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Tesla CEO Wrong About Model S Timeline? $1,000,000 Says Yes

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the $1,000,000-also-says-no dept.

Businesses 138

thecarchik writes with the snarky-sounding claim that Elon Musk, CEO of electric-car startup Tesla Motors, sometimes says "things that later prove not to be quite true." thecarchik continues: In that, he's like many entrepreneurs, who spend a portion of their time persuading the unconvinced and painting pictures of the rosy future, despite inconvenient facts that may contradict that vision of the future. And in the case of the 2012 Tesla Model S all-electric sports sedan, which Tesla says it will launch before the end of next year, skeptics abound. Pulitzer Prize wining Journalist Dan Neil said the schedule promised by Musk was 'an audacious timeline that makes many in the car industry roll their eyes.' And, he added, 'Even people inside Tesla are leery.' The implication was clear: Neil didn't believe Tesla would be able to deliver on Musk's promises. A week later, Musk e-mailed Neil and told him in no uncertain terms that he was wrong. After several lively rounds of e-mail, he challenged Musk to a $1 million bet on the outcome based on the Tesla Model S hitting 4 targets. If the Tesla Model S misses any of the targets, Neil wins the bet." I'd like to see many more media statements backed by explicit wagers, and not just the indirect gamble of the stock market.

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How it should work (3, Interesting)

hairyfish (1653411) | about 3 years ago | (#37225712)

The system now is broken. Today's CEO get paid multi-million dollar bonuses win, lose or draw. Someone has to lose, and right now that is the rest of us. Every CEO should be given an agreed goal, and their bonus works both ways. If they achieve it they win their bonus, if they lose they pay out. How much more effective would executives be under this system? It would certainly weed about the bullshit-artists and big talkers.

Re:How it should work (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 years ago | (#37225742)

Today's CEO get paid multi-million dollar bonuses win, lose or draw. Someone has to lose, and right now that is the rest of us. Every CEO should be given an agreed goal, and their bonus works both ways

You are probably (certainly?) right the case of most CEOs. However, Elon Musk has invested a lot of his own money in Tesla and if it fails, he stands to lose that investment -- far, far more than he has likely received from Tesla in his position as CEO.

Re:How it should work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225788)

And let's not forget, we're not talking about a typical car company CEO. This is a capable engineer and businessman that, as another project, built a successful aerospace company that designed and built capable launch platforms in fractions of the time it would take NASA... who then contracted him for large cargo lifts and future manned spaceflight.

Bold, yes. That's his style. But if anyone can deliver on crazy-bold statements, it's probably him.

Re:How it should work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225862)

Christ, I love Greek! Women just don't seem to understand that a man can find just as much pleasure in the warm confines of a well- muscled ass as they can in the satin embrace of a well-wetted cunt. Maybe we men have conditioned them too well to ignoring one hole for the other: nonetheless, every man I've talked to about it loves Greek and every woman who I've talked to about it has been less than enthusiastic. So imagine my surprise last weekend when Kathleen treated me to the joys of anal sex in what must be the first time in five or six years.

The night started our strangely. Kathleen had just finished re- arranging her large library and was exhausted. As suits my biological clock, I was just coming awake at 10 PM when she was turning in. She invited me to bed and I politely declined: I was horny as usual and told her I'd keep her awake. After a couple of more requests from her, I stripped and crawled in beside her. Kathleen loves to snuggle and wasted no time in curling her small body up next to mine. I turned and kissed her. She was oddly responsive for her tired state, and teased me with a hint of tongue in her kisses. I reached down to feel her muff and found it just beginning to rev as her right hand slipped down her belly to her clit.

I took up what has become my customary position between her legs - kneeling and using my cock as a sex toy to tickle her lower labia and the entrance to her cunt. But this time I let my aim wander lower to the wonderful curve where ass, crotch, and leg meet. I rubbed my cock against this soft crescent and expanded the stroke to brush against the entrance to her ass. I noticed that every time that my prick touched her rosebud, her strokes on her clit quickened. It wasn't long before I was pressing the tip of my cock against her asshole.

Surprise! My cock slipped easily into her ass until the entire head was buried inside, and just as I was about to pull out and apoligize, she handed me a bottle of sex lubricant and said "What the fuck? Why not?". I pulled back and poured the lubricant on my hard cock and noticed her pussy was swollen and very wet. I worked my cock back into its previous nest. It was so easy. I could feel her ass muscles relaxing and opening for me. I eased ever so slowly deeper. Such heaven! Like a warm, wet hand gripping all around my prick - so much tighter than pussy, and delightful in an entirely different way. I could feel her hips grind against me as I worked the last of my seven-plus inches into her back door. Realizing where I was and how long it had been since I'd known this pleasure, I had to fight to pull the reigns in on my orgasm.

