Latest Tweets:

Assumption is the evil step mother….

At the airport after a tiring business trip a lady’s return flight was delayed. She went to the airport shop, bought a book, a coffee and a small packet containing five gingernut biscuits. The airport was crowded and she found a seat in the lounge, next to a stranger.

After a few minutes’ reading she became absorbed in her book. She took a biscuit from the packet and began to drink her coffee. To her great surprise, the stranger in the next seat calmly took one of the biscuits and ate it. Stunned, she couldn’t bring herself to say anything, nor even to look at the stranger. Nervously she continued reading. After a few minutes she slowly picked up and ate the third biscuit. Incredibly, the stranger took the fourth gingernut and ate it, then to the woman’s amazement, he picked up the packet and offered her the last biscuit. This being too much to tolerate, the lady angrily picked up her belongings, gave the stranger an indignant scowl and marched off to the boarding gate, where her flight was now ready.

Flustered and enraged, she reached inside her bag for her boarding ticket, and found her unopened packet of gingernuts…

Lets be careful about the assumptions we make

*2

The Lamps

Yesterday evening, Sensei handed earthen lamps, filled with oil to each of the Monks. The lamps had cotton wicks in them.

Sensei said, “Monks, meditate on the light of your lamp & pray for enlightenment. Let us share our experiences tomorrow.”

Today morning, after still meditation, Sensei asked the monks to share their meditation experiences.

Humble Monk seemed excited and said, “Sensei, the lamp glowed very brightly in my room. Even with my eyes closed, I could see its light. I learned that good things shine through even when you can’t see them directly…”

Sensei nodded in appreciation.

Truthful Monk said, “Sensei, I lit the lamp and observed how its flames created shadows on my wall. I was surprised to see different shapes of animals and houses being projected. I learn that ordinary things have more character in them, than what seems obvious…”

Sensei smiled.

Laughter Monk laughed and laughed and said, “Sensei, (Laugh), I used the oil and the wick to lubricate (laugh) my bicycle parts that were creaking! I (laugh) learn that sometimes things (laugh) can me more useful than in just one (laugh, laugh) way!!

Sensei laughed out loudly and Laughing Monk accompanied his laughter.

Angry Monk spoke and gruffly said, “I lit the lamp and burnt all the letters of anger that I had written to people. I watched each of them burn. I learnt that sometimes, good things are given to you, to help you lose bad things…..”

Sensei closed his eyes and clapped once. He was moved my Angry Monk’s gesture.

Sensei then asked Head Monk to speak.

Head Monk bowed to Sensei and to Buddha and said, “I took my lamp, and lit in the garden. I soon noticed a moth that seemed attracted to the flame. The moth came very near the fire and then noticed me. It seemed to have understood my warning and flew away. Through the night, over a hundred moths came very near to the flame and then flew away after seeing my face. I learnt that real danger when presented with good intentions can help redeem people….”

Sensei closed his eyes and clapped twice.

Sensei said, “Use the lamp given to you intuitively. You will learn that the real light of the lamp lies within you, not outside…”

*13

An eye on the pesos: budget holidays in Argentina and Chile -Vicky Baker

Keep costs down while travelling in Chile and Argentina by following our expert tips, from low-price lunches to free accommodation

Flights: buy international and domestic flights together

Book all your flights at the same time for the best prices. Some large airlines have agreements with small local carriers, or, like Lan, operate both international and domestic flights, which means they can offer either discounted multi-destination airpasses or add internal flights for a small additional cost. For example, Journey Latin America (journeylatinamerica.co.uk) offers a return fare to Santiago for £975, or one with added stops in both Puerto Montt and Punto Arenas for £1,048. If you do buy separately, good prices can often be found on lesser-known airlines Sky (skyairline.cl) and Pal (palair.cl).

Buses: go long haul

Long-distance coaches in South America are in a league of their own.When taking a sleeper, forget about first and second class, and learn that all categories based around the word for bed: cama, semi-cama, and cama VIP/executivo refer to how much your seat reclines, with the top-end ones not far off an airline business-class seat. You’ll often be served a hot meal and maybe even a glass of wine, but ask exactly what is included when you book and take your own snacks too, as quality can be hit and miss. Travelling by bus is the best way to appreciate the sheer size of various countries in South America, and can save you the cost of a night’s accommodation if it’s an overnighter.

Accommodation: explore alternatives

While foreigners rush to the nearest hotel, Argentinians and Chileans often holiday in cabañas, self-catering cabins that are great for families and small groups. Just type your destination into a search engine plus the word cabaña for plenty of affordable, no-frills options. Sleeping under canvas in national parks will also cut costs.

Shafik Meghji, co-author of the new Rough Guide to Chile, says: “If you want to escape the crowds and reach the most spectacular areas, you generally have to camp. Some sites are free and, although very basic, usually have wonderfully isolated locations. Others charge a fee and offer equipment for hire, bathrooms, cooking facilities and even cafes.”

Some parks also have refugios (mountain huts with bunk beds, hot showers and gas stoves), but be sure to book in advance during high season. For cities, try peer-to-peer accommodation networks, such as AirBnB.com, Wimdu.co.uk and Tripping.com, which now have much better coverage in South America.

Wine tours: go solo

Organised wine tours are often expensive. Cut costs by arranging your own visits, using public transport. Several vineyards around Santiago, including Vina Undurraga (undurraga.cl), Cousiño Macul (cousinomacul.com) and Concha y Toro (conchaytoro.com) can be visited by bus or metro. You’ll usually be expected to book a time slot in advance. La Rural (bodegalarural.com.ar), about 12km from Mendoza, also has a wine museum.

Food: opt for meal deals

Chile does a fine line in set lunches, so make this the main meal of your day. Look for chalkboards outside restaurants. The key words are menú ejecutivo, sometimes shortened to simply menú, usually comprising starter, main course, dessert and drink. Similar deals exist in some Argentina restaurants too, although they are not so common.

