Reflecting on a few interesting reads and listens over the past week
This is an interesting video that I came across surfing through YouTube - where Elon Musk describes a key epiphany back in 2016.
The next stage of growth for Tesla wasn’t going to come from discovering a next-gen vehicle but rather thinking of the factory as a product aka as a ‘machine within the machine.’
Having worked at a few large companies, Elon Musk’s assertion that there’s a lack of care taken toward building best-in-class ‘machine within the machines’ rings true. A lot of organizations have an unfortunate tendency to take a ‘Keep the Lights On’ approach for all non-external facing products.
Six years later after the video above, Tesla is in a position of sustainable growth - not because it focused on launching more car models but rather due to creating a world-class factory (the Gigafactory) that is now on the cusp of scaling/expanding globally.
Taking this beyond Tesla, most successful companies often start by having a novel concept/idea that delivers tremendous value to its end user/benefactor.
However, the ‘10x ideas’ take place when companies/organizations are able to build the ‘machine within the machine.’ Oftentimes, the ‘machine within the machine’ is the secret sauce that differentiates the organization from its competitors.
A few examples come to mind:
Amazon Retail / Amazon Logistics
McDonald’s / Franchise System
Constellation Software / Decentralized M&A teams
Microsoft / Enterprise Sales Teams
Tesla / GigaFactory
At a personal level, it’s important to take a similar approach. Instead of looking at an end result and working toward replicating/achieving that specific result, try to look for the process/machine that allows you to achieve the desired result. Personally, a couple of systems that have been incredibly useful are my emphasis on setting an agenda (pre-meeting/conversation) and note-taking (post meeting/conversations).