Think of how this could have played out under different circumstances. We've already had numerous "swatting" incidents where innocent bystanders were hurt or killed.
The more I see Musk doing stupid pseudo-celebrity stuff like appearing on a kiddy Youtube channel to "review memes", the more I think he's eventually going to go the swatting route one day. He's extremely thin-skinned and responds on Twitter to even the slightest perceived slight.
I can grant credit where credit is due, Tesla did show the world and the market that an electric vehicle can have appeal and doesn't have to look like a glorified golf cart.
But I'm not going to reward them for the appalling behavior of their CEO and/or people acting at his direction in other areas.
I'm WAY less bullish on Tesla than I was a year ago.
His behavior is insane. The value of the Tesla just isn't there either and it COULD be but the over-promising and under-delivering needs to end.
The "call" as such wasn't made up -- apparently Tripp did make a call the company, and in a state of considerable emotional agitation.
Rather, it's the part about threatening to shoot the place up that was (according to the local Sheriff involved) basically made up (by the company, in its reporting to the press).
So basically an emotional phone call was recounted by a chain of people and blown out of proportion. Then the company felt the need to publicize it in order to get a little dirt on the shoes of the would be (and ultimately failed) whistleblower.
The sheriff sounds like a great and honest fellow, but the rest of this is just a mess. Of course, one employee running to the press with a "whistleblower" story that turns out to be misleading rubbish and doing billions of dollars in market damage isn't great. Responding to him this way isn't great.
What a mess.
No. For one, it wasn't described as an anonymous threat. Tesla reported to the police that they'd received a threat from Tripp. The police said "can we speak to the person who received it?", and Tesla said "Uh, no".
But then expected the police to hold press conference to talk about how Tripp is a violent, dangerous menace.
False prophet, this is why celebrity cult sucks
Not to mention that
Bloomberg and his chrones want Tesla dead at any cost and are so blinded by thier ego and the fact that elon doesn't kiss the ring of the "wall Street analyst" ass clowns. I mean who even gives a shit about Twitter the guy speaks his mind , if I were interested in investing I would focus much more on value created .
As a singular incident it wouldn't garner to much attention but Tripp's account is adding to the pile already.
Edit. Funny how all my comments received the same number of downvotes at almost the same time.
This is what's left of the fallout:
"B advised that the Tweets by Mr. Tripp yesterday were issued by him on his own accord. Mr. Tripp has clearly been impacted emotionally by what $TSLA has done to him.He is very concerned about being gagged & wants to protect the public, more than his own personal interest. ++"
"It is accurate that we no longer rep M.Tripp in any matter.Nor do we have a need for any connection whatsoever with his attys in his Nev civil action.There wont be further comment on this.We still rep K.Hansen with re to his SEC submission & do have confidence in his submission"
"Also Mr. Tripp's Twitter account WAS NOT suspended/removed by twitter this AM. He himself voluntarily terminated his twitter account on advice of myself, so that there will not b any more confusion re if he has published anything or not. There is enough confusion re $TSLA already"
Whistleblower complaints are for obvious reasons typically based on exfiltrated documents. There may be liability against the whistleblower for that, but generally that does not impair the merits of the case against the company (except to the extent the company can use threats of legal action over the documents to keep the whistleblower quiet). And in some cases there are specific legal safeguards for whistleblowers whose complaints are based on confidential documents, especially in the case of public companies: https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/court-rules-whistleblowers-can-...
Tripp believed dangerous batteries were being placed in Tesla cars being sold to the public. It seems like none have been seen in the wild -- maybe because he was wrong or maybe because his public revelations forced Tesla to change course.
> Tripp believed dangerous batteries were being placed in Tesla cars being sold to the public. It seems like none have been seen in the wild -- maybe because he was wrong or maybe because his public revelations forced Tesla to change course.
Based on his actions and his credibility problems, it is reasonable to assume he was intentionally dishonest and was pursuing a personal vendetta, rather than acting in the public interest.
The appropriate regulatory agency rather than the media.
> Where should he have published it?
Publishing internal documents is the last resort after everything else has failed.
No, that's usually the first and best option once the company has been made aware of the problem and chooses not to correct it...as is what is alleged happened here. Why make vague statements that Company X ignored Problem Y when you can just provide documents proving your claims?
Whistleblower protection laws in some cases don't even exist and even where they do you're typically not going to have a fun time if you have to use them. When it comes down to it you do what you've got to do, but going there first rather than last is not a really great idea.
> No, that's usually the first and best option once the company has been made aware of the problem and chooses not to correct it...as is what is alleged happened here. Why make vague statements that Company X ignored Problem Y when you can just provide documents proving your claims?