It seemed like forever - my slow rocking pulling my cock almost full-length out of her ass before easing it back in until my balls rested against her firm buns. Her right hand furiously massaged her clit and her left hand played at the entrance of her cunt, pressing on the full length of her labia. And all the while my cock was enveloped in a firm net of gripping muscles that wrestled to bring the cum from me. "It's so weird," she said as she searched for the grip on her own orgasm. Suddenly, it was upon her. I felt her ass open up like a mouth that was just to blow up a ballon. "Are you close?" she hissed. "No," I grunted. She was close, tho'. Too close to stop. I felt her stiffen and lurch under me. "Uuhhhh! Come on you bastard! Fill my ass!" she yelled as she dug her nails into my back. Amazing what a little dirty talk will do - from that special nowhere where good men hide their orgasms until their lovers are ready, my load bolted from my crotch to my brain and back to my flushed balls. I gripped the pillow with my teeth and jerked my neck back and forth and tried not to deafen Kathleen when my cum blasted out of my cock like water from a firehose. The rush of jism racing up my tube seemed to last for stroke after stroke until sweaty Kathleen gasped, grunted, and pushed me from on top of her. Since I have a little anal experience myself, I knew the sudden discomfort of having something in your ass after you've orgasmed. I considerately slipped out of her despite not having finsihed my own orgasm to my complete satisfaction.

I kissed her and thanked her for her special gift, but she pushed me away. "Go wash off and fuck my pussy," she said " I feel like something's undone." So after a quick and thourough shower, I returned to the futon where her dripping, swollen twat waited for my not-quite-recovered cock.

And that's another story...

Re:How it should work (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 years ago | (#37226494)

Given his history, if he's wrong, it will be because some other party stepped in and took a gigantic shit on his plan. The Big 3 would still love to squish him.

Re:How it should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227772)

Ford spent one billion dollars to design the Taurus line. Granted, they easily made their money back and it was one of the world's best selling cars ever (frequently compared to the success of the Model-T), but ponder that for a second. That's one billion dollars in 1980's dollars. Out designing the big three on a fraction of the cost isn't exactly a monumental challenge.

This fact hasn't been lost on the military and/or aerospace industry. They love to point out (or at least used to during the 1990's and early 2000's) they design and build, frequently requiring entirely new materials and manufacturing processes, all to create extremely limited production runs of leading edge technology, for a fraction of the cost Ford used to create the mediocrity which was the Taurus.

Re:How it should work (1)

strack (1051390) | about 3 years ago | (#37225790)

yeah, elon musk is what billionaire ceos should be damnit.

Re:How it should work (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 3 years ago | (#37226038)

Shh.
Don't ruin the all rich people and all business people are evil and should be burned.
Kill the rich, Burn the corporations!
Then all will be ... Ummm .... Great!

Re:How it should work (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 3 years ago | (#37226554)

It's an interesting thought experiment though. If someone wagered $1,000,000 and lost would you be able to take their life's savings away from them?

If you imagine two people and a one on one transfer of money it makes the concept of gambling seem a lot more harmful than when the money is spread out among many gamblers.

Re:How it should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226766)

As I recall, the govt has invested more than Musk. He pulled most of his money after winning the bailout money. So no, he doesn't stand the most to lose. We do.

Re:How it should work (4, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 years ago | (#37225814)

The problem is that culturally we look at CEOs as corporate superstars and not just employees. The attitude is that the company is an extension of the CEO which is probably only true in rare cases (like Jobs). So, the storyline becomes "we have to pay for talent" and not just another cog in the corporate wheel (upper management). I'm sorry, but running a corporation doesn't take billion-dollar bonus talent.

Interestingly, we used to have our tax code structured (via extremely high top-end tax rates) to prevent this precise thing from happening. It used to be 90%! Law makers were pragmatic enough to know that in the absence of some regulatory brake (disincentive by reduced net wages for CEOs), upper management would eventually get smart enough to bleed their respective companies dry. Of memory, I think it was Dick Grasso who was the CEO of NASDAQ years ago. The company made $800 million one year and he got a $200 million bonus!

Now that's the CEO. Don't forget about all the VPs underneath them and what they're getting as well.

How is that so many people (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 3 years ago | (#37227234)

treat sports and movie stars differently than they do people who run large corporations. Just like stars on a team or screen there are so very few who make it truly big. Most are just B-Actors/Second Team people. Then you have the myriad of support people, people who want to be part of the industry (film/sports/etc) but don't have the talent or the drive (never underestimate that - that is where most fail) to reach for the top.

Yeah the dollar amounts can be silly at times but I don't care. I am not in that league. I do as well as I AM capable of. I work at large fortune 500 company and the guys truly at the top don't see forty hour weeks unless they are on vacation, most are seeing 50+ and they have been doing for a long long time. Far too many people punch in their forty hours and quit. Just like building a house, you don't build your career all at once. Its an investment, some are just putting in far more than others and people rarely credit that time.

Re:How it should work (1)

Americium (1343605) | about 3 years ago | (#37227678)

They are superstars that employ hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of high paid workers. Where would the world be without silicon valley. We should celebrate what they have created.

They never paid 90% in taxes ever (there were lots of ways to have deductions), and if you want them to leave the country in droves, that's definitely the path to take.

Re:How it should work (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37225820)

win, lose or draw

Generally, if theyve lost, theyre not big CEOs, and their company fails. If Tesla Motors doesnt deliver and fails to have a workable business plan, the entire design of capitalism dictates that they will either be a gigantic drain on some investor's wallet (and Im sure the economy thanks them for their donation), or the company will crumble and Musk will be out of work.

