Elon Musk says ‘too many MBAs’ are running American companies

BlueOvalFitter

Site Donor 2021
Messages
9,141
Location
Cajun Country, La.
That's not entirely correct ( although as an engineer, I totally agree)

I don't design cars but do design other stuff and the restrictions are the same.

More often than not the DFMEA requirements will include cost/space and material requirements which severely limit design considerations. Everybody wants the most compact design that a robot can do.

I have personally put maintenance friendly things in machines and been instructed to remove them because of additional manufacturing time or costs or because it throws something else out of limit.

That's not the case every time obviously but its almost SOP in the mechanical design world.
Have you tried to re-engineer the wheel? :unsure:
 
Messages
5,952
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
My experience couldn’t be more opposite of yours. IME thriving companies have been the best to work at. Struggling companies, having budgets cut, the worry of layoffs, financial set backs, have all made the work place much more stressful.

Depends. Certainly in the startup environment there may be employees with real equity who might hang around and stick with it on the possibility that options might be worth something. I worked with a lot of people who loved working at startups, although it didn't always work out. They're always struggling for money, but with the hope that someone likes the technology enough to buy them out or with an IPO.

Still - it's not necessarily like the 90s where employees who weren't involved in the business/R&D side might get meaningful options. There's the legendary executive chef at Google who supposedly cashed out to the tune of more than $20 million from his stock options. These days companies will generally go through a contractor. Every company cafeteria I've been to in the past decade or so was staffed by employees of a foodservice company.
 
Messages
5,386
Location
NJ
My experience couldn’t be more opposite of yours. IME thriving companies have been the best to work at. Struggling companies, having budgets cut, the worry of layoffs, financial set backs, have all made the work place much more stressful.
Ypw stated it very eloquently. I've worked at startup biotech companies except for 5 years at big pharma. My first position took us many years to get our drug approved. After money started rolling in, the culture changed. The free sodas went away. The free bagel Wednesdays went away. Budgets were cut. Things went downhill. The drug didn't sell as well as hoped and the pipeline was weak. Company went away. The company wasn't struggling but they were trying to hard to show a healthy bottom line.

Place I'm at now is very clear that we want to be like Google in culture and HR policies. And we're pretty good with stock options although no lower level folks are cashing out for $20M.
 
Messages
1,628
Ypw stated it very eloquently. I've worked at startup biotech companies except for 5 years at big pharma. My first position took us many years to get our drug approved. After money started rolling in, the culture changed. The free sodas went away. The free bagel Wednesdays went away. Budgets were cut. Things went downhill. The drug didn't sell as well as hoped and the pipeline was weak. Company went away. The company wasn't struggling but they were trying to hard to show a healthy bottom line.

Place I'm at now is very clear that we want to be like Google in culture and HR policies. And we're pretty good with stock options although no lower level folks are cashing out for $20M.

I’ve never worked for a startup company so they might be different. But with large established companies that I’ve worked for, when the company was in the black times were much better than when times were in the red.
 
Messages
4,985
Location
Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I once designed a board for a computer that the company I worked for was producing. I designed it using two 50 pin duel inline ribbon connecters and carefully chose the pins so that if a ribbon cable was inserted backwards or to the wrong connector the power supply pins would still be connected, and only inputs would be connected to inputs, and only outputs would be connected to outputs. Of course the computer would would not work, but no chips would be damaged and then putting the cable in the right way would be the only correction required. The drafting department reconfigured it to two 40 pin connectors to save a few pennies and did not even ask me if changing it was OK. I found out when I saw the first batch of boards that were produced and of course the reconfigure with 40 pins routed power supply and input and output in a way that if a cable was reverse connected or connected to the wrong connector things would go up in smoke. I had to lower my head and quietly nod to myself and not say a word. There is no way they would scrap a run of boards that were already made and worked.

I never thought that the head of drafting or the draftsman would not use what I laid out and also not have me proof it. If I had a clue they would pull that there would of been both written and verbal notices not to change it.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,039
Location
USA
I retired along with many others in frustration, and now the company is just one of the pack. The employee pride is gone and it shows.
You just summed up Corporate America in general. A lot of companies are unrecognizable compared to 20-30 years ago. They all have lost their way and consider their employees as an afterthought. So called "leaders" couldn't lead their way out of a wet paper bag, and that's assuming they could get past their ego first.

God willing, I'll never work for a large, publicly owned corporation again.
 
Messages
129
Location
Kentucky
A lot of these business philosophy either go over my head of under my head.
The only thing I know for sure, I came into this world with absolutely nothing.
With hard work, careful planning and frugal living, I have 1/2 of it left.
 
Messages
16,539
Location
...
Chryslers were not very good with Lee at the helm. If id wasn't for government purchases of vehicles Chrysler would have been a goner.


I’m not so sure. The K cars were big hits and the minivan started a new era.