For one thing, documents rarely prove anything on their own (how do you even know they're not forgeries?) without the investigatory powers needed to verify the information in them. Which the government has and Twitter doesn't.
We don't. The government is also not the only entity that can perform forensics on purported documents. News companies do it all the time, and their are hundreds of e-forensics firms in the US and EU that could happily do it for a fee. There's also thousands of people with access to Twitter and the spare time to dig into any purported document leaks to verify them for accuracy. In fact, Twitter is a good (but not even remotely the best) way to get all the interested/competent parties aware of the documents.
Confirmation is having somebody to go to the place and see if the materials alleged to be there are actually there. Unless you're lucky enough for them to be clearly and unambiguously visible from public space, that means you need some kind of authorization to go in and have a look. A picture of an unknown container is not very helpful.
> In fact, Twitter is a good (but not even remotely the best) way to get all the interested/competent parties aware of the documents.
What's wrong with bringing them privately to the subset of the parties whose interest is in fixing the problem?
Moreover, "a company" doesn't do stuff, its employees do. If you're the employee, the first person whose job it is to keep the company from doing dumb stuff is you. And there is a process for that. If you're the one responsible for it, you fix it. If you're not, you alert the person who is, then their boss if that doesn't work and on up the chain to the government until it gets fixed. If that process works then the problem gets solved without there being anything to create a media storm over, and if that process would have worked but you decided to skip it then you're creating a media storm over nothing.
I don't think such a site has to be that impartial. I'll just settle for not evil. It would be best if they had competitors.
- Photos of trailers parked outside the Gigafactory full of potentially hazardous battery waste.
- Photos of shoddy workplaces within the Gigafactory and precision work being done with crude implements like Dremel tools.
- VIN numbers of cars which Tripp believed had been fitted with batteries with possibly punctured cells handled by the defective GF machine.
- Some entries in the accounting system which Tripp claimed supported his argument that waste was not being accounted for correctly.
- Photos of internal emails with Tesla execs (including Musk) where he tried to raise concerns about scrap and the general chaos at the Gigafactory.
Woa, woa, woa! You're hurting your credibility with this one!
Both sides can be true. He could have stolen Tesla’s data. He could have also thought he was whistleblowing while doing so. Either way, it doesn’t justify calling in a fake bomb threat.
Police investigated (it was a shooting incident, not a bomb threat), found no credible basis, asked to interview a witness, who Tesla declined to make available.
Why so sure he made a threat?
Sorry, ambiguous wording. I don't allege he called in a threat. Tesla publicly stated he made violent threats. The police refused to corroborate that claim. Tesla's statement was unjustified.
That's a bit more contextual.
Remember whistleblowing as an act requires people to produce confidential internal documents.
It is accurate that we no longer rep M.Tripp in any matter.Nor do we have a need for any connection whatsoever with his attys in his Nev civil action.There wont be further comment on this.We still rep K.Hansen with re to his SEC submission & do have confidence in his submission
Also Mr. Tripp's Twitter account WAS NOT suspended/removed by twitter this AM. He himself voluntarily terminated his twitter account on advice of myself, so that there will not b any more confusion re if he has published anything or not. There is enough confusion re $TSLA already
Now, he might still have a case. But I'm pretty sure the above is lawyerspeak for "client fucked up, and we don't want to deal with them anymore".
It says nothing about the merit's of the clients case, but usually says volumes about what a pain in the ass it is to work with a client like that.
Even if it doesn't say anything about the actual merit of the case, it probably says something about their chances of winning. (Since the client probably won't be able to stop their self-destructive behavior)
No -- they're simply stating the obvious: that the company's unhinged and basically sociopathic response to this incident is much worse than the any "document leaking" that Tripp may have engaged in. Especially when the "leaks" involved have turned out to be apparently quite innocuous.
Also his position and money make him more or less legally untouchable even if his image would be permanently tarnished. This goes for anyone in his position whether they have his good PR or not. Money is indeed a superpower. Just ask Batman.
Have you ever noticed how many of the greatest actors/actresses are a bit on the crazy side? Genius and "craziness" tend to go hand in hand. I believe we'll all be better off if we tolerate quite a bit of craziness from geniuses. Better art, better science, better world.
Also when I said “all my comments” I actually meant all my comments that could be downvoted. Full day. Nothing to do with the value of the comments.
Might I add the irony of you replying to my comment by speculating?
The whole calling someone a paedophile without cause thing was the final straw.
Now I just think he's a talented narcissistic arsehole.
casuistry: n: the use of clever but unsound reasoning, especially in relation to moral questions; sophistry
This makes them go to much greater lengths to protect their empires than most of us would, if plunked into such a position.