Someone has to lose, and right now that is the rest of us.

Im not clear, how are they taking my money?

Re:How it should work (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#37226060)

Do the words "bailout" and the phrase "too big to fail" ring a bell?

It might not apply in this very special case, but if the company you run is big enough, you just CANNOT lose. Go all in, there's no risk involved. If you win, fat bonus. if you lose, bailout.

Re:How it should work (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 years ago | (#37226940)

Do the words "bailout" and the phrase "too big to fail" ring a bell?

So, capitalism is broken right now because the government is stupid?

Sounds more like government is broken - maybe we should work on fixing that first.

Re:How it should work (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 3 years ago | (#37227126)

A government which doesn't give bailouts probably has to be one which doesn't allow bailouts to become necessary - which, to me, implies some regulatory intervention that few people are really going to relish.

Re:How it should work (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 years ago | (#37227236)

A government which doesn't give bailouts probably has to be one which doesn't allow bailouts to become necessary - which, to me, implies some regulatory intervention that few people are really going to relish.

Umm, we managed to avoid giving bailouts for the first couple centuries of our existence just fine, thank you.

A common misconception about "too big to fail" and "bailouts" is that a company entering bankruptcy just stops. It doesn't. Business proceeds as usual, with the bankruptcy court trying to arrange things so the creditors get paid and everyone else is equally unhappy.

If the various banks we'd bailed out had been allowed to enter bankruptcy (or just write off the bad debt as bad debt), it would have had minimal effect on everyone except those evil rich guys - our local branch banks would have still opened every morning, our credit cards would have still worked.

Ditto the automobile companies that were bailed out. Only difference would have been that the government wouldn't have been able to give special preference to some creditors over others ...

Re:How it should work (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 years ago | (#37227548)

Umm, we managed to avoid giving bailouts for the first couple centuries of our existence just fine, thank you.

It wasn't "just fine," after the end of agrarianism it was pretty awful for most people, until it reached the point in the 1920's where a few people owned everything, and by the 1930's millions of families couldn't put food on the table. At that point the system was doomed, and the choice was between peaceful, incremental change (which is fortunately what happened), or a turbulent, risky lurch in some other direction which is what happened to many other important nations around the time.

It's simply wishful thinking that a failed banking system wouldn't have destroyed the economy again, just like it did in the 1930's when everybody assumed the invisible hand of the markets could do no wrong.

GM is a little different. What would have happened there is the US would have lost its automotive sector and Korea, China, Japan, and Germany would have picked up the slack. That may well have been the most efficient solution to the overall global market. But it would have been terrible for the US.

government broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227224)

Mayhaps.

But get any two people to agree on what's broken about it and what will fix it, and you will have accomplished a miracle.

that's the problem with government, people have different ideas about how to handle things, and regardless of what others feel, somebody WILL pay the price.

Re:How it should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226084)

Because every product you buy cost more because of people like that

Re:How it should work (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 3 years ago | (#37227040)

Not by very much. CEO pay is usually no larger than noise compared to revenue.

Re:How it should work (1)

angeli (1566097) | about 3 years ago | (#37226026)

Not necessarily directly at parent above, but don't you just love how anyone attempting to do anything beyond the norm, particularly if they attempt to do it with style and flair, attracts waves of these Internet plageules suffering from orifice confusion regarding excretory function, provoking them to effluv from their apparently boundless witless reservoirs.

Meanwhile Boeing, which has in fact been in the airline business their entire life can't seem to hit a 787 delivery date to literally save their lives, ditto Lockheed with the F-35 plus bagging the odd additional billion every few months in overruns, while GM couldn't find their backside with both hands, much less make a car without egregious doses of commie-style proletarian cash infusion from the pockets of the masses (to protect the workers, no less! Bailout via mass foreclosure, what’s not to love?)

Which, to make a disingenuous stab at returning to my original topic, our favorite booger-picker-eaters ignore totally while the likes of SpaceX and Tesla apparently provoke them to helpless fits of involuntary greasy discharge?

Maybe we should we rally Congress to enact at further hideous expense mandatory installation of two properly oriented toilets in every stall for the special needs of this subspecies, to divert attention and resources from the SLS Senate Launch System because if one of those suckers ever suffers a launch failure the pork fallout will be simultaneously seismic and noachian, besides sundry and other unmitigatable consequences of trying to make pigs fly. Kill two forms of excretory excess with one obscenity, so to speak.

SpaceX on the government teat (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 3 years ago | (#37226076)

SpaceX gets $1.6B of government money (aka cash from the pockets of the masses) and you hold them forward as a model of how to do things without taking money from our pockets?

This doesn't make any sense.

The 787 was finished (approved for sale) today. 3 years late, but better late than never I guess. "Literally to save their lives" is some kind of crazy hyperbole I can't understand.

It's kinda funny you hold SpaceX forth as amazing when what they've done is deliver a private rocket program 10 years after your whipping boy Boeing (with Sea Launch) and Tesla has delivered an electric car 10 years after another of your whipping boys, GM did. Oh yeah, and Tesla also took $465M in government money "from the pockets of the masses" to make the Model S. And that doesn't even count the handouts California gave them in their sweetheart deal for NUMMI.