City transport: go public

A few years ago, taxis were so cheap in Buenos Aires that some foreigners never even set foot on a bus or subte (underground train). Now they are learning to appreciate public transport as one of the best bargains in the city, with fares from 15p to 30p. The city’s bus system is very comprehensive, but getting to grips with it – the official guide is Guia T, a book packed with grids and cross references – can seem harder than cracking the Da Vinci Code.

But help is at hand: British expat Jonathan Evans will teach you all you need to know, while offering an introductory tour to the city sights (buenosaireslocaltours.com). The tour is free (leave a tip) and runs entirely on public transport, including a stint on an underground line with original wooden carriages dating from 1913.

Shopping: step behind closed doors

Buenos Aires pioneered the in-house restaurant scene and now it’s taking fashion behind closed doors, too. Clothing has been one of the areas hardest hit by Argentina’s soaring inflation, so instead of paying for rental premises, many designers open up their studios or workshops, offering well-priced limited editions that make unusual souvenirs.

Try Vendaval (vendavalbuenosaires.com.ar), Pippy Miller (facebook.com/PippyMiller), Maison Abbey (facebook.com/maison.abbey), Jungle Vi.ai.pi (jungleviaipi.blogspot.com.ar) and Blit Bags (bolu.us). Pop-up fashion ferias (markets) are also popular in Santiago. Most are advertised via Facebook or Twitter. For a short cut, arrange a tour with Santiago stylist Ameriga Giannone (agstyling.com). In Buenos Aires, try Shop Hop BA (shop-buenosaires.com) or Creme de la Creme (cremedelacreme.com.ar).

Money take : dollars

It’s not wise to carry large amounts of cash, but a handful of dollars could lead to discounts on, well, almost anything in Argentina. The government has recently introduced very strict laws that make it incredibly hard for residents to change money, so people are clamouring for international currency, namely dollars. Keep a few in your hotel safe for negotiating deals.

Stay longer: work in a hostel

Looking to extend your trip and learn the lingo while keeping accommodation costs low? Hostels often offer travellers medium-term accommodation and other benefits (sometimes meals and Spanish lessons) in exchange for a few hours’ work. You can arrange this on the hoof or by contacting establishments in advance. Or, for a guaranteed placement, try Real Hostel Work (realhostelwork.com), a new site that has links with hostels across South America.

(Source: Guardian)

Source: Compliance and Safety LLC

Source: Compliance and Safety LLC

One of the most inspiring speech of nothing but Hope from the black man who entered the White House

In a strongly worded speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, United States President Barack Obama has sought a second term as the leader of the free world. Here are some excerpts from his speech:

Michelle, I love you. The other night, I think the entire country saw just how lucky I am. Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud…but don’t get any ideas, you’re still going to class tomorrow. And Joe Biden, thank you for being the best Vice President I could ever hope for.

Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

The first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man; a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope – not blind optimism or wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long.

Eight years later, that hope has been tested — by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still possible to tackle the challenges of our time.

I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me – so am I.

But when all is said and done — when you pick up that ballot to vote — you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come.

On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties.

It will be a choice between two different paths for America.

A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.

Now, I’ve cut taxes for those who need it – middle-class families and small businesses. But I don’t believe that another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to our shores, or pay down our deficit. I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off financial aid will grow the economy, or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of China. After all that we’ve been through, I don’t believe that rolling back regulations on Wall Street will help the small businesswoman expand, or the laid-off construction worker keep his home. We’ve been there, we’ve tried that, and we’re not going back. We’re moving forward.

I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. And by the way – those of us who carry on his party’s legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.

But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. And I’m asking you to choose that future. I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country – goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That’s what we can do in the next four years, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.

Tonight, we pay tribute to the Americans who still serve in harm’s way. We are forever in debt to a generation whose sacrifice has made this country safer and more respected. We will never forget you. And so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. When you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you’ve served us — because no one who fights for this country should have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they need when they come home.

Around the world, we’ve strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We’ve reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers. From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings — men and women; Christians and Muslims and Jews.

But for all the progress we’ve made, challenges remain. Terrorist plots must be disrupted. Europe’s crisis must be contained. Our commitment to Israel’s security must not waver, and neither must our pursuit of peace. The Iranian government must face a world that stays united against its nuclear ambitions. The historic change sweeping across the Arab World must be defined not by the iron fist of a dictator or the hate of extremists, but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people who are reaching for the same rights that we celebrate today.

So now we face a choice. My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.

After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy — and not al Qaeda — unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally. My opponent said it was “tragic” to end the war in Iraq, and he won’t tell us how he’ll end the war in Afghanistan. I have, and I will. And while my opponent would spend more money on military hardware that our Joint Chiefs don’t even want, I’ll use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work — rebuilding roads and bridges; schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it’s time to do some nation-building right here at home.

But we also believe in something called citizenship — a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations.

We believe that when a CEO pays his autoworkers enough to buy the cars that they build, the whole company does better.

We believe that when a family can no longer be tricked into signing a mortgage they can’t afford, that family is protected, but so is the value of other people’s homes, and so is the entire economy.

We believe that a little girl who’s offered an escape from poverty by a great teacher or a grant for college could become the founder of the next Google, or the scientist who cures cancer, or the President of the United States — and it’s in our power to give her that chance.

We know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference than a poverty program alone. We don’t want handouts for people who refuse to help themselves, and we don’t want bailouts for banks that break the rules. We don’t think government can solve all our problems. But we don’t think that government is the source of all our problems — any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles.

Because we understand that this democracy is ours.

We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.

As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.

So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens — you were the change.

You’re the reason there’s a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who’ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage. You did that.

You’re the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he’d be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. You made that possible.

You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home; why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: “Welcome home.”

If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible…well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves.

Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.

I recognise that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. The times have changed — and so have I.

I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the President. I know what it means to send young Americans into battle, for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn’t return. I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I’ve made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”

But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I’m naive about the magnitude of our challenges.

I am hopeful because of you.

The young woman I met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family at a homeless shelter — she gives me hope.

The auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed, but kept coming to work every day, and bought flags for his whole town and one of the cars that he built to surprise his wife — he gives me hope.

