantity sales are expensive cars.

      Also note that when government picks winners and losers, government tends to do a stupid job. Consider the Obama administration loans to Solyndra... a total debacle. But if government is going to interfere with the free market, IMHO the BEV tax credit is one of the best things they could do. Customers are still spending their own money, so they won't be buying lousy cars even with the BEV tax credit; it should help good products get established with little risk of Solyndra-style debacles. And in the specific case of Tesla I think it's clear that it worked out well.

      or other benefits like Leaf's free charging.

      Nissan provided that to encourage customers to buy their brand of BEV. Nothing wrong with that.

      I see people driving $100k Teslas, and they're not doing it to be green. It's the new status symbol of wealth (used to be BMW/Benz).

      It's true that Tesla has grabbed most of the "large luxury car" sales in markets where they are competing. However I don't think that it is just, or mostly, that rich people want to show off their wealth. Tesla makes cars that are safe, reliable, and fun to drive; and for rich people the cost doesn't seem too high, so why not buy one?

      Plus I've read a lot of discussion of Teslas online, and I've repeatedly seen comments like "Well, I think the Tesla interiors are cheap. My BMWs and Mercedes are much nicer, let alone my Bentley. I sold the Tesla and bought a Jaguar." (I just made that up but it's similar to real things I have read.) It sure doesn't seem to me like really rich people think a Tesla is a mark of status.

      • by steveha ( 103154 )

        I've read a lot of discussion of Teslas online, and I've repeatedly seen comments like "Well, I think the Tesla interiors are cheap. My BMWs and Mercedes are much nicer, let alone my Bentley. I sold the Tesla and bought a Jaguar."

        In fairness to Tesla, I've also seen a lot of comments like "I have six cars, and since I got the Tesla I find I'm just not driving the others anymore. The Telsa is just so fun to drive." But the point is that the praise was always about how the Tesla is for driving, and not that

    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @04:51PM (#55332589)

      I've always wondered how many people would be driving electric cars if it wasn't for the state/Fed subsidies (rebates) or other benefits like Leaf's free charging.

      I've always wondered how many people would be driving ICE cars if they had to pay to remove the CO2 that they are pumping into the atmosphere.

      • by I75BJC ( 4590021 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @06:10PM (#55332857)
        Today? No change in USA numbers. Where's the production of Electric Cars that could supply the need? When will the cost of Electric Cars reach the cost of Used cars in the USA? Where's the range to permit the driving range of an ICE Used car? When's the cost of a battery recharge going to match the cost of an ICE Used car's fillup? When are electric charging stations going to be able to handle the numbers and flows of ICE Used cars. Where are all the petro fueled electric plants necessary for electric cars going to be built? When are necessary electric plants going to be built? "Rome wasn't built in a day" but so many people seem to think a switch to Electric/Renewable/Magical can be accomplished by the end of the year. It will take decades -- just like the ICE cars displacing the animal drawn "cars" and "trucks" of the past.
        • by shilly ( 142940 )

          I get the intent behind your post but the specifics are way off:
          >When's the cost of a battery recharge going to match the cost of an ICE Used car's fillup?
          A battery recharge is -- famously -- much much cheaper than an ICE fillup

          > When are electric charging stations going to be able to handle the numbers and flows of ICE Used cars.
          They won't ever need to, because usage and recharge patterns will be vastly different. Somewhere between 70 to 90% of EV drivers will do most of their charging at home. A lar

          • I've said before that what will happen is that the gas stations will get converted to lush, green parks with plugs. While the car is charging, people will do something physically active with their families. In additional to saving all of that gas burning, the new parks will actively cleanse the air. Plus people will engage in more athletic recreation for health. And the emotional benefit will lead to significantly reduced incidence of mental health disorders. And everybody will get a pony. Okay not the
        • Today? No change in USA numbers. Where's the production of Electric Cars that could supply the need?

          Supply and demand. When there is a demand there will be a supply. When it's $17/gal for gasoline then there will be a massive demand.

          When will the cost of Electric Cars reach the cost of Used cars in the USA?

          When it costs $250 to fill the tank of an ICE car, used cars won't be attractive in the least.

          Where's the range to permit the driving range of an ICE Used car?

          Most cars are commuter cars so they do already.

          When's the cost of a battery recharge going to match the cost of an ICE Used car's fillup?

          It's currently a few bucks to fully recharge an EV's battery. So, they do already.

          When are electric charging stations going to be able to handle the numbers and flows of ICE Used cars.