Re:SpaceX on the government teat (0)

angeli (1566097) | about 3 years ago | (#37226108)

Man did that one zip over your head or what?

Maybe you should back up a foot or so further from your screen.

Re:SpaceX on the government teat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226962)

SpaceX's $1.6 billion is a contract for providing spaceflights. They were not just given this money. The government is buying their product, this is not a corporate bailout. They are providing the government with a service that is vastly less expensive than either the government themselves (NASA) or Boeing could provide the same service. Barring a disaster, this is spending money wisely. What you are complaining about is akin to complaining that police officers are welfare recipients since their pay comes from the government.

Tesla's $465 million is a loan. They were also not just given this money. They have to pay it back, plus interest. There is the possibility that they don't pay it back if the company goes bankrupt, but every loan has risk.

Re:How it should work (1)

Artifex (18308) | about 3 years ago | (#37226106)

Every CEO should be given an agreed goal, and their bonus works both ways. If they achieve it they win their bonus, if they lose they pay out. How much more effective would executives be under this system?

Some probably do have goal-based bonuses. However, I think in aggregate this could actually render executives less effective, because it renders them less flexible to look at long term issues in pursuit of short term gains.

Let's say you're CEO of a company that makes widgets. You get a bonus at the end of the year if you meet your target revenue. That's all good, except your factory is down the street from one of the Japanese reactors that's now in trouble. Do you still try to meet your goal, doing whatever you can to meet target? Or do you focus on long term issues like the health of your workers and moving your operations across the country?

Okay, in an extreme circumstance, most good people are going to say screw the bonus, this other stuff's important, but what about when the danger isn't looming as obviously? Like the guy being told that if he outsources a subassembly, he can announce 25 cents more per share in profit next quarter, when the danger is the company getting the contract and the experience may go directly to his customers in two years and start eating his market share, after he's shut down in-house production of that part and laid off the people with expertise in the area?

Re:How it should work (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 3 years ago | (#37226300)

Don't link their entire bonus to the situation when they leave the company. Instead give them a small percentage then, and the rest in stock options that they can't use for a few years.

If the company does well in the future, then they get their bonus. If it fails then they don't.

Re:How it should work (1)

fnj (64210) | about 3 years ago | (#37226516)

Let me get this straight. You propose penalizing the retired/resigned CEO when because some slimeball moves in after him, takes his success, and runs it into the ground?

Re:How it should work (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 3 years ago | (#37226648)

He's not being penalized. He got his bonus when he stepped down. Any additional bonuses were contingent on the company continuing to do well.

Right now the CEO doesn't care what happens to the company once they leave. So there is no incentive to either ensure long term growth or even to stay in the company for the entire duration of their contract, if an early dismissal means they can get their bonus and disappear before shit hits the fan.

Why not treat the bonus as a BONUS. Something they might earn if they do an above average job - meaning that the company survives and thrives in the future. Isn't that what being the CEO is all about?

Re:How it should work (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 years ago | (#37227298)

He's not being penalized. He got his bonus when he stepped down. Any additional bonuses were contingent on the company continuing to do well.

Yes, he's being penalized.

If the next guy is an idiot (remember, that next guy isn't chosen by the outgoing CEO), then the former CEO loses out on his bonuses.

Setting MY pay based on someone else's performance is a wonderful way to make sure I don't give a crap....

Re:How it should work (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 3 years ago | (#37227476)

So you're arguing that an employee of the company (the CEO) should be more protected than the owners? (shareholders)

What are you, some kinda commie?

Re:How it should work (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 3 years ago | (#37227732)

The CEOs PAY (salary) isn't affected. The bonus is an additional amount that reflects that they did a good job. So how can you measure that? Stock prices can often be inflated, especially of a company wants them to be (inflated numbers, press releases about brand new products that may never happen).

BTW is your pay truly only dependent on your performance? If your CEO drives your company into bankruptcy do you thing you'll be getting a bonus? Or even your last few paychecks?

Re:How it should work (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 3 years ago | (#37226728)

I got a simple idea:
  If a company is bankrupt or starting to aquire negative revenue, the company have a full right to get all money that anybody has earned from them via stock trade, or bonuses to anybody in managment position, over the last 10 years.
This also applies to unnatural large revenue surplus that does not fit with the companies growth. That would mean everything that the company earns on firering massive amount of workers and attempting to outsource could still be gotten back from the investors and CEO.

What would this mean? That the CEO is only allowed to keep what he earns on stock trade IF the company does not fall straight trough the ground. This also means all the investors who pushed trough outsourcing and then sold stocks will be forced to pay back everything they earned.
This also means that the CEO who parachutes a year before the company collapses will be forced to pay it all back.

I am sure there is a lawyer and a congress member somewhere who can make a precice law of this, without all the silly unintention backdoors and unpreciseness of this post.

Re:How it should work (4, Insightful)

GauteL (29207) | about 3 years ago | (#37226118)

This sounds to me a rather simple idea. Corporation CEOs are rich people. And as a condition for taking up their position, they should be required to make a substantial investment in the company. Nobody should trust a Fortune 500 / FTSE 100 company to a CEO who isn't willing to bet some of his/her own money on their own skill as a CEO. And they should be required to keep this investment until at least 2-3 years after they step down.

