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Dr Sarah Taber @SarahTaber_bww
, 22 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Every time more news breaks on Tesla
Last time I talked about Tesla (July '18), it was because Cal-OSHA had launched an investigation into the company.

Tesla fanboys were convinced it was just blowback from earlier incidents and they've, like, totally for sure fixed all their problems by now, & Cal-OSHA needs to just be cool man.

Factories that fixed their problems don't have their parking lots catch on fire, y'all.
There's an interesting challenge here. It's hard to know what happens inside a factory, because it's inside 4 walls & a ceiling with restricted entry. You can't see what's going on in there.
But you *can* see their parking lot. And fun fact, a factory that's congested, chaotic, & trash-filled on the outside is always like that on the inside too.

source: have personally inspected hundreds of facilities.
It would take a lot of tweets to do just the parking lot, so we're just gonna do this @mcmansionhell-style.
And as is custom, yes, this chaotic fire problem is not just in the parking lot. The *inside,* which is easier to hide, has been having chronic fire problems for at least four years.

Read this article. There's too much shambolic to fit into tweets.…
The epicenter for the fires *inside* the plant appears to be the paint shop.

You know, that one place where you're spraying a bunch of flammable liquids around. That place!
A sane & experienced company would say "hm, flammable liquid aerosols & vapors, FIRE WILL WANT TO HAPPEN THERE, here's what we'll do to prevent:

• sprinklers
• ventilation
• paint booths (basically, do the spraying inside tents w a fume hood)
• so much training"
But Tesla is not a that company. Tesla did:

• sprinklers: so caked up with paint, water can't come out anymore
• ventilation: idk man how good can it be if the sprinklers are CAKED UP WITH PAINT
• oh they did paint booths bc they look Official
• invest? in PEOPLE?! lol
As a result, Tesla's in-plant fire rate far exceeds industry norms for auto manufacturing.

Also- if the ventilation is so bad that sprinklers are too caked up with paint to function, let's take a moment to consider what workers' lungs look like. Their workers are right to worry.
Meanwhile, a former Tesla employee whose NDA expired is telling all.

There are some doubts as to whether this guy can be real.

My $0.02: I've (briefly) had negligent horror clients before, and everything this dude has to say checks out.

I see a lot of this same behavior when ppl with a software or finance background (lbr guys they're the same industry) try to move into a business where you have to deal with real physical objects.
For most of my clients, they're getting into food rather than cars. But the foulups are the same.
1. Founder naïvely thinks they, & only they, can make [object] better than everyone else.

2. Promise investors amazing returns on short timeline.

3. Company discovers doing the thing is actually? really hard?

4. Cut every possible corner to meet timeline

5. Shit catches fire
(Literally. I had a food client who somehow caught their facility on fire bc they took so many shortcuts with facility construction.)

Tesla's not magic. It's just same negligent bullshit, different day. Down to the fires.
The post-NDA Tesla employee's remarks have some really great insights on the situation inside the company that brought its permanent-disaster status about.

Two major factors stick out:

• Overly ambitious promises to investors, that the investors actually believed

• The Darth Vader school of management.
IME companies whose existence is built around doing "sustainable" stuff are the absolute WORST with the Darth Vader school of management.

Their entire value proposition is, in many ways, emotional. So "believing in the mission" takes way outsized importance.
Leaders begin to interpret employees who speak up about real problems as "naysayers" who need to be purged.

That cult-like behavior can crop up in any shitty workplace, but the sustainability angle just cranks it all up to the nth degree.
This is not to say that I believe "sustainable businesses" are doomed to self-destruct, by any means. I 100% believe that a company can make a sustainable product & run a good plant. That's actually the only way to do it.
But "sustainable" marketing hype is incredibly effective cover for half-baked leadership. So, many half-baked leaders take advantage of it.

Tesla & Chipotle are just two really great recent examples.
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