          EVs are mostly charged at home but again, it's supply and demand.

          Where are all the petro fueled electric plants necessary for electric cars going to be built?

          That wouldn't be cost effective. Remember the part about having to pay to capture all t

          • by I75BJC ( 4590021 )
            LOL!!! Everyone seems to forget the time it takes to recharge an EV either at home or at a charging station. if "time is money", then the cost of time must be factored in. Nobody gets that the Tesla superchargers take much longer than a gas fill up and still don't have the range of most ICE Used cars. I don't know about anyone else but my time is worth a lot to me. Fossil fuel power plant don't really change the environmental picture if that is where the EV's are getting their power. Coal usage in the
      • I've always wondered how many people would be driving electric cars if it wasn't for the state/Fed subsidies (rebates) or other benefits like Leaf's free charging.

        I've always wondered how many people would be driving ICE cars if they had to pay to remove the CO2 that they are pumping into the atmosphere.

        I would say currently about 70.9% of new sales. That is the case in Norway so far with heavy taxes on ICE cars and no taxes on electric.

    • I didn't make enough money to get most of the subsidy for my Volt, and it worked out to only a few percent of the price, making it still expensive. But worth it, been trouble free since late 2011.
    • Capital T trillion. Trillions in tax dollars over the decades to build streets and highways (tearing down consumer rail in the process) to support gas burning trucks and cars. Trillions given away over the years in either direct subsidies to oil and gas - tax breaks and letting them drill on public land for next to nothing - and indirect subsidies like not making them pay for environmental restoration.

      But now it's a problem when we start talking a fraction of that sum to move away from CO2 production?

    • I'll stick with my 335i. Not because it is a status symbol, but because it is consistently fun.

      Teslas are indeed fast, for the first minute or so of a fresh charge.........

      http://www.thedrive.com/news/5... [thedrive.com]

  • "Elon time" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @02:41PM (#55332159) Homepage
    If there's one thing that has become very clear it is that Musk is not good at estimating how long something will take. At the same time, when he says it will happen, it does generally happen. The really good example of this is SpaceX. The Falcon 9 took far longer to get off the ground and be really reliable than he predicted, but once it did, it became an absolute monster in the industry. More than a third of all rocket launches worldwide this year are SpaceX launches http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a27290/one-chart-spacex-dominate-rocket-launches/ [popularmechanics.com] and the projections suggest that will be more than half next year, even without the Falcon Heavy (which is another example of this since it has taken much longer but will eventually go). The real issue with Tesla is that if things go slowly enough then the other car companies will essentially out-compete him; but by his own description he's essentially ok with that, since the primary point of Tesla was help deal with global warming.
    • Re:"Elon time" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:03PM (#55332231)

      It's rocket science. Everyone who has worked in this field has taken longer than he thought it would, starting with von Braun.

    • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:08PM (#55332257)
      I always find it funny that people think it is even possible to pinpoint a date and time when anything is going to be ready. I barely can predict when dinner is going to be done. I can't imagine trying to predict something as complicated as a brand new electric car or a rocket launch down to the year, much less a day within that year.
      • Yes, there's a fundamental uncertainty but when your date estimate is always off in one direction, you should clear adjust how you are estimating.
        • Yes, there's a fundamental uncertainty but when your date estimate is always off in one direction, you should clear adjust how you are estimating.

          You can do an ok job if you stick to predicting in one field. That guy has his finger in so many diverse fields. Anyway he is way better than the talking heads all excitement all day every day in CNBC.

        • Re:"Elon time" (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Rei ( 128717 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @04:10PM (#55332453) Homepage

          How come we only apply this to Musk? How long have we been hearing about the "imminent" Tesla-killers coming from the German automakers? I remember an article in the (hugely anti-Tesla) Daily Kanban in 2015 talking about how Porsche was getting ready to crush Tesla with the super-awesome-stupendulous Mission-E (along with a bunch of other no-show EVs), because the concept looks so double-plus awesome! Guess what? It's 2017 and it's still two years off. But wait, we finally got some spy shots of them finally testing - and guess what? After facing design reality, the concept now looks like nothing more than a glorified Panamera. [wordpress.com] Just wait for the disappointing stat/price point/production figures!

          Anyone who has followed the history of concept cars over the years knew damned well that this was going to happen, because it always does. Concept cars are art pieces, not things that are actually practical from aero / production / functionality designpoints. But far too many people have trouble conceiving of anything but that the only reason Tesla is succeeding is that the big automakers have been "keeping their powder dry" all this time, can crush Tesla at any point in time, and are just about to do so, any day now. The fact that they aren't and can't is inconceivable to them.