The family business in Warroad, Minnesota that didn’t lay off a single one of their four thousand employees during this recession, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owners gave up some perks and pay — because they understood their biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build that business — they give me hope.

And I think about the young sailor I met at Walter Reed hospital, still recovering from a grenade attack that would cause him to have his leg amputated above the knee. Six months ago, I would watch him walk into a White House dinner honoring those who served in Iraq, tall and twenty pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform, with a big grin on his face; sturdy on his new leg. And I remember how a few months after that I would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had traveled.

I don’t know what party these men and women belong to. I don’t know if they’ll vote for me. But I know that their spirit defines us. They remind me, in the words of Scripture, that ours is a “future filled with hope.”

And if you share that faith with me – if you share that hope with me – I ask you tonight for your vote.

If you reject the notion that this nation’s promise is reserved for the few, your voice must be heard in this election.

If you reject the notion that our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election.

If you believe that new plants and factories can dot our landscape; that new energy can power our future; that new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers; if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November.

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder – but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer – but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up. We draw strength from our victories, and we learn from our mistakes, but we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon, knowing that Providence is with us, and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless these United States.

10 Steps To Follow When PR Crisis Occurs

Although we all know that prevention is better than cure, sometimes you need to react and act on unforeseen crisis’s. Every organization is vulnerable to PR crises. You can play safe and sound, but it won’t give you a competitor advantage in this fast-paced and changing world. Companies need to be bold and risk-seeking (only calculated). Your stakeholders will not be understanding or forgiving because we’ve all watched what happened with badly managed PR crisis’s; Enron, Arthur Andersen, Bridgestone-Firestone, Worldcom, Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, BP… The list goes on and on. All above scenarios from glory to seem to disgraceful end contain common pattern – badly managed PR crisis. (excluding law and policy negligence and malpractice) Often companies do not understand that without adequate communications:

Stakeholders (internal and external) will not know what is happening and quickly be confused, angry, and negatively reactive. Operational response will break down. Media will run dramatized and exaggerated stories putting your company in the bad light In effect, company will be perceived as inept, at best, and negligent, at worst. The basics of effective crisis communications strategy is not a rocket science, but it requires advance work and foreseeing some possible events in order to minimize the damage. The slower the response while in crisis, the more damage is incurred. So if you’re serious about crisis preparedness and response, read and implement these 10 steps of crisis communications, the first seven of which can and ought to be undertaken before any communications crisis occurs.

1. Assemble Your Crisis Communications Team A small team of senior executives should be identified to serve as your organisation’s Crisis Communications Team. Ideally, the team will be led by the organisation’s CEO, with the firm’s top public relations executive and legal counsel as his or her chief advisers. If your in-house PR executive does not have sufficient crisis communications expertise, he or she should choose to retain an agency or independent consultant with that specialty. Other team members should be the heads of major organization divisions, to include Finance, Personnel and Operations.

2. Identify Your Spokespersons If you can’t do the talk yourself, you need to think about identifying the individuals who are going to be authorised to speak for the organisation in times of crisis. It is a common fact that some chief executives are brilliant business people but not very effective in-person communicators. The decision about who should speak should not be made after a crisis breaks — the pool of potential spokespersons should be identified and properly trained in advance. Spokespersons are needed not only for media recounters, but for all types and forms of communications, internal and external, including on-camera, at a public, investor or employee meetings, etc. You really don’t want to be making such important decisions about so many different types of spokespersons while “under fire.”

3. Spokesperson Training Two typical quotes from well-intentioned company executives summarizes the reason why your spokespersons should receive professional training in how to speak to the media:

“I talked to that nice reporter for over an hour and he didn’t use the most important news about my organization.”

“I’ve done a lot of public speaking. I won’t have any trouble at that public hearing.”

There are a good number of people interviewed by BBC and other big media outlets who thought they knew how to talk to the press. Without proper spokesperson training, all stakeholders are just as capable of misunderstanding or misinterpreting information about your company as the media, and it’s your responsibility to prevent from it happening. Spokesperson training teaches you to be prepared and be ready to respond in a way that answers and satisfies the response directed to all stakeholders. (whether individual or unified)

4. Establish Communication Systems In information era we have a plethora of means to reach our internal and external stakeholders. Many of us have several phone numbers, twitter/fb account, more than one email address, and can receive SMS (text) messages or faxes. Instant mobile messaging has become common, either public or proprietary, and it’s very popular for business and personal use. Depending on how “techie” we choose to be, all of this type of communication — and more — may be received on or sent on the go from any place of the world.

Choose the most suitable channels for your company ensuring that in time of crisis your stakeholders can receive your messsage instantly.

5. Know Your Stakeholders Who are the internal and external stakeholders that matter to your organisation and shape the nature of it? Always remember that organisation is people creating it, therefore consider employees to be your most important audience and asset, (also because every employee is a PR representative and crisis manager for your organisation whether you want them to be or not!) But, ultimately, all stakeholders will be talking about you to others not on your contact list, so it’s up to you to ensure that they receive the messages you would like them to repeat elsewhere. Modern communication and engagement channels such as facebook fan pages or twitter allow organisations to know their stakeholders better – just look at fan pages of Coca Cola, Starbucks or any other succesful companies – their customers ‘follow’ and spread good words about the brand.

6. Anticipate Crises

If you’re being proactive and following the rule ‘better safe than sory’ while preparing for crises, gather your Crisis Communications Team for long brainstorming sessions on any potential crises which can occur at your company.

There are at least two immediate benefits to this task:

You may realise that some of the situations are preventable by simply modifying existing methods of operating. You can begin to think about possible responses and best and worst case scenarios, etc. You can better prepare when calm than when under the pressure of an actual crisis. In some cases, of course, you know that a controversial event/crisis will occur because you’re planning to create it — e.g., to lay off employees, make a major acquisition etc. In such case you can proceed with steps 8-10 below, even before the crisis occurs.

