Paypal employee’s key takeaways from working with Elon Musk

Posted on July 18, 2022 by Peter McGuthrie

Beyond being the world’s richest person, Elon Musk has disrupted multiple industries and has always managed to keep himself busy. And one former employee of Musk says this approach was critical to his experiences working with the executive, adding that this approach offered a more comprehensive view of the strategies, projects and ideas at other companies that could be used for his own.

Above: Elon Musk at a TED conference in 2017. Photo: Steve Jurvetson / WikiMedia Commons

Former VP of Finance at PayPal Jason Portnoy noted on the “Tim Ferriss Show” podcast that Musk and fellow former PayPal executives Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman “were never only doing one thing at a time,” according to a report from Business Insider. Portnoy pointed out that all three of the PayPal executives had their hand in many other companies besides their own — all coming back regularly with new approaches.

"I feel like they got a lot of benefit out of doing that because they would be getting exposed to different ideas, or solving different problems, or meeting different people," Portnoy said. "There was just all this stuff that they were interacting with. And then they would bring that back with them into the PayPal office."

To be sure, the claim adds up if you look at Musk’s current plate. Musk is facilitating several high-level business operations from Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink, along with a near-takeover of the social media platform Twitter. While some shareholders wondered if buying Twitter would have a negative impact on Musk’s attention to Tesla (a problem that solved itself with Musk backing out of the deal) others like Portnoy may simply notice how one company can serve the other, and vice versa.

For example, Tesla uses SpaceX’s Starlink internet at some of its Superchargers, while The Boring Company uses Tesla’s vehicles for its tunnels. Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity allowed the automaker to break into the world of clean energy — an adjacent world to electric vehicles that may be mutually beneficial. Now, Tesla is registered to become a utility operator in Texas, and is helping the electrical grid with stability amidst record heatwaves.

These are just a few examples of how Musk’s companies have branched out and benefitted from a holistic approach, rather than having a singular focus.

In any case, Musk currently remains the world’s richest person with roughly $219 billion in net worth. And while that feat speaks for itself as a testament to Musk’s success, it’s the legacy and world impact created by his handiwork that will likely outlive even Musk himself.

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Source: Business Insider

Posted in Elon Musk, PayPal, Tesla


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