Elon Musk's $35,000 Tesla 3 has racked up $12 billion in preorders within 48 hours. The beauty is that Musk set out this affordable electric car goal exactly ten years ago, around the time Tesla started. Entrepreneur and new Zenefits CEO David Sacks pointed it out on social media.
I love it when a plan comes together -- especially when blogged 10 years in advance. https://t.co/hEzEeQKlQK-- David Sacks (@DavidSacks) April 4, 2016
Musk's efficient blog posts talks about why electric cars will succeed and even shares some basic math assuaging environment concerns with battery-operated cars. Importantly, it ends with a simple, koan-like statement:
So, in short, the master plan is:
Build sports car
Use that money to build an affordable car
Use that money to build an even more affordable car
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options
Don't tell anyone.
Musk gets one of the best secrets of successful entrepreneurship: You should tell everyone your goals. Early and often. Here's why:
Tighten your plan: A tech colleague of mine noticed that the more reticent someone is to share an idea, the more awful the idea was going to be. I agree for a number of reasons (and I've seen the trend with my own eyes, too!), but the biggest reason is that you can't refine something in secrecy. We have this idealized view of working silently in the lab or quietly lining up everything we need and unleashing this brilliant, disruptive concept into the world. Even the best ideas are sloppy, rough and not-quite ready for prime time. If a recognized genius like Musk is putting his stuff out there, then maybe you should be doing the same.
Show authenticity: Leadership isn't cultivated by perfection, but by clarity of vision. How strong of a intent must you have to realize it ten years later? It requires passion, focus and, most importantly, authenticity. Keep in mind, Musk almost lost his shirt with Tesla in this ten-year period. We falter without a strong purpose and plan. When we are able to execute our vision, we bring a level of unique brilliance to the table. Frankly, most people are too distracted to properly execute a long-range plan. Prove that you are not.
Be bold: We don't share our vision with others because we are afraid the idea will be stolen, but because we are afraid of being criticized. How precious is that one idea that pushes you to fight the good fight every day? Very. It takes courage for us to share our vision. However, the very sensitive, passionate core of your vision is also its biggest strength: Who else truly gives a care about that one specific goal so unique to your being? For instance, my purpose is to show how technology impacts our intimacy, as shown in my heavily researched books on interactive entertainment as well as my successful startup run. No one else will care as much as I do, which means no one can duplicate my passion, focus and authenticity - even if someone "stole" my idea.
Why aren't you sharing your vision?