7. Develop Consise & Holding Statements

While full message development must await the outbreak of an actual crisis, “holding statements” – messages designed for use immediately after a crisis breaks – can be developed in advance to be used for a wide variety of case scenarios to which the organisation is perceived to be vulnerable, based on the assessment you conducted in Step 6 of this process. The company’s Crisis Communications Team should regularly review holding statements to determine if they are up-to-date or they require revision and/or whether new statements for other possible scenarios should be developed. For samples and tips on how to draft a holding statements, download this pdf prepared by S-A-E Communications.

8. Assess the Crisis Situation

Crisis management while ‘on the fire’ without prior situation assesment can have dire consequences for your company. Reacting without adequate information is a classic “shoot first and ask questions afterwards” situation in which your company could be the primary victim. But if you’ve done all your homework, it’s a “simple” matter of having the Crisis Communications Team on the receiving end of information coming in from your communications “tree,” . It ensures that the right type of information is being provided so that you can proceed with determining the appropriate response consisting of ‘holding statements’ and adequate ‘on the go’ answers.

Assessing the crisis situation is, therefore, the first crisis communications step you can’t take in advance. But if you haven’t prepared in advance, your reaction will be delayed by the time it takes your in-house staff or quickly-hired consultants to run through steps 1 to 7. Furthermore, a hastily created crisis communications strategy and team are never as efficient as those planned and rehearsed in advance.

9. Identify Key Messages

With holding statements available as a starting point, the Crisis Communications Team must continue developing the crisis-specific messages required for any given situation. Your team already knows what type of information its stakeholders are looking for. What should those stakeholders know about this crisis and how your company is going to solve it? Keep it simple and concise — have no more than three main messages for all stakeholders and, as necessary, some audience-tailored messages for individual groups of stakeholders.

10. Dealing with Anger & Other Negative Reactions

No matter what the nature of a crisis, no matter whether it’s good news or bad…no matter how carefully you’ve prepared and responded…some of your stakeholders are not going to react the way you want them to. This can be immensely frustrating. What can you do in that situation? First of all, you need to think positively.

Take an objective look at the reactions in question. Is it your fault, or their unique interpretation? Decide if another communication to those stakeholders is likely to change their impression for the better. Decide if another communication to those stakeholders could make the situation worse. If, after considering these factors, you think it’s still worth more communication, then take your best shot! Not having crisis management team can be one of the worst negligence in your company. Choose to be part of the prepared minority. Your stakeholders and shareholders will appreciate it!

(Source: blog.evoquepr.com)

*2

Mail sent by Narayan Murthy to all Infosys staff

It’s half past 8 in the office but the lights are still on… PCs still running, coffee machines still buzzing… And who’s at work? Most of them ??? Take a closer look…

All or most specimens are ?? Something male species of the human race…

Look closer… again all or most of them are bachelors…

And why are they sitting late? Working hard? No way!!! Any guesses??? Let’s ask one of them… Here’s what he says… ‘What’s there 2 do after going home…Here we get to surf, AC, phone, food, coffee that is why I am working late…Importantly no bossssssss!!!!!!!!!!!’

This is the scene in most research centers and software companies and other off-shore offices.

Bachelors ‘Passing-Time’ during late hours in the office just bcoz they say they’ve nothing else to do… Now what r the consequences…

‘Working’ (for the record only) late hours soon becomes part of the institute or company culture.

With bosses more than eager to provide support to those ‘working’ late in the form of taxi vouchers, food vouchers and of course good feedback, (oh, he’s a hard worker….. goes home only to change..!!). They aren’t helping things too…

To hell with bosses who don’t understand the difference between ‘sitting’ late and ‘working’ late!!!

Very soon, the boss start expecting all employees to put in extra working hours.

So, My dear Bachelors let me tell you, life changes when u get married and start having a family… office is no longer a priority, family is… and That’s when the problem starts… b’coz u start having commitments at home too.

For your boss, the earlier ‘hardworking’ guy suddenly seems to become a ‘early leaver’ even if u leave an hour after regular time… after doing the same amount of work.

People leaving on time after doing their tasks for the day are labelled as work-shirkers…

Girls who thankfully always (its changing nowadays… though) leave on time are labelled as ‘not up to it’. All the while, the bachelors pat their own backs and carry on ‘working’ not realizing that they r spoiling the work culture at their own place and never realize that they would have to regret at one point of time.

So what’s the moral of the story?? * Very clear, LEAVE ON TIME!!! * Never put in extra time ‘ unless really needed ‘ * Don’t stay back unnecessarily and spoil your company work culture which will in turn cause inconvenience to you and your colleagues.

There are hundred other things to do in the evening..

Learn music…..

Learn a foreign language…

Try a sport… TT, cricket………..

Importantly,get a girl friend or boy friend, take him/her around town…

  • And for heaven’s sake, net cafe rates have dropped to an all-time low (plus, no fire-walls) and try cooking for a change.

Take a tip from the Smirnoff ad: ’Life’s calling, where are you??’

Please pass on this message to all those colleagues and please do it before leaving time, don’t stay back till midnight to forward this!!!

IT’S A TYPICAL INDIAN MENTALITY THAT WORKING FOR LONG HOURS MEANS VERY HARD WORKING & 100% COMMITMENT ETC.

PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY SIT LATE IN THE OFFICE DON’T KNOW TO MANAGE THEIR TIME. SIMPLE !

Regards, NARAYAN MURTHY.

"Social Media has become one of the most powerful influences on the global society to-date. It is an amazing prospect when you consider that everyday members of society are considered just as and sometimes even more inspirational than magnates of any"

Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry: The Power of Social Media

Wooflr

Wooflr

*7

(Source: myfunnylittleworld)

Why Tesla Motors Is Betting On The Model S

Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors isn’t just an electric car company—it’s perhaps the greatest test of Silicon Valley’s innovation model. And now is do-or-die time, when everything is riding on a new $50,000 sedan.