This way they will win or lose depending on how the company performs over time, not last quarter.

Re:How it should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226950)

While CEOs are often wealthy, it would be foolish to limit your choices of CEO to ones with capital amounts of cash.
That's why CEOs often get stock grants when they're hired that vest several years in the future.

For instance, when Steve Jobs resigned earlier this week and Tim Cook took over as CEO, Apple's Board gave him 1,000,000 shares of restricted stock, with half vesting in 5 years and the other half vesting in 10 years, and all of it being conditional on his still being at Apple at those times. If he just maintains the stock's value over that decade, that stock will be worth ~$380 million dollars, if he keeps the stock going up at the rate it has over the last decade (~83,000%) then Tim Cook will be a billionaire many times over and one of the richest people in the world.

Re:How it should work (1)

tweakerbee (2426882) | about 3 years ago | (#37226278)

Nobody in their right mind would want to do it. People in general can't stand the chance of losing something, even if that chance is very small.

Re:How it should work (1)

macs4all (973270) | about 3 years ago | (#37227046)

The system now is broken. Today's CEO get paid multi-million dollar bonuses win, lose or draw. Someone has to lose, and right now that is the rest of us. Every CEO should be given an agreed goal, and their bonus works both ways. If they achieve it they win their bonus, if they lose they pay out. How much more effective would executives be under this system? It would certainly weed about the bullshit-artists and big talkers.

Yeah, that's what we need: MORE incentive to make corporations more greedy and profit-centered than they already are.

Genius.

Re:How it should work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227698)

CEOs are on the board of directors for OTHER companies. Its good 'ol boy politics. If you scratch my back here then I'll do the same for you over there. This is why executive salaries have never been higher with fewer strings attached. Its all a giant scam with Wall Street endorsing it because they directly benefit from the fraud too. Then of course these same guys all lobby the shit out of DC, who in turn have no incentive to stop the funding of their own legalized bribery.

Even worse, when one executive complete destroys one company, they are rewarded with a job at another company thanks to the good 'ol boy system. There is no punishment for failure. In fact, almost always they are equally rewarded for failure as they are for success. So of course, there is no incentive to actually create success. This is, in large part, why they never care how much they destroy the lives of people (which actively encourages sociopaths), they need only care about the stock price today with absolutely no regard for the price tomorrow.

You can not begin to fix the problems in the US or corporate America until you do two things. First, you must put an end to all lobbying. No ifs, ands, or buts. Second, regulations must be passed which prevent executives from one company sitting on the board of another.

With these two changes alone, America would be almost unrecognizable - and entirely for the better.

Legal? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 years ago | (#37225720)

I hope they were in a state where wagering is legal. Otherwise, a public bet like that should be for token gifts and/or bragging rights.

Re:Legal? (4, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | about 3 years ago | (#37225732)

I hope they were in a state where wagering is legal. Otherwise, a public bet like that should be for token gifts and/or bragging rights.

I'm pretty sure these terms are legal in just about any state:

(1) Series production models of the Tesla Model S have to be delivered to paying customers before the end of 2012. (It was originally 2011, but Neil concedes that Tesla said it wouldn't make that date fairly early, and has since stuck to its 2012 date.)

(2) The Model S has to have seven passenger seats, certified as such by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and earn a 4- or 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

(3) It has to have a battery pack that allows en-route swapping at a highway roadside station, similar to the Better Place battery swapping scheme.

(4) Model S prices must remain at the levels Tesla and Musk announced: $57,400 for the version with 160 miles of range, $67,400 for the 230-mile version, and $87,400 for the top-of-the-line 300-mile version (which will comprise the bulk of early production). All prices are before any Federal or other incentives.

If Tesla misses any one of those targets, Neil says, he wins the bet and Musk must donate $1 million to Médecins Sans FrontiÃres (Doctors Without Borders).

But if Tesla does what it said it will, Neil loses, and--being a journalist, not a multimillionaire entrepreneur--he will donate $1,000 to the same group.

Re:Legal? (3, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | about 3 years ago | (#37225762)

You know, usually about this time on a thread about companies overpromising and underdelivering, we would have already had a good joke or three about Duke Nukem Forever. Sigh.

Re:Legal? (1)

jargonburn (1950578) | about 3 years ago | (#37225850)

Sadly, that product shipped. It's just not the same anymore :(

Re:Legal? (1)

feepness (543479) | about 3 years ago | (#37225864)

You know, usually about this time on a thread about companies overpromising and underdelivering, we would have already had a good joke or three about Duke Nukem Forever. Sigh.

An additional term of the wager that was considered too risky for the participants was that the loser would have to play through the entire of the recently released Duke Nukem Forever. Twice.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225930)

George Broussard still owes CultureShock $100,000.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226412)

It's just not the same since CmdrTaco left.

Re:Legal? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 3 years ago | (#37225858)

it's not a game of chance or a sporting event, so making a contract for penalty/bonus payments should be quite legal.

