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Episode 201
Featuring Tim Higgins
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Tim Higgins about the chaotic rise of Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk. We learn about the challenges Elon faced in the early years, how he dealt with them, as well as the stunning disconnect between the public’s perception of Musk and the reality of who he is and the lengths he’s willing to go to in order to “win.”

In Episode 201 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Wall Street Journal automotive and technology reporter Tim Higgins, about his new book “Power Play,” which chronicles the incredible and chaotic rise of Tesla and its controversial CEO Elon Musk.

In the first part of their conversation, Tim and Demetri discuss the origin story of Tesla all the way up until the successful launch of the Model S: a truly remarkable achievement that came during a time when Americans were desperate to find something in their economy to feel hopeful about. Unfortunately, the success that Tesla enjoyed during that period was not something the company would be able to replicate and this is what most of the second half of this conversation is spent discussing. The two examine the difficulties that Tesla faced after the deployment of the Model S, why it faced those challenges, how management and the board dealt with them, and the stunning disconnect between the public’s perception of Musk as a “Tony Starkian innovator” and planetary savior, and the reality of who he is, what he knows, and what he’s willing to do whenever he finds himself backed into a corner. At the end of the day, it’s going to be up to listeners to decide for themselves where they fall on this story. How many people believe the hype around the man and the company? Will he ultimately deliver on the promises that he’s made—despite a long track record of making promises that he consistently fails to deliver on but which have non-the-less substantially improved his personal financials and helped grow the equity value of his companies?

You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

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Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas

Episode Recorded on 07/27/2021

Tim Higgins is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He writes about Apple, Tesla and other tech companies, and regularly appears on CNBC as an on-air contributor. Doubleday on Aug. 3 is publishing his first book POWER PLAY: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century. Follow him on Twitter: @timkhiggins.

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