Posted on November 9, 2019 |
by Zahari Shahan
November 9, 2019 by Zahari Shahan
I recently met a gentleman named David Havashi while loading our Tesla Model 3 at ChargePoint Whole Food Station. He knew me from CleanTechnica and quickly learned that he had worked at Tesla for 7 years, until recently. We talk, talk, talk and talk. I wasn't sure if he would be ashamed of the camera to repeat part of what he said to me (or more) on camera, but it turned out that he wasn't very shy – he actually worked at Broadway before working at Tesla!
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To launch our first camera interview, I have some information about David, which included growing up from a Detroit pro. His father actually played an important role in the design of the now dominant style of crossover vehicle, which David had humorously conveyed was a strange idea when his father excitedly explained it to him years ago.
Against this backdrop of gear and a deep passion to help protect our climate and environmental resources when David found out about AC Propulsion tzero (read our extremely, fascinating piece of tzero, if you haven't already) in 2013. , and then shortly after the Tesla Roadster, he got super excited about electric vehicles. (Broadway's David background is starting well right now, helping to revive history – I recommend watching it.)
Interestingly, David noted that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico really pushed him to get in the industry that pushed him to try to find a job at Tesla. That was in 2010. With such a wild few years (for Tesla and politically), it looks like they've since passed their lives, but it was less than a decade ago. We discussed a little wonder how far Tesla has since come. In 2010, Tesla was almost unknown. The Tesla story would be a short sidebar of Motor Trend . Tesla clickbait was definitely not something!
After a brief lateral tangent for lingo from the 90's and 00's, David talks a little about the early recruitment process of Tesla and how he joined the Tesla team, starting with a Palo Alto meeting in 2010 and then his eventual hiring in May 2012.
He also discussed early roles at Tesla and how much the unique corporate culture of "builders" and everyone who is "ultra-hardcore" led to its success. We talked about the culture changing a little and how trying to preserve the deep essence of Tesla is a continuous process. "Ultra-hardcore mentality cannot be an archaic concept from a bygone era," David said. "We can't get complacent," was his critical message to colleagues when leaving the company earlier this year.
Returning in 2012, he noted how empty and 'post-apocalyptic' the Fremont factory looks. Tesla used only about 10% of the space, and David had some funny stories of riding motorcycles through empty space from side to side, including one funny story about seeing Elon on the road and spinning back to spy on him again. We also talked about how very different the factory is today, how impressive it is, and my first big impression from our tour of the factory earlier this year: "The world inside Tesla is completely different from Tesla's portrait of the media."  One An interesting hint that David shared is that Elon and Jerome in the past required at least two incremental improvements a week at the factory.
We got into a brief discussion about Tesla's Easter eggs, humor, and Tesla's many literary and cinematic hints, including a fun story about Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest, surviving the "turn it to 11" joke test driving Tesla Model S. David also noted fun Monty Python tweet he sent back some time that Elon Musk replied, and then Eric Idle of Monty Python replied. David talks a little about how younger Tesla employees miss out on some of these references so well known to our generations as " All our patents belong to you ", which made me think of one of my last joke articles, an article that many people loved but others were confused by. In case you missed it, the article is "All Problems with Our New Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus." Fortunately, David was a fan of the article and even called it poetic! In fact, he had some thoughtful philosophical reflections on the blank article. Undoubtedly, because off the topic, as this part of the discussion was, I think this is our most lively and enthusiastic. However, David is very enthusiastic throughout the interview and definitely conveys more interesting and important stories during the interview. It's worth watching, so I hope you now go play and watch or listen to the conversation.
We ended the conversation by talking about enthusiasm at Tesla Elementary School, Elon Musk's role as a legendary historical figure, how the media story surrounding Elon distorted the story of his life and business career, David's early days Tesla and the achievement of Tesla's "impossible." There are many things that cannot be summarized in the text, but I think you now have a good overview of what is in the conversation.
We have more articles on Tesla Inside Out. We will be releasing videos and abstracts soon. Keep going.
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