I think the power and fame has also changed Musk quite a lot, and perhaps something about his lifestyle and substance consumption has changed, because he is acting different than he had even three or four years ago... which was still well into the era of him being a billionaire.
Musk was never some wonderful person that should have been looked up to for his own merit. But I generally don't pick cars based on how much we like or dislike their CEO, and I suspect that most others don't either.
Conventional car companies have worked on electric cars, and have their own models for decades.
Tesla's unique proposition was about building an electric supercar (and even that is not working very well, profits wise).
They'll hardly be the one's replacing the mass oil and diesel cars with electric models...
I doubt regular manufacturers would have begun releasing real EV cars without their pressure.
That's not a technology thing though. Just a marketing thing.
Antinoro says he’s told his force not to bother investigating crimes at the Gigafactory unless Tesla starts cooperating. Big business, he’s decided, is its own strange world. “Standard Oil was probably as weird as Elon Musk,” he says.
Yep, this is every small town sheriff dealing with someone they believe to be a crackpot. One shouldn't play games with law enforcement.
Publicly announcing that no crimes at the Gigafactory will be investigated seems like dereliction of duty and abandoning the tax paying workers of Tesla to a potentially unsafe environment.
You seem to think that I am saying something I am not.
Did you catch the parts about Tesla harassing Tripp in a whole bunch of outlandish and basically thuggish ways in response -- ranging from a bogus $167m lawsuit up to apparently lying to the local police about him planning a mass shooting?
That's what the story was about.
Also, your assertion that there is no corroboration is wrong, the new whistleblower Sean Gouthro is corroborating Tripp's claims. This behavior is also well in line with Elon Musk's established pattern of paranoid behavior in surveiling employees.
Interesting, he was formerly "head of investigations" at Tesla and was involved with spying on Tripp back in August 2018:
> Police eventually reached Tripp, who said he was at a local casino with his family and would meet with officers. Police then heard from Gourthro again and informed him that they were set to speak with Tripp at an undisclosed location. Gourthro correctly guessed the meeting spot, telling police later that he knew because “little birds sing.” 
Now this guy is saying,
> “They had the ability to do things I didn’t even know existed,” he says. “It scared the shit out of me.” 
And Tesla is saying,
> A Tesla spokeswoman said in a statement that Gouthro’s allegations “are untrue and sensationalized,”
When you fire your head of investigations who was previously unconnected with the whistleblower.. and then deny that anything he says is true.. Yikes.
 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-03-13/when-elon... (this post's article)
Not to mention that Tesla failed to file an 8k form in a timely manner, and when it was finally filed it clearly showed that funding had not been 'secured' under any reasonable definition.
He was obsessed at the time with squeezing shorts and probably thought he could touch off a VW-style spike in the stock. Ironically, by capping the upside at $420, he presented shorts with one of the best risk-reward profiles in the stock's history, and that days intraday high has never been seen since.
Edit: The police report starting on page 4. I think it's also noteworthy that the person whose comments seemed to indicate Tesla was tracking Tripp's phone was Gourthro who has just filed a whistleblower tip (supposedly) corroborating Tripp's allegations.
Occam's Razor (and Tesla/Musks's record of erratic and vindictive behavior in other contexts) should provide ample basis for making that call.
This seems like an objectively bad idea to me. I'm not a Tesla or Musk fan, and it seems plausible he could try to destroy a whistleblower.
Even so, "innocent until proven guilty" is the better standard. Occam's Razor is greatly influenced by our priors.
You're confusing this with the legal system. Normal people outside that don't have access to formal investigative powers and resources. Their only course is to use their best judgment based on what they do know.
Where greater penalties like fines and jail are involved, a corresponding greater standard of proof is required.
A company and its CEO have way more to lose in getting caught in a lie, which puts a slight preference towards believing them in uncorroborated he-said-she-saids like this.
Also: "innocent until proven guilty" is a phrase that seems to be eroding away, which is a terrible, terrible thing. The real move here is not to believe either party until you have irrefutable evidence; there is likely some amount of wrongdoing on both sides but none of us are in a position to make judgement calls without that information.
At some point, the progression of circumstances reduces the possibility of alternatives.
On a serious note though, it does annoy me that rich people these days always seem to have an excuse for everything and they have access to the best lawyers to come up with the all the right bullshit and PR needed to protect themselves.
I bet there are a lot of wealthy criminals getting away with things simply because of the way the legal system works.
If Musk did this, then he should get some jail time because it's not acceptable. Given the power imbalance, the viciousness of this act is on par with assault.