When Tesla Motors moved into its new Palo Alto headquarters in 2010, CEO Elon Musk raised a flute of Champagne and toasted his cheering staff. In a light, elegant accent—a remnant of 17 years growing up in South Africa—Musk said to the crowd: “Here’s to creating the greatest car company of the 21st century, and to making a real difference in the world, and to moving us off fucking oil as fast as possible.” You can actually watch Musk doing this if you’re curious, about 80 minutes into the documentary Revenge of the Electric Car. But, in fact, this is the kind of thing that Musk says all the time, in television interviews and at technology conferences, and he’s been saying it about his firm even before people began paying much attention. Back in 2006, for instance, two years before Tesla started deliveries of the sporty $109,000 Tesla Roadster, its first (and so far only) model, Musk happened to write on his blog that the master plan for his company was fairly simple: 1. Build sports car 2. Use that money to build an affordable car 3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car 4. While doing above, also provide zero-emission electric-power generation options

What rankles Musk is how often his master plan gets ignored. Sitting at his desk in Palo Alto on a January morning, Musk tells me he has been repeatedly criticized for being an elitist—“one who thinks there’s a shortage of sports cars for rich people.” He seems resigned to the fact that the proof that he is not a snob will only arrive in good time. Soon enough, Tesla will demonstrate to the world that its products are not for millionaires but for everyone. And the same kind of proof that silences the critics who cry elitism will likewise burn the stock-market speculators who are betting big money that Tesla’s failure is imminent. “We’re the third-most-shorted stock on the Nasdaq,” Musk tells me, looking somewhat incredulous. Then he laughs. This actually cheers him up. “All I can say is if you’re shorting Tesla at the end of this year, it’s going to sting,” Musk says. “It’s going to sting a lot.”

Whether this turns out to be true or not, Tesla Motors is now poised to build its first semi- affordable car, which puts it between steps one and two of Musk’s master plan. By July, the company says it will begin delivering its new Model S sedan, a fully electric vehicle that’s being manufactured at Tesla’s new factory, in Fremont, California. The Model S seats between five and seven passengers; it will start at about half the price of the Roadster—$49,900—placing it in potential competition with a variety of so-called mass luxury cars like BMW’s 5 series and the Audi A7. Another Tesla model, an SUV known as the Model X, was unveiled in early February and will likely hit the market sometime at the beginning of 2014, at prices close to the Model S. Yet further down the road, should Tesla survive and thrive, a prospect that is by no means certain, things get more interesting. Later that year, a third-generation Tesla Motors car will be unveiled. This is step three on the Musk master plan. The vehicle—it’s not yet named—will be an affordable $30,000 car. It truly may be a Tesla for the masses.

You might think of Tesla as a company that exists to sell electric cars. Yet after spending time with Musk, you begin to see that Tesla is not really a company that exists to sell electric cars. Rather, Tesla is a company that exists to overturn the entire global automotive infrastructure, an infrastructure that presently functions on petroleum and internal combustion engines but in Musk’s belief will eventually, and inevitably, glide forth on exhaust-free electricity. To Musk, the most significant problem with this transition is that we don’t know how fast it can or will happen. And this leads to other questions. How quickly will Musk be able to scale up his business to have an actual impact on the world? And when will his competitors—some of whom, Toyota and Daimler included, have paid Tesla hundreds of millions of dollars to build motors and battery packs for their own electric cars—get on board in a big way?

TESLA REPRESENTS THE MOST EXTREME TEST IN MODERN HISTORY OF THE LIMITS AND CAPABILITIES OF THE SILICON VALLEY MODEL.

Another problem is that Tesla Motors is doing something hard. Not hard in the way that working day and night on a new website or a social-media launch is hard. What Tesla Motors is doing is hard in a way that makes your mind ache. The difficulty of the endeavor—making machines that are big, heavy, and incredibly complicated; making machines that require 1,400 employees to design, engineer, and manufacture; making machines that consist of thousands of parts, sourced from all around the world, that must work together flawlessly for years on end; making machines that must be regulated at every step for safety and emissions; making machines that traditionally have slender profit margins; making machines that use a radical new technology with a track record of only a few years; and making machines that in their electric incarnations have never appealed to a large market of buyers—explains why most entrepreneurs would rather start a business moving electrons around the Internet than within a car motor. If launching a major new automobile company is close to nuts—“probably the hardest thing in the world,” as one auto analyst told me recently—then launching a major new electric automobile company is certifiable. You might as well light a bonfire in downtown Palo Alto and burn a billion dollars. Tesla Motors almost certainly represents the most extreme test of the limits and capabilities of the Silicon Valley model of innovation. Musk’s startup is built on a defiant and scrappy ethos, and it intends to demonstrate that a product that has long been the exclusive bailiwick of Detroit engineers can be made smarter, faster, cheaper, and more attractive by a bunch of guys in California, Musk included, who don’t tuck in their shirts. Of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, Musk remarks, “I think the youngest of them is 90 years old.” The most common refrain he’s heard over the years is that Tesla can’t possibly succeed because nobody has succeeded in nearly a century. Indeed, Tesla and Musk are frequently lumped with the upstart Tucker Sedan (launched by Preston Tucker; bankrupt 1949) and the insurgent DMC-12 (launched by John DeLorean; bankrupt 1982). “If I had a dollar for every time someone brought up Tucker or DeLorean,” Musk tells me, “I wouldn’t have needed to do a bloody IPO.” Did he know how difficult this would turn out to be from the start, I ask? “Yes.” Was he surprised by how hard it actually was? “No.” After a pause, he adds, “When we got Tesla going at the very beginning, if you asked me what I thought the odds of success were, I would have said less than 50%. I would have said that failure is the most likely outcome.” But he would not say that anymore. To put it starkly, the future of Musk’s company now hinges on the success of the Model S. He has put all his chips on the table; his company has even suspended production of the Tesla Roadster for several years to focus on the new model. If the Model S has “hiccups,” the term carmakers use to describe modest production glitches, it could likely get past them. But if the car has larger issues of performance, safety, or durability, it gets more difficult to see how Tesla could endure. Even with its alliances with other automakers, the company could be hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole. And Musk’s public assurance of company profitability in 2013 would likewise be jeopardized. “It’s a make-or-break product for us,” J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer, tells me one afternoon. The big car companies have a lot of models, he remarks, and success for them can be a game of statistics. Some models hit it big, and by doing so they compensate for models that tank. Tesla has no room for error. “We’re very cognizant of that fact,” Straubel says. “The Model S has to be better than all the other cars. Not just okay. Or else we’ve failed.”