Chrysler’s problem was that they rode the minivan coattails until one day they were gone.
 
Messages
10,302
Location
MA
A lot of these business philosophy either go over my head of under my head.
The only thing I know for sure, I came into this world with absolutely nothing.
With hard work, careful planning and frugal living, I have 1/2 of it left.
Nothing goes over my head.

 
Messages
5,952
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Ypw stated it very eloquently. I've worked at startup biotech companies except for 5 years at big pharma. My first position took us many years to get our drug approved. After money started rolling in, the culture changed. The free sodas went away. The free bagel Wednesdays went away. Budgets were cut. Things went downhill. The drug didn't sell as well as hoped and the pipeline was weak. Company went away. The company wasn't struggling but they were trying to hard to show a healthy bottom line.

Place I'm at now is very clear that we want to be like Google in culture and HR policies. And we're pretty good with stock options although no lower level folks are cashing out for $20M.

To be fair, the executive chef at Google came aboard when they had less than 50 employees. I think they even had a decent revenue stream rather quickly.

As for the other stuff, I've only been at one actual startup, but quite a few places I work were divisions that came from startups. One place I worked one of the directors would sign off on a group of us going to Costco and just buying tons of sodas and snacks. I've been at places where they still had free meals even though there was no real startup potential any more. At the actual startup the boss said on a few times that we could go for drinks on the company. Wasn't able to cash out though, although it was a good ride.

One of the weirdest was when Visa went IPO. It was an established company, but it used to be a nonprofit bankers' cooperative. I met someone who worked there, and he said that they still had a lot of employees there who got rich off the IPO.
 

Ws6

Messages
3,617
Location
South Central US

Elon Musk says ‘too many MBAs’ are running American companies​




.
Nothing wrong with an MBA. I think too many unqualified people are in charge, which has nothing to do with MBA/not MBA.
 
Messages
12,858
Location
Indiana
Does this mean all you naysayers like his cars now? Asking for a friend...
Anyways, Elon's whack. Gotta go buy some more stock now.
All good.

So if I have stock in the S&P500, but dislike Apple products, am I a hater just the same? Lol

To be fair, Tesla technically makes more than cars. His cars do have QC issues.. Some of the worst actually. And yet Tesla is worth more than Toyota.
 
Messages
3,078
Location
Chicago Area
my 50 years of business experience tell me he hit the nail on the head, perfectly square and drove it home in one mighty swing..

Oh the stories. The layoffs that did not need to happen. The bad decisions..
I don't have as many years, but I've seen enough in my 35 make me agree with that statement.

In my history, one particular instance rises above the rest; being acquired by a company who declared that we were in a 'technology gap' that needed addressing - I'll spare the details but I will say that we didn't have a gap when they came in, but we sure had one by the time they shut down our data centers...
 
Messages
16,715
Location
Silicon Valley
Elon said the right thing. Technically though it is not the MBA but the financial engineering and accountant side of the business that is the problem. The root cause of it is the investors demand a certain kind of business and pay for it. The customers is not the target, the investors is. They run companies that look good and pay good dividends or have good stock appreciations. They are in the business of selling stocks and not products or services.

This leads to layoffs during good business cycles, corporate raiding, reducing quality, deteriorating services. Then we go around and blame Japan, Europe, China, South Korea, etc instead of ourselves.

Yes, the ROI is good right now, until you killed the golden goose.
 
Messages
16,715
Location
Silicon Valley
So if I have stock in the S&P500, but dislike Apple products, am I a hater just the same? Lol

To be fair, Tesla technically makes more than cars. His cars do have QC issues.. Some of the worst actually. And yet Tesla is worth more than Toyota.
They have a learning curve problem, but they are not gutting a car to save money to make more profit. They just don't know how to build a car that is easy to fix and keep because they are designing cars as a side business, to their main business of batteries and EV drivetrain.
 

Pew

Messages
1,251
Location
Illinois
I worked 30 years for a company that for the first 20 was run by Engineers. It was great, they listened to the service dept and to their customers. They sent everyone to training classes when new technology was introduced, Service , sales and customer service. We had a great reputation in the industry and customers that would stay with us for decades. Then we went public in the US and the management changed to sales executive and accountants. Training classes were reserved for service, customer service was moved overseas, rating cards were sent to customers instead of casual calls, customers who did not have a service contract were constantly being pushed to the back of the line. In 5 years we started loosing customers that had been with us since before I started, service engineers started taking jobs with other companies and new service guys were being sent out alone which never happened before. I retired along with many others in frustration, and now the company is just one of the pack. The employee pride is gone and it shows.
That's happening at my company right now. The founder and owner was an engineer but passed away a few years ago. Her sister now owns the company who doesn't have any engineering experience and since then we've lost a few executives who had ALOT of industry contacts, and the company has gone towards some number-crunching company.
 
Top