But I would argue the larger part of the article is not about what Tripp did, but that Elon Musk likely committed a few crimes in response to it.
I've seen far too many stories where one could reasonably say "this is definitely obviously a crime, right?" and nothing happens anyways. Money is the world's cheat code.
Elon is strategically important for the US at this point, putting him to jail would wipe out billions of dollars of the US stock market, and SpaceX may be part of the future of US defense.
Is there any evidence of this, outside of him personally claiming this to be the case?
I'm too lazy to track down more right now. I don't know of anyone claiming (with evidence) that he doesn't.
In his biography there's interviews with people inside and out of spacex/tesla talking about it that are pretty convincing.
I already know the mythology surrounding his engineering credentials. But I think perpetuating it does a real disservice to the real engineers doing work on these products. Do people really think that a bright, "well read" physics undergraduate can lead the practical engineering work on rockets and cars? I find it hard to believe.
I'm sure Elon sticks himself into tons of meetings, and hence has a lot of knowledge about what's discussed. And I don't doubt that he sets the goals for the engineers to meet, makes aesthetic and design decisions like some of the interviews suggest. But I think the guys Mueller manages are the people who actually make Falcons fly.
Most people do not. Don't blame Musk for missing that memo. :P
(By the way: the book Mindset by Carol Dweck might be an eye-opener...)
Just look at the $35k Tesla that he pulled off by kicking out sales. A regular CEO wouldn't have done that. With all the chaos it has caused, Elon understands that at this point price is the most important part in the decision for buying a Tesla for lots of people, and paying sales just hinders selling.
You know that's reversed right?
Can you do that without a tesla.com email address ?
Is his salary in any way tied to touting Elon Musk?
Hate the guy for his personality all you want; I can certainly understand why. But there's no need to downplay his achievements or skills.
Presumably, if he's down on the factory floor looking at things, he should be wearing a hard hat, so good for him. If he's bolting together cars himself, that's probably marketing.
That settles it then. Is it a yellow hardhat?
He just hit the fortune with PayPal. The other stuff (his "involvement" in engineering etc) is the classic media hagiography of powerful CEOs.
>He borrowed all of my college texts on rocket propulsion when we first started working together in 2001. We also hired as many of my colleagues in the rocket and spacecraft business that were willing to consult with him. ... I found out later that he was talking to a bunch of other people about rocket designs and collaborating on some spreadsheet level systems designs for launchers. Once our dealings with the Russians fell apart, he decided to build his own rocket and this was the genesis of SpaceX.
Additional info from Jim from a follow-up interview:
>Cantrell ... loaned him some textbooks to study. The books were "Rocket Propulsion Elements," "Aerothermodynamics of Gas Turbine and Rocket Propulsion," "Fundamentals of Astrodynamics," and the "International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems." He would quote passages verbatim from these books. He became very conversant in the material. ... Musk would absorb this information and then hold his own in conversations — and he didn't hold back.
Additionally, Ashlee Vance's biography  describes his day-to-day as "quite involved with rocket design" at SpaceX and goes into a lot of detail about spending time on the floor assisting SpaceX scientists with their designs.
Obviously any single person at a company the size of SpaceX doesn't individually design and build a rocket by themselves, but it's generally agreed upon that Elon is knowledgeable in rocket science and contributes many ideas to the designs.
If Musk slipped in the shower and cracked his head, life (for the companies) would go on.
Edit (now that the above post has been edited): I agree that the lack of an unequivocal follow-up to the SuperMicro story -- that is saying neither "we admit we screwed up" or "we stand by the main points of our original story" or even "we need more time to look into this pls" -- is quite troubling.
Still, you have to look at their broader track record, compare them to other outlets in their weight class (nearly all of which, like the NYT in particular, have indulged in many more, and far greater follies). That and the fact that what they're reporting in this particular case is consistent with what we know to expect from Tesla/Musk after various other incidents.
I would say their credibility stands at "significantly compromised", which is damning enough.
With the caveat that I find Bunnie Huang credible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Huang_(hacker)
Specifically - does it make Bloomberg's telling of event more or less credible?
Spreading rumours Tripp is homicidal, or secretly surveilling texts & emails without his knowledge - both alone could be prosecuted as criminal charges. Instead the absolute worst that will happen to Musk or anyone involved is being thrown out of Tesla.
The sheriff "says he’s told his force not to bother investigating crimes at the Gigafactory unless Tesla starts cooperating."
Remember folks, if you wanna be a criminal, start a company first. That way, your crimes become the companies crimes and your jail time becomes a fine! Thats the American Way.
He purposely leaked negative and false information of no material consequence to Linet Lopez, one of the top FUD reporters on Tesla at the time. Look up her articles over 2014 - 2017. Her full time job at the time was to trash the Tesla brand.
