One-liners can be so much more effective than screeds.
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Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
It’s hard not to look at most Silicon Valley operators and think: “Goodness, you’re so full of wind.”
Spend just an hour listening to their mumbo, their jumbo and their jumbo