TAKE ACTION: The 14 Days That Saved Tesla Motors

Just a few months after having their Model S named Motor Trend’s 2012 Car of the Year, Tesla Motors found themselves staring down the barrel of a crisis that threatened to shut down the factory that produced the Model S and perhaps even the entire company itself.

Elon Musk being interviewed in March 2013 by Chris Anderson.

About six weeks ago, I finished reading Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk. Amid the dozens of stories I dog-eared and highlighted, the story of how Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to that crisis stood out above all others. His secret is really no secret at all, yet I am constantly amazed at just how often companies and individuals fail to do the same thing Musk did. Specifically: Take Action.

According to the book’s author Vance, in the first quarter of 2013 Tesla’s issues had become terminal and without a combination of selling more cars, correcting service issues, and an in-flux of cash, a Tesla stock tumble of massive proportions was a likelihood. The company was at a crossroads and something had to happen.