The "I'm not smart enough to sabotage assembly systems" remark was also proven false. His github and stackoverflow accounts were found and show his as a capable coder who would have had no trouble at all modifying the production systems he sabotaged.
He very quickly deleted both as soon as this came but the posts still exist today.
His trial is ongoing:
I suspect this article will not age well. Either way it will serve its purpose as a hit piece before Model Y announcement.
Should we really allow Tesla to get away clean after their report to the police while Jessie Smollett faces felonies?
Stating Tesla shipped battery packs with punctured cells.
Stating he does not know how to code to sabotage assembly line.
Stating the waste rate at Gigafactory was abnormally high.
Stating he didnt try to frame a fellow employee.
The case will reveal more I'm sure, these are not hard things to prove.
Remember the British diver Unsworth. Or how tried to trigger a short squeeze by lying on Twitter multiple times. He called a respected non-profit media organization an extremist organization" after they did a piece critical of Tesla.
Trying to ruin someone's life is having your heart in the right place?
The story published by Bloomberg does not actually cite any sources, only what is already publicly known and what Tripp has personally claimed; and seems to just run entirely on emotions, not facts. The whistleblower did, indeed, blow the whistle, and this seems to be one of only two provable and externally verifiable fact in the entire story (the other one being he once worked there and was fired from there; even the internal investigation at Tesla over Tripp's actions, according to that story, just seems to be Tripp's claims to such).
There is no proof that Tesla invented the shooter story, and it is also at least as equally possible that someone outside of Tesla saw a chance to throw a spanner in the works and take advantage of the situation. It is also just as equally possible that Tripp had expressed feelings of shooting up the place, but lacked the materials, know how, or actual willpower to achieve the act, and told someone they intended to perform the act.
If law enforcement believes that Elon, or someone from his company, made false claims to suppress Tripp's speech, then charges should be pressed. A quick Google tells me no charges have been pressed, and it does not seem likely charges will ever be pressed.
I know some people just have an eternal hateboner for Elon's style as CEO and the way he personally conducts himself as a human being, but the only thing I care about is facts, not feelings. This entire story is just summed up as "whistleblower ex-employee claims Tesla called cops on possible revenge shooting after being fired for violating employment contract; Tesla released statement claiming that they believed it was a credible threat and no shooting ultimately occurred."
What I said in quotes, obviously, does not sell newspapers and is not sensational enough to even warrant a second glance from a reader.
The recounting of events from the Sheriff involved clearly suggest otherwise.
>Physical Risks and Side Effects of Combining Alcohol and Ambien
>When mixed together, Ambien and alcohol can enhance each other’s intoxicating effects. The following effects may be felt: [...] Confusion, Difficulty concentrating, Impaired cognition, Impaired judgment [...]
For a hit piece on Musk, I don't think that's the most flattering quote for the victim in this story.
They begin by talking about Martin Tripp's story (without any real details of what exactly happened), then they move to some random security guard with claims of sex and drugs in the factory, then they jump back to Tripp's story again and it takes a while for the article to get to the real point of Tripp's story which is:
> "While Gouthro was trying to address the sex, drugs, and raucous disorganization, Tripp decided to go public. He had access to Tesla’s internal production database and dug into it to figure out just how much material was being wasted. He decided to go to Lopez, who’d written about Tesla for Business Insider, emailing and texting her numbers showing wasted material and pictures of battery parts that he said could catch fire.
> Tripp hoped that when Lopez’s story came out, Tesla would be forced to make the changes he’d suggested."
So he actually leaked information. I'm not a Tesla defender but it feels like Bloomberg is trying really hard to portrait Tesla in the worst possible picture here.
Well, that's what a whistleblower does, isn't it?
How would a whistleblower reveal that a company is doing questionable things without leaking information?
Musk in practice isn't a scientist or engineer. He has never built anything in a professional setting. He has discovered nothing. He belongs to the business class. In our society we give the business class a lot of privilege, power, and general leeway. Most of it quite frankly undeserved.
It shouldn't be a surprise that yet again, without reasonable channels about who is "successful" and why, we end up with a class of people filled with lackluster individuals. Musk being the current shining example; a person who apparently isn't smart enough to stop himself from acting foolish or unethical in any setting.
He's played games with the companies finances, engaged in deplorable behavior, and is just a generally unsavory person.
SpaceX and Tesla do not need Musk. They never have. No company or society needs people like Musk. Do not let the cult of personality and his myths lend any amount of credence to his efficacy as a CEO or how impactful he actually is as a person.
Kick him out and let him fade away.