Straubel and Musk both work out of the second floor of Tesla’s headquarters, in a gymnasium-size room where most of the company’s business is done. Hundreds of staffers, hunched in front of computer monitors, sit crowded together. There are no cubicles; in the company’s quest for efficiency, all the desks are Ikea tables. Musk, who goes to the office two days a week (he lives in L.A. rather than the Valley and spends a significant part of the week at his other big startup, SpaceX), sits to the side of the big room, a few feet away from Straubel, at a polished wood desk. Other than a MacBook Pro, a water bottle, and a mug of coffee, Musk’s desk is clean. “These days, I work probably 85 hours a week, maybe 90,” he tells me. While he’s now at the office part-time, he says he still manages the company 24/7 and that no nuance of engineering and design is beneath his scrutiny. I heard this from a half-dozen others at Tesla too—that Musk’s involvement verges on that of a Jobsian obsessive, which is arguably not a bad thing when your company has to build something that is essentially flawless. How The Model S Moves

  1. BATTERY Like all electric cars, the Model S’s motor is fueled by a pack of lithium-ion batteries—in this case, a flat pack of them embedded underneath the floor of the car. The lowest-capacity Model S battery powers the car up to 160 miles per charge—at least 60 more than most competitors’. That may increase the battery’s life span, because fewer charging cycles are needed.
  2. MOTOR When you press the car’s pedal, you increase electricity flow from the battery to the motor. Unlike a gas-powered internal combustion engine, the Model S’s motor is fairly simple: The electricity creates two magnetic fields, causing a magnetized component to spin around, which creates the mechanical energy that activates the hardware that turns the car’s wheels.
  3. SYSTEM While a gas-powered engine system has many moving parts, electric cars have relatively few—no fuel lines, tanks, or exhaust—meaning the car is more efficient in using energy. About 75% of the battery’s energy goes into moving the car; in a gas-powered car, that number is about 20%.
  4. BRAKING When you hit the brake in a gas-powered car, momentum and energy is lost as heat. In the Model S, something different happens: The motor becomes a generator, spinning in the opposite direction and turning the excess mechanical energy back into electricity that partially recharges the battery. —Lindsey Kratochwill Downstairs from Musk’s office is Room 24M, a cavernous, high-ceiling garage brightened by hanging fluorescent lights, where the company’s new cars get evaluated. During my January visit, most of the spots here are taken up by what’s known as the Model S “beta” fleet—several dozen early-production, not-for-sale Model S cars, all painted black and all given a number. Each beta is for a different type of testing and data collection—on brakes, suspension, noise and vibration, crashworthiness, and so forth. Tesla is not letting any outsiders drive the vehicle yet, but Ali Javidan, who runs the garage, offers me the shotgun seat in beta car No. 24. “The interior isn’t finished,” he says as we pile in, but everything else is pretty close to operational. There is no way to turn a Model S “on”; you merely need a key fob in your pocket and a sensor allows you to drive once you’re settled in. We head out of the garage and up into the hills, on the winding roads above the Tesla offices. The car is sleek and smooth. And whisper quiet. One of the hallmarks of a well-engineered electric car is its torque—that is, what drives its acceleration. In part this is because electric-vehicle (EV) technology is significantly more efficient than a gas engine. I tell Javidan the car feels fast, and he looks at me quizzically. “I only had the pedal down a quarter of the way,” he says. So he floors it, and my head immediately snaps back, not unpleasantly, against the headrest. To understand why the Model S is innovative as well as risky, a quick gearhead primer is useful. Electric cars are in certain aspects much simpler than gas cars. There are fewer moving parts, and there’s no engine of any kind. Electric cars have a motor, which in the Model S is fairly small—about the size of a watermelon—and is located between the back rear wheels. The motor runs on electricity stored in lithium-ion cells, thousands of small batteries, that in this particular model are arranged in a rectangular “flat pack” compartment that in effect forms the floor of the car. The software of the car is in an essential component too; through something called a drive inverter, it regulates how stored energy in the battery pack is used by the car’s motor.