Re:Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226218)

i guess doctors without boarders is down for a cool mill pretty much guaranteed... a sedan with 7 seats.... umm where are they going to shove the other 2 seats put another set of buckets facing the back seat with an extended back seat area.

Re:Legal? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 3 years ago | (#37226400)

There's a number of ways, but perhaps they're looking at rumble seats [wikipedia.org] . There's no technical reason you couldn't put them in a standard 5-seater sedan, though it'd probably blow the 5-star safety rating that's part of the bet....

Re:Legal? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 years ago | (#37226408)

Big of him to make bold claims backed by other people's money. This whole thing reeks of some two bit hack trying to gain some fame on the back of the Tesla.

Re:Legal? (1)

bitt3n (941736) | about 3 years ago | (#37227002)

If Tesla misses any one of those targets, Neil says, he wins the bet and Musk must donate $1 million to Médecins Sans FrontiÃres (Doctors Without Borders). But if Tesla does what it said it will, Neil loses, and--being a journalist, not a multimillionaire entrepreneur--he will donate $1,000 to the same group.

so basically Musk has ensured a bunch of starry-eyed doctors will shortly be skulking around the Model S factory, attempting to sugar all the gas tanks.

Re:Legal? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#37226066)

He's a CEO. A million IS a token sum.

Let met be the first... (1)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 3 years ago | (#37225724)

...to say that I, for one, welcome our new electric-powered gambling overlords. That's some good publicity they've both got there. I'm sure this will help push preorders along for Tesla.

why does it look like a buick's turd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225736)

just wondering

Intrade actually run bet based prediction (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 3 years ago | (#37225750)

Here's their market for Gaddaffi no longer be Libyan leader by the end of August 2011

https://data.intrade.com/graphing/jsp/closingPricesForm.jsp?contractId=750841&tradeURL=https://www.intrade.com [intrade.com]

The value of the contract can be interpreted as the market's perception of the probability of the event.

Neil is a pussy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225752)

What a bitch, seriously. I mean, really guy, put your money where your mouth REALLY is. $1M vs $1k? Laughable. Grow a pair, and make a real bet, or STFU. Can't afford it? Don't publicly call someone a liar.

Re:Neil is a pussy (4, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 3 years ago | (#37225770)

I'm too lazy to do the research but $1000 is probably a greater percentage of the reporter's net worth than the million is a percentage of Musk's net worth. (Yeah, that's horrible grammar but I'm too lazy to fix it.)

Re:Neil is a pussy (1)

bfree (113420) | about 3 years ago | (#37226772)

I would expect the Wall Street Journal to cover the $1000. It would be nicer though if Neil put down at least $100 of his own (or work out how much of his worth is equivalent to $1m of the Tesla CEOs) and have the paper make it up to $10k (given the winnings go to charity). The publicity from this story alone, let alone the follow up if and when the bet is settled, would no doubt be worth it.

Re:Neil is a pussy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225948)

Well, that's thousand to 1 odds -- which is a fair wager if he thinks Musk has a 0.0909...% chance of failing. Doesn't necessarily mean he's being a pussy, just that he's extremely confident Musk will meet all the targets.

What? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 3 years ago | (#37225760)

I'd like to see many more media statements backed by explicit wagers, and not just the indirect gamble of the stock market.

What?

Is Timothy seriously saying he wants journalists to have a direct financial stake in the outcome of the events they cover?

It also sounds like he's saying most journalists gamble on their reporting by investing in the stock market. Reputable publications tend to have ethics policies [nytco.com] that forbid that.

Whether Tesla ships its car or not, this whole "bet" is nothing more than a self-promotional push by a conceited glory-hound.

Re:What? (2)

JordanL (886154) | about 3 years ago | (#37225808)

Also strange is the title... there is $1,000,000 saying the Tesla CEO is NOT wrong about his timeline. There is $1,000 saying he is.

Re:What? (2)

fnj (64210) | about 3 years ago | (#37226528)

It's not just strange. It's WRONG in any universe. It should say "$1,000,000 Says NO."

Disgusting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225766)

Rich people throwing around more money than most of us will see in a long time.

Douchebags come in at all pay grades.

Re:Disgusting. (3, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | about 3 years ago | (#37225804)

How dare they make a bet to donate to a charitable organization that brings health care to the poor and underprivileged all around the world! The rich bastards!

Re:Disgusting. (0)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#37226070)

Why do they need to lose a bet to do something good for a change?

Re:Disgusting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226266)

Oh piss off. One is trying to make the first electric car that people can maybe afford and doesn't suck a whole bag of dicks, and the other is a journalist.

We're not talking about evil robber barons here, asshat. You donate a million to charity recently?

Re:Disgusting. (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 3 years ago | (#37226430)

Honestly that $1M will do more good being put to work building electric cars or cheap access to space. There will always be poor sick people. If a large portion of funds were given to the poor and needy we wouldn't have money to grow technology and as a country we would be bankrupt. Oh wait... Crap.

JUST IN: STEVE JOBS, LUCIFER, BATTLE IN COURT !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225794)

Seems that Steve Jobs' pact with the devil has come to bite him on the ass, and he wants to squirm his way out of this... before it's too late. Lucifer is quoted as saying, "It's too late, baby, it's too late, though you really did tried to make it. Something died inside and you're really are mine now." Stay tuned to see how this turns out.

