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How Do You Shift Paradigms? Elon Musk Says It's Through Impossible Goals

Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk
Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk

From reusable rockets to breaking new ground in the electric car industry, Tesla and Space-X CEO Elon Musk stays one step ahead of the technology curve—and he does that by running behind schedule.

Musk sets impossible deadlines as a matter of policy, to create the tremendous pressure needed to deliver paradigm-shifting work—which explains why Musk has never launched a product on time, Bloomberg reports.

His most recent unreachable goal: Tesla’s July 1, 2017, launch of its Model 3 electric car.

"Now, will we actually be able to achieve volume production on July 1 next year? Of course not," Musk said on Tesla's earnings call. "In order for us to be confident of achieving volume production of Model 3 by late 2017, we actually have to set a date of mid-2017 and really hold people's feet to the fire, internally and externally.”

One thing would help Tesla’s chances of reaching the impossible goal: The completion of its $5B, 5.5M SF Gigafactory in Sparks, NV, set to begin operations in 2017. (Although who knows how realistic that goal is?) [Bloomberg]