          (In case any is curious as to why they can't... link [model3ownersclub.com])

          • Hmm? I'm not in favor of just applying it to Musk, but it should be applied to people in general. Heck, note that I'm serious about not being selective here- my initial post in this subthread was making the point that Musk has the virtue that when he says something will happen, it does. His primary issue is with timelines. At the same time, it is worth noting that Musk has timing issues on pretty much everything he does (rockets, electric cars, solar power) so this isn't car specific. I'd just prefer if he
            • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

              Virtually nobody estimates schedules (or budgets) correctly. Nobody wants to hear the truth, so you underestimate. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

              One of my coworkers turned to me after we'd shared an office for four or five years and said "I thought you were a bit of a pessimist, but then everything you said came true."

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            I think most manufacturers massively underestimated the difficulty of building a good EV. There are plenty of half-baked crappy ones, like the eGolf/eUp and the Mercedes B Class. But to do a really good one is hard. Nissan spent years developing the Leaf and it really shows, and Tesla did likewise.

      • it is quite possible, however the larger the project the more margin of error you need to build in. The problem with Musk is he states absolute best possible perfect world scenario and even then errs on the extreme optimist side which anyone familiar with large projects will tell you is a moronic thing to do as it sets unrealistic expectations that are almost certain to disappoint. What he should be doing is saying here is the upper and lower estimates for completion and when speaking using a number somewhe
    • Musk is not good at estimating how long something will take.

      Who is?

  • Great advances aren't created through incremental changes from old things. The famous saying on the topic is: "If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses", attributed to Henry Ford. But on the other hand it's often not a single flash of genius either: Usually many people see the opportunity for big change. There isn't a person in a technical field who doesn't have a pet peeve about something that is obviously more cumbersome than it needs to be. Most people never do anyth

  • Elon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by multi io ( 640409 ) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Sunday October 08, 2017 @03:07PM (#55332255)
    So Musk promised more Model 3's than he ended up delivering, and bigger SpaceX rockets and spacecraft than he ended up delivering, but I still don't see the competition quite catching up. The rockets that he did deliver still dominate the launch market and manage to land their first stages ass-first, intact. So it's not like Elon is all fake, instead it's all about managing expectations. The guy promises you a city on Mars next year, and delivers only a village on the Moon five years late, while all the others give you a hut in Alaska.
  • by mschuyler ( 197441 ) on Sunday October 08, 2017 @05:06PM (#55332663) Homepage Journal

    If there's anything pundits, so-called experts, and know-nothing journalists should know by now it is to underestimate Elon Musk is a losing proposition. Everything these scoffers said could not be done---ever, has been done by Musk.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      There's a big difference to saying "it can't be done" and saying "it's not at all practical/profitable to do".

      So far, I don't think anything he's said can't be done. He breaks no laws of physics that I'm aware of.

      But the expense to do so, and the advantages of doing do given back, don't match AT ALL. Batteries, electric cars, rockets, fancy trains - he can throw money at anything, of course. And you'll meet a modicum of success, of course. So long as you don't count "viable business model" under the cri

  • by hey! ( 33014 )

    Cap'n Nobvious News.

    Does anybody believe Musk can do *everything* he says he wants to do, and pull it off without so much as a delay?

    Some people might think he can do them all eventually, but even those of us who expect some of his ideas never to go anywhere can't ever be quite sure about which ideas those will be. He's had a history of sticking with things even through a lot of intermediate failure.

  • a) Get something done on time cutting corners and ultimately fucking it up
    b) Spending a little extra time and getting it right

    To quote another rocketeer: "It's done, when it's done"

  • I live in what we call a "red state" (supports the Republican Party in case you don't know what that means) and I'm surrounded by lots of extremely conservative people. They typically think that Fox News is completely fair and objective and right down the middle in its reporting and that CNN is insanely on the left. They usually don't even know that MSNBC even exists. Their heads would explode if they did.

    I used to hold up CNN as an example of a news source that I felt was pretty fair to everybody,
  • IMG SRC="http://www.holyshit.com/FredSandfordHeartAttack.gif"

  • if you haven't seen that episode of "the SImpsons" - (Season 4 Episode 12) here you go [simpsonsworld.com]

    My work here is done

  • So far, my favorite Musk pie-in-the-sky promise was dramatically lowering cost to low Earth orbit.

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