Re:JUST IN: STEVE JOBS, LUCIFER, BATTLE IN COURT ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225828)

Lucifer is quoted as saying, "It's too late, baby, it's too late, though you really did tried to make it. Something died inside and you're really are mine now."

Somehow I always thought the devil spoke better English than that.

Re:JUST IN: STEVE JOBS, LUCIFER, BATTLE IN COURT ! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#37226074)

Cut the poor red guy some slack, he's not a native speaker.

Re:JUST IN: STEVE JOBS, LUCIFER, BATTLE IN COURT ! (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#37227158)

I beg to differ.

Remember that phone calls from Obama are local calls now.

Re:JUST IN: STEVE JOBS, LUCIFER, BATTLE IN COURT ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225844)

I wonder how many betting pools are running right now. It's got to be less than a year. Six months is more likely to be the best. Unless Corolla is standing in, then who knows, maybe Woz will be taken instead.

Wha?

I bet this bet becomes irrelevant (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 3 years ago | (#37225848)

Musk is no fool. The dates matter far less than not delivering an electric Edsel. Musk may be betting that a big auto manufacturer (not necessarily Toyota) buys Tesla before the end of 2012. Once he has a mainstream luxury vehicle, Tesla will suddenly need a luxury dealer network to support it. That means everything from showrooms to parts warehouses. He doesn't have the capital for that, and there is no reason to build out when others have so much capacity (e.g., Chrysler). If oil stays above $100/barrel for very long, then Tesla's sale may be a much better bet than the 2012 delivery of that car.

It is irrelevant (2)

aiken_d (127097) | about 3 years ago | (#37226172)

If Musk makes the charitable contribution, it will be a $1m tax deduction, which is accounted for by reducing the net pre-tax income. Given that SpaceX and Tesla are both in startup phase, I doubt he's drawing any kind of significant salary. Even given his cash-out of eBay stock for living expenses and the capital gains involved, the deduction will probably offset his total income for the year, resulting in zero taxes.

The money isn't free -- he could buy expensive cars with it and pay taxes -- but it is significantly discounted.

Re:It is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227340)

A "tax deduction" is like a "50% rebate". You still have to find the money in the *first* place to make the purchase or contribution, and can only recover some of the loss later after filing the rebate or filing your taxes. It reduces the expense, it does *not* eliminate it.

the idea that you can "make up an expense with tax deductions" is like saying "we lose money on every sale, but we make it up in volume!!!" It's the sort of clueless handling of money that creates credit card bankruptcies and pyramid schemes.

Things that later prove not to be true... (1)

BenJCarter (902199) | about 3 years ago | (#37225852)

Electric Cars, are so 1900's, silly Elon, trusting the green jobs hoopla. SpaceX [spacex.com] (Another company Elon owns) put a capsule in orbit and brought it back on target. Has any other company achieved that?

Re:Things that later prove not to be true... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#37226078)

Oh c'mon, putting capsules into orbit is so 1960s.

Incorrect title! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225996)

Read the article! It's not a symmetrical bet. $1,000 says yes, $1,000,000 says NO!

Yuo Fhail It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226086)

= 1440 NetBSD to the original was what got me (I always bring my not going home discussions on dim. If *BSD is

Seven seats? (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | about 3 years ago | (#37226090)

That one made me suspicious, since all of the Model S concepts I've seen were for a 4-door hatchback. But it seems that Tesla published plans to (optionally) fit two rear-facing kid seats in the 'boot'.

$1,000,000 Says Yes? (5, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | about 3 years ago | (#37226120)

That is completely incorrect. $1,000 says yes.

If the wager is accepted $1,000,000 would be saying NO, he is NOT wrong.

Leave Britney Alone! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226122)

Elon Musk sure has to put up with a lot of you-know-what. First, he went through that ugly divorce, where his ex-wife blogged about all his dirty laundry. Then, he had to pilot his two fledgling companies through near-bankruptcy in the worst financial environment since the Great Depression. Then, some Venturebeat journalist developed a personal vendetta for some reason, and starting scaring away investors. Now, he has this naysaying LA Times journalist crawling up his ass. I mean, the guy's got #billionairerproblems

So what if Tesla's production schedule slips by six months? Delays are extremely common in bleeding-edge research. So the Tesla slips into 2013. That's only a decade sooner than anyone ever dreamed we'd see practical elecric cars! Let's all pile on Musk because it took him an extra few months with his plan to save all our asses from climate change.

Just look at these pictures of Musk and Neil, and tell me who's the asshole here? [greencarreports.com]

Re:Leave Britney Alone! (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 3 years ago | (#37226454)

No kidding. I work in the D part of R&D. It is very interesting but most of the time you don't know exactly what you are doing. You have set backs and great leaps forward. The budget and scheduling meetings are always funny. It's like "so when do you expect your breakthrough?". Are you serious? Then the facilities group gets kudos because they came in only slightly over budget and schedule doing the office renovations which we could have easily done on budget by getting a fixed price bid.

