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Anonymous SpaceX engineer reveals how crazy it is working for Elon Musk

Published Jan 1st, 2015 8:45PM EST
What Is Elon Musk Like To Work For
Image: Wikipedia

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Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has drawn some comparisons to Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and at least one SpaceX employee thinks those comparisons are warranted. An anonymous SpaceX engineer took to Quora recently to tell the world what it’s really like working for Musk and it seems that he’s just as insanely demanding and difficult to work with as Jobs once was.

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“Elon’s version of reality is highly skewed,” the engineer writes. “It’s much like Steve Jobs’s ‘reality distortion field’ except Elon isn’t great at public speaking. If you believe that a task should take a year then Elon wants it done in a week. He won’t hesitate to throw out six months of work because it’s not pretty enough or it’s not ‘badass’ enough. But in so doing he doesn’t change the schedule.”

The engineer also says that Musk doesn’t seem to care if employees have any lives outside of work and one time he told the entire office that “not enough of you are working on Saturdays.”

While this doesn’t exactly sound like a job for everyone, it’s also the case that both Tesla and SpaceX have made incredible advances in the realm of automobile and space transportation, respectively. We doubt that those would have been possible in such a short period of time without instilling an incredibly demanding culture much like the one Jobs instilled at Apple.

Check out the engineer’s full account of what it’s like working for Elon Musk below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.