How you know you’re looking at the Model S—or any electric car—from above: There’s no tailpipe. PHOTO BY JOAO CANZIANI Musk and others at Tesla contend that the Model S may be the first mass-produced car ever designed, from the ground up, with the specific purpose of being an EV; therefore any design conventions of gas-burning technology have been avoided. (The Nissan Leaf is an adaptation of the Nissan Versa.) On a more granular level, though, it’s not a simple matter to convey how Tesla’s technology may give it a comparative advantage over the competition. The company has more than 300 patents on its technology, all of them highly technical, and in addition has a fair amount of proprietary engineering. In the most general terms, it’s probably fair to say that the company’s expertise resides in how it has designed the circuitry in its large battery pack, how it cools those batteries, and how its sophisticated software regulates the power flow between the battery pack and the motor. The software especially, which can translate into large efficiency gains for a car, may be Tesla’s biggest advantage. Straubel notes that one benefit of being located in the Valley, as opposed to Detroit, is that it offers the company a huge pool of software engineers. “We’re in the best place in the world for that,” he says, adding that it goes with Tesla’s insurgent approach. Whereas the established car companies tend to approach car design “with a deep comfort with internal combustion engines and a deep skepticism of software and electricity, we’re the opposite.” Still, even if a Tesla proves itself as both simpler and more sophisticated than a conventional car, there’s plenty that can go awry. Musk tells me he thinks the Model S has already made it over the most difficult hurdles. But it is hard to say for sure. “What could go wrong?” says Adam Jonas, an auto analyst at Morgan Stanley. “New technology, new factory, new manufacturing techniques, new company, new distribution channels—there are very few things here that aren’t new.” Jonas actually sees a bright future for the company, but he acknowledges that the road ahead will be difficult. And for Tesla, he adds, the bar is set extraordinarily high. To Musk, the conventional thinking about the EV market is one reason why so many people fail to grasp Tesla Motors’ potential. At the moment, fewer than 13 million cars and small trucks are sold in the U.S. each year. About 2% of those are pure electrics or hybrids. The accepted wisdom, Musk argues, is that “there’s a market for electric cars and all electric cars compete against each other for that market. But that’s just the wrong paradigm.” Musk does not believe the Model S or X will compete with other EVs for dominion over a tiny slice of the consumer market. Models S and X will instead compete with gas-burning BMWs and Lexuses. And because Musk is assured his EV technology will prove superior in performance (and emissions), it will thus succeed. Over the course of several years, Tesla sold about 2,400 Roadster sports cars. The company is planning to produce about 6,000 Model S cars this year, but next year it intends to scale up to 20,000. These numbers are not large for a big carmaker—Toyota sells more Camrys in a month than Tesla plans to sell in a year. Still, for an automotive startup, they seem heroic. But most of the auto analysts I spoke with think Tesla’s sales projections are still far too high, a belief reinforced by modest sales figures for the Leaf and Chevy Volt. “Is 20,000 in sales optimistic? That’s the billion-dollar question,” says Brett Smith, a codirector at the Center for Automotive Research in Detroit. “I think there is a market for Tesla’s product, but I don’t know how large that segment is. And frankly I’m not sure it’s as large as they hope.” When I talked with Bob Lutz, the former GM vice chairman who spearheaded the development of the Volt, he told me he believes the Model S, which he considers a striking design, will be a success. He is less certain about the sales numbers or Tesla’s long-term success. And he doubts the company is doing anything in terms of technology that the bigger carmakers couldn’t do if they decided to enter the EV market with gusto. But Lutz doubts that will happen soon. “Look, neither the Nissan Leaf nor the Chevy Volt are being yanked out of the hands of producers by eager consumers,” he admits. “The media might have you believe, Gosh, in 10 years it’s all going to be EVs. But it’s just not happening. The average American consumer is delighted with gasoline vehicles and is in no rush to change.” Not long ago, I spoke with Paul Scott, a longtime EV advocate who now works selling Nissan Leafs in downtown Los Angeles. The demand for the Leaf through 2011, he said, “was just outstanding.” Scott sold nearly 200. But then Leaf production caught up with demand and what Scott perceives to be an initial group of early adopters all received their vehicles. “Then January came,” Scott says, “and I didn’t sell a single car the entire month.” The EV market remains enigmatic. And future sales may depend less on performance—or environmentalism—than on economics. At the moment, what’s actually driving EV sales is government policy. Car companies, with their sights set on meeting high-mileage and low-emissions requirements for their fleets, view electric and hybrid vehicles as crucial to their vehicle portfolio. At the same time, customer rebates of up to $7,500 from the federal government and up to $2,500 from the state of California bring these cars into the realm of affordability. Yet two other factors shift the equation: The price of gas, though climbing, has remained fairly low over the past year, and the price of lithium-ion batteries is fairly high. By the calculations of Menahem Anderman, arguably the country’s leading lithium-ion battery analyst, gas would have to be about $10 a gallon to recoup the lifetime cost of an EV like the Leaf. Anderman believes the economics look far better for the new plug-in Toyota Prius—$6 gas makes it a sensible economic proposition. In sum, his firm projects that the global EV market in 2015 will be quite modest in size (250,000 in sales) and will be dominated by Japanese and German automakers. Tesla, in his estimation, would be lucky to sell 15,000 cars. He might be wrong, of course. A number of car analysts have far rosier projections for Tesla. And in any event, Tesla’s Model S presents a confusing test case. It’s a stylish, high-performance car, with a battery pack that gives it greater range (between 160 and 300 miles before recharging, depending on the model) than any other electric car. And EVs like Tesla’s seem to be evolving at an astonishing rate. Straubel, Tesla’s CTO, has little doubt that EVs will soon become competitive, even without incentives, with gas cars. “There’s no fundamental law in physics that says you can’t make batteries with much higher energy density and much lower costs,” he tells me. By Straubel’s calculations, if batteries get 50% better, it will put EVs on an even playing field with gas cars. “Between the time we did Roadster and Model S, the batteries have improved by about 40%,” he says. “That’s a pretty big number. That’s about four years. And if that same thing happens with Model S, you could have an upgrade battery pack that’s half the size in five years than what it is today.” Such leaps are unheard of in car technology, he adds. “Engines don’t drop in size by half in a few years. It doesn’t happen. It’s almost like the properties of steel are changing year by year.” This line of sight gives Straubel and Musk faith in their business model. But they’re also buoyed by customer enthusiasm, which may be telling skeptics something the economic models can’t. When I ask Musk if it’s possible that Tesla could fail to sell 20,000 Model S cars annually, he says that it already has more than 8,000 preorders. And Tesla does not advertise, does not give discounts, and has never given any test-drives. Word has spread virally. “So we’re in the wrong sort of reference frame,” Musk adds. “We’re sold out—I mean, we’re sold out until February