Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Elon Musk, the poor man's Tony Stark, seems happy not to do things the way most people do.

He doesn't seem to mind if you think he's a little odd. He cares far more about doing something interesting.

So when he saw a letter from a dad on Twitter--well, technically a letter written by the dad's fifth-grader daughter--he actually read it.

Perhaps Musk was taking a break from drilling holes beneath Los Angeles.

The letter was suspiciously well written. Well, fifth-grader Bria's dad Steven is a writer. (Dad swears he's only responsible for edits to the letter, and I believe him.)

Still, it made a simple suggestion. Bria likes a lot of homemade Tesla ads she sees on the Web. So she thinks Tesla should hold a competition to see who can make the best homemade Tesla ad of all.

The winner, she suggested, would have their ad aired. And perhaps they'd get a Model 3 Easter Egg or a year's free Supercharging.

CEOs get such letters quite a bit, I fancy. They don't read them, of course. Some assistant will send a polite note back thanking the writer for her interest.

In this case, however, Musk replied: "Thank you for the lovely letter. That sounds like a great idea. We'll do it!"

And Bria is surely the happiest girl in Michigan.

This isn't Musk's first foray into Twitterized direct response. As my colleague Justin Bariso recently noted, Musk took a customer complaint on Twitter and implemented a solution in just six days.

It's not a bad habit for a CEO to have. It spreads the notion that ideas can come from anywhere. Good ideas, even. It also suggests that they can be quickly enacted.

I worry, though, about Bria. She writes in her letter: "I hope that when I'm older that I can drive a Tesla."

Oh, Bria. Your intention is so noble, so human.

However, all these tech types want cars to be self-driving. They don't want humans driving cars. They say humans kill too many people.

These nerds trust machines far more. They're very strange people.

Published on: Mar 2, 2017
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