Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at the unveiling of the Model 3

Elon Musk called someone a bonehead and his shares dropped by 5 per cent

Business management 101: be nice.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed a bit of attitude on a conference call, and his shares fell by 5 per cent as a result. Oops.

What it means: Most private companies are valued in shares, where people invest in a portion of your firm and get a proportional share of the profits if you do well. But shareholders can be fickle, and they clearly didn't think much of Musk calling an analyst a 'boring bonehead' in a conference call, saying the 'dry' questions were 'killing' him.

Given how much attention Tesla gets for technology, approach to productivity, (Musk recently said automation was overrated after all and he'd brought more good old-fashioned humans back into his factory), and ambition to make 5,000 Model 3s per week at $35k each, shares will probably bounce back up in no time.

But it does show how much the success of a business depends on shareholders trusting the strategy (and the CEO) – Musk is open about the fact that the company isn't even profitable yet, though he thinks it's 'high time' it gets there soon.

Recent articles

Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?