the pleasures of intensified work

From Elon Musk, by Ashlee Vance, pg 125:

Some members of the Texas crew honed their skills to the point that they could build a test- worthy engine in three days. These same people were required to be adept at software. They’d pull an all- nighter building a turbo pump for the engine and then dig in the next night to retool a suite of applications used to control the engines. Hollman did this type of work all the time and was an all- star, but he was not alone among this group of young, nimble engineers who crossed disciplines out of necessity and the spirit of adventure. “There was an almost addictive quality to the experience,” Hollman said. “You’re twenty- four or twenty- five, and they’re trusting you with so much. It was very empowering.”

From pg 127 of the same book:

Respites, as far as they existed, came around 8 P.M. on some weeknights when Musk would allow everyone to use their work computers to play first- person- shooter video games like Quake III Arena and Counter- Strike against each other. At the appointed hour, the sound of guns loading would cascade throughout the office as close to twenty people armed themselves for battle. Musk— playing under the handle Random9— often won the games, talking trash and blasting away his employees without mercy. “The CEO is there shooting at us with rockets and plasma guns,” said Colonno. “Worse, he’s almost alarmingly good at these games and has insanely fast reactions. He knew all the tricks and how to sneak up on people.”

From pg 169-170:

Eberhard promptly returned to the Tesla building and ginned up a similar speech. In front of about a hundred people, Eberhard had a picture of his young daughter projected onto the wall of the main workshop. He asked the Tesla engineers why he had put that picture up. One of them guessed that it was because people like his daughter would drive the car. To which Eberhard replied, “No. We are building this because by the time she is old enough to drive she will know a car as something completely different to how we know it today, just like you don’t think of a phone as a thing on the wall with a cord on it. It’s this future that depends on you.” Eberhard then thanked some of the key engineers and called out their efforts in public. Many of the engineers had been pulling all- nighters on a regular basis and Eberhard’s show boosted morale. “We were all working ourselves to the point of exhaustion,” said David Vespremi, a former Tesla spokesman. “Then came this profound moment where we were reminded that building the car was not about getting to an IPO or selling it to a bunch of rich dudes but because it might change what a car is.”

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