The New York Times vs Robots. Robots win.

It will come to no surprise for many of my friends that I’m a big fan of Elon Musk, which makes me somewhat biased writing this post. But I’m also a big fan of The New York Times and think that they’re good guys, most of the time. This week, however, they fucked up. Big time. 

For those who haven’t followed the saga, the NYT wrote an article about Tesla’s Supercharger network in the US. No need for you to read it – the main takeaway is that if you buy a Tesla Model S you’re going to run out of juice in the middle of the street. Except you won’t, as the CEO of Tesla fired back in a post on the company’s blog, in response to the (unequivocally fake) NYT article.

Now, this is not the first time a big media company trashes a technology company for eyeballs, impressions, and making a point (albeit a wrong one – remember all the negative reviews of the iPhone, anyone?). Except this time, the NYT didn’t go against Elon Musk. They went against a robot. Because for all intents and purposes, the Tesla Model S is a robot. And one of the things robots do is collect data. Lots of it. 

This is a very unfortunate event for Tesla, but it sets a great precedent: in the digital era, journalistic integrity can be confirmed or destroyed by using data. I have no shade of doubt that mr. John Broder, the author of the appallingly erroneous article, will find it troublesome to be taken seriously when reviewing cars in the future. As for Tesla, this little event has  just made its many fans become even more devoted to the robot that many are calling the iPhone of cars: the Model S.

My take away from all this is to spend more time making sure we collect all the data we possibly can at Brainient. And so should you. 

Drive

One of my favourite books when I was in high school was Losing My Virginity, Richard Branson’s biography. It’s a thick, detailed journal but there’s a paragraph inside that has stuck with me over the years: “I have no secret. There are no rules to follow in business. I just work hard and, as I always have done, believe I can do it.”

A few months ago, I was watching an interview with Michael Bloomberg and the interviewer asked him what his secret is for becoming so successful. I can’t remember his words exactly, but it was something like “Look, I’m no smarter than you, him or anybody else. I just work harder than everyone I know. When I used to work for Salomon Brothers I’d be the first in the office at 7am. The only other person in the office with me that early was John Gutfreund [CEO], so we’d grab coffee together and talk. That’s how I got to grow within the company”.

Today, I read a short but amazing interview with Elon Musk in Wired. When asked “How do you maintain your optimism?”, he responded with “Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.”

Successful people work hard, never give up and don’t take no for an answer. In other words, they are driven. Driven to achieve the impossible, go the extra mile, driven to succeed. I hope to be able to look back one day and say that I’ve worked harder than everybody I know. “Optimism, pessimism, fuck that; we’re going to make it happen.”