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Saturday, July 17, 2021

It Takes Talent - How Tesla is different #95


Most companies advertise their products. Outside of a college recruiting event, most companies don't advertise much if at all to attract talent.

The small amount of advertising that Tesla has done, has primarily been to recruit talent, rather than to sell their products. This is true at Tesla's "Day" events (Battery Day, AI Day...) as well as in their social media. This philosophy extends into other Musk-run companies too. The Neurolink Launch Event did demo the product but they spent an equal amount of time talking about the roles in the company and how they need to hire animal caretakers, programmers, chip designers, signal integrity engineers...

One recent interesting example of Tesla "advertising for talent" was a video that starred Tesla's chief vehicle designer, Franz Von Hausen. The video looks more like a cyberpunk video game than real life. It starts with Franz spraypainting Chinese characters on a wall. Someone hands him a tablet, as the glow from the tablet illuminates his face, you can see that he is both impressed and intrigued by the design. He asks, "Who did this?" as the caption asks, "What will you design?" 

Certainly an enticing thought. If you are a designer, you'd want to work at a company that's trying new things, this might catch your attention. The Cybertruck is featured prominently in the ad as an example of something that likely would have never been attempted at another company. 

Tesla plans to design an affordable car for the worldwide market in the Chinese design center that they are beginning to staff with this ad

The specifics of this effort are part of the bigger picture. Tesla knows that to achieve things that have never been done before, you have to hire talented designers and engineers. You have to hire people that are going to push things too far (in a controlled environment), see where they break, learn from that, and use that knowledge to make something that not just a derivative product, but a disruption.

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