Seriously... (1)

aiken_d (127097) | about 3 years ago | (#37226144)

...it should be illegal for entrepreneurs to be optimistic. They should be legally obligated to know the realistic probabilities of their endeavors' success based on hindsight available years later.

Rosy future picture paintings - DiamonDisc anyone? (0)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 3 years ago | (#37226198)

In that, he's like many entrepreneurs, who spend a portion of their time persuading the unconvinced and painting pictures of the rosy future, despite inconvenient facts that may contradict that vision of the future.

Ain't that the truth.

Anybody remember DiamonDisc?
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/09/11/13/019202/Synthetic-Stone-DVD-Claimed-To-Last-1000-Years [slashdot.org]

The guy that wanted to make that available to market is now little more than a SEO/PR chap.
http://www.cranberry.com/ [cranberry.com]

With zero mention of the DiamonDisc.

Re:Rosy future picture paintings - DiamonDisc anyo (1)

aiken_d (127097) | about 3 years ago | (#37226346)

Have you ever had a project fail? How prominently do you feature it on your resume?

Alternatively, if you're too young to have had a failure, do you plan to emphasize your failures in future resumes?

Musk is not an innovator, Musk is a con artist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226206)

Most of you seem to have forgotten, this Elon Musk swine started PayPal,
which is a large-scale con job with a nasty reputation among those who actually use
their brains for something more than video games.

The Tesla is not a viable car, nor does it bring any worthwhile innovation to the
electric car market. It is a toy for people who can afford to make a fashion statement.
I realize that might include some of the crowd here, but the truth remains.

He also started a little company called SpaceX (1)

voss (52565) | about 3 years ago | (#37226792)

SpaceX has already delivered on its promises with the Falcon I and the Falcon V and the dragon test flight to the ISS is scheduled for this year.

Paypal is a con job? Apparently Ebay doesnt think so neither does most of the people who use it.
The truth is hes putting his name and his money on the line which is more than I can say for you.

Put the money in escrow then, Mr Big Talk (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 3 years ago | (#37226274)

Oh, right, it's one of those "figurative" bets.

Now that Steve is gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226344)

Now that Steve Jobs is gone we need a new scapegoat to blame for trying new things and getting rich.

Don't worry Elon, everybody will love you when you are dead, like they we love Michael Jackson & soon Steve Jobs.

As smarts as Musk is, he still feeds the Trolls. (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 3 years ago | (#37226724)

I have generally have disdain for most CEOs who are just in their position from being part of the old boys network.

But Musk seems to be the real deal. Someone with vision, engineering chops, and the business acumen to actually execute on that vision.

Yet he still falls into the trap of feeding the trolls.

Seriously hiccups happen. There could be some regulatory hiccup, the price of aluminum could shoot up... Many things beyond Musks control. Why enrich a thorn in your side. This bet seems childish and ill conceived.

Seven seats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226800)

Is that a typo or did this turn into an SUV?

What if the journalist loses? (1)

Mistah Blue (519779) | about 3 years ago | (#37226850)

And if the journalist loses, will he pay Tesla $1 million? I'd like to see that more, to keep the media honest.

Don't bet, just win (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226862)

I'd like to see many more media statements backed by explicit wagers, and not just the indirect gamble of the stock market.

I wouldn't.
Which would you prefer, a founder setting millions aside to cover useless bets, or investing all of their time and money in making sure their company succeeds?

Sadly ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 3 years ago | (#37227060)

... it must be recognized that most individuals apply the principle of the "noble lie", (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_lie), to their own circumstances as readily as politicians do to the ship of state. "A deception to promote harmony and understanding, that's all, honest." It's a toxic fraud in either case.

Good PR. (1)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#37227138)

If i would be on the board of investors of the company i would congratulate the CEO for getting such attention and make an agreement that if he loses he will get the million back. How much is it worth to be in the tech news and have a CEO betting one million on keeping some deadline.

Heck, i would even intentionally miss the deadline by a few weeks for the publicity.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227238)

Stop the presses, development of a new product is delayed!

Elon Musk is full of organic waste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227258)

No way? The same scam artiste who thinks he'll retire on Mars? He meant it metaphorically, ie, he'll retire on the billions he thinks he'll make by selling metal tubes full of kerosene to even more deluded billionaires.

He was lucky once, now he thinks he's some kind of visionary, engineer or scientist. He's a once-lucky fool, that's all. He was thinking like a shark at the right time in history, that's his only qualification. The amount of geek jizz this guy generates is out of proportion to his actual credibility. Just like the MakerBot scammers...

I like that alpha build... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#37227260)

It seems the Model S just gets better looking with each iteration as it comes closer to production. Now it looks a lot like the last Maserati sedan I saw. That said I still can't afford one and the closest dealer is not even remotely close to where I live.

Nutty economic thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227360)

For some strange reason some people think that if a CEO wastes a million dollars, the consumers pay for that mistake.
Companies cannot bill consumers for their mistakes - they generally go bankrupt and the cost is passed to those
who invested in them. No wonder this country is illiterate when it comes to business, the stock market, you name it. A country of
economic morons. And out representatives that pass laws have zero education in economics. That explains why they can spend trillions and
  accomplish zilch, as brainless Fearless Leader Obama has done over the past 950 days.

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