of next year. I haven’t checked the latest numbers. We might be sold out until March. So clearly we do not yet have any kind of demand problem. In fact, our problem is one of supply. Therefore our focus needs to be—and it is—on producing the Model S, bringing it to market as soon as we can.” I ask if it is likely that once he exhausts the first pool of early buyers he will find demand evaporate, just as Paul Scott discovered with his Nissan Leafs. “Our Model S reservations have been accelerating,” Musk counters. “If you want a Model S, don’t think you can just wait and pick one up. The time is getting longer, not shorter, to buy one.” One afternoon in California, I make a visit to the Tesla factory in Fremont, about 30 minutes northeast of the company’s HQ. For years, the factory was operated jointly by Toyota and GM; it was known as NUMMI (New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.). Tesla bought most of the factory buildings in 2010 for $42 million—the equivalent of pennies on the dollar. With the help of a $465 million federal loan (another example of federal policy nurturing the fledgling EV industry), the company began a strenuous effort to rehabilitate the old space. When I visit the plant, the final beta versions of the Model S are making their way through a gleaming new assembly area. When it’s up to speed, the factory should turn out 80 a day. If there are any suspicions that Tesla has more modest ambitions than it lets on, a visit to the 5.5-million-square-foot plant will quickly dispel them. “Elon wants to fill up this factory,” Gilbert Passin, Tesla’s VP of manufacturing, tells me during a tour. Passin, a native of France and a manufacturing wizard who spent his career at Toyota and Volvo, is driving us around in a golf cart. The plant is almost too large to walk through; we go past the production lines, the tool dies and presses, the plastic molding shop, in and out of buildings, and on and on for what seems like miles. “This factory was capable of producing a half-million vehicles by NUMMI,” Passin explains. “We obviously are starting with a modest contribution of 20,000 a year. But we have all this, all these buildings.” By Passin’s estimate, Tesla now takes up about 15% of the factory, most of which remains grimy and locked up. In many respects, the Tesla plant is not a traditional car factory. “You have to understand,” Passin says, “with a fraction of the cost of what others would spend, and a fraction of the time, and a fraction of the resources, we are trying to do something really kick-ass.” Building a different kind of car technology means you can build it in a different way, and possibly much more efficiently. At the factory, the large Tesla battery packs are assembled on the second floor and are eventually joined with the car chassis and bodies on the ground floor. But the chassis move along not on an automated assembly line but on bright red robotic carts that follow a magnetic strip on the concrete floor. Everything is electric. When a Tesla Model S is complete, in fact, you can actually test-drive the car on a bumpy road built within the factory. (The cars have no tailpipe or emissions, making them indoor-friendly.) Passin also points out to me that Tesla is trying to avoid using outside suppliers for parts whenever possible. The company, moreover, has the highly unusual intention to make its own dies to stamp sheet metal to its own specifications. “If you master that,” he tells me, “you master the know-how that goes along with it.” As he puts it, “We want to do everything ourselves.” This may explain why there’s a lot of chatter in Silicon Valley about whether Tesla can be the next Apple. Of course, designing a physical product and producing it in a vertically controlled manner doesn’t mean you’re the next Apple. There are nevertheless similarities. Tesla is in the process of building a network of elegant stores in affluent areas (all of them overseen, incidentally, by George Blankenship, an Apple retail veteran). And there seems a conceptual kinship in the way Tesla is trying to bring an innovative, stylish design to market: by starting at a high luxury price point and then moving toward mass production, just as Musk’s master plan said it would. In certain respects this diverges from how other upstart auto companies gained a foothold. Toyota and Honda put down roots in the U.S. market by offering cheap cars with high gas mileage that caught consumers’ interest during the early 1970s gas crisis. Musk doesn’t push the Apple comparisons, but he sees them as a useful point for debate. “The only strategy that could have been successful,” he tells me, “was the one we employed, which was to start out at low volume but with a high-priced car. Because we didn’t have a billion-dollar factory. There are really two things that have to occur in order for a new technology to be affordable to the mass market. One is you need economies of scale. The other is you need to iterate on the design. You need to go through a few versions.” If it were possible for Tesla to have made a mass-market car from day one, he continues, “that is the car I would have made. That is the car I’ve always wanted to make.” Yet by Musk’s estimation, he needs at least three major versions of his automobile before he gets to what might be called his iPhone. “Think of Windows 1, 2, and 3,” he says. “Do you even remember 1 and 2? Or look at Apple. They had the Apple I, the Apple II—and the Mac. That’s what you need to do.” Musk has no doubts he will get there. Neither does Passin, who seems to look around his quiet factory and not see it as it is—a huge, dark complex that swallows up the tiny and valiant Tesla effort—but as it could be. “Two years ago, there was no manufacturing team, there was no plant, I was by myself, and Elon Musk said, ‘You have two years to create a manufacturing team, find a plant, and build a vehicle that beats all the others.’” He was at Toyota, arguably the world’s best car manufacturer. Why sign on to such a risky endeavor? “To be part of history,” he says in accented English, as he parks the cart he’s driving to face me. “How many times in your career have you been told, ‘Go create your own team, your own plant, your own process—from scratch?’ How many times in your career do you get to do that? And it’s an electric car, which no one else has done. And it’s going to be a premium sedan, which everyone is going to want. And, and, and, and. How many times are you going to have this opportunity? Zero.” He pauses to gather his thoughts. “I mean, I’m lucky I have this opportunity at all.” Passin starts the cart and we drive the long length of the factory toward the exit. It’s getting late; only a few workers remain. The sun is streaming into the enormous room through the factory’s clerestory windows. It’s bouncing off the floor’s glossy white epoxy and reflecting off the welding robots, more than I can count, all painted a bright and shiny Tesla red. In just a few weeks, production will start in earnest and sparks will be flying everywhere. But for the moment, at least, the factory is immaculate, poised for action, a place of pure possibility. Tesla Model S: The Double Threat It’s an electric car competing as a luxury sedan. How does it compare in both worlds?

PRICE* 0-to-60 TIME RANGE/MPG EQUIVALENT TESLA MODELS $49,900 6.5 seconds 160 MIles/119 MPGE** Electric Vehicles Nissan Leaf $27,700 10.3 Seconds 100 miles/99 MPGE Chevrolet Volt (hybrid) $31,645 9 seconds 35 miles/94 MPGE Mitsubishi Miev $21,625 13.4 Seconds 62 miles/112 MPGE Fisker Karma (hybrid) $95,900 6.3 Seconds 50 miles/52 MPGE Luxury Sedans Audi A7 $59,250 5.4 seconds 18 City/28 Highway Cadillac CTS-V $64,515 3.9 seconds 14 City/19 Highway Mercedes Benz E350 $50,490

6.5 Seconds 20 City/30 Highway Jaguar XF Sedan $53,000 5.5 Seconds 16 City/23 Highway *Price after federal rebate. **Miles-per-gallon equivalent for Tesla Roadster; Tesla has yet to release MPG for the Model S, but it’s likely similar. Leaf 0-to-60 time from consumer reports. Miev 0-to-60 time from motor trend. No manufacturer stats available.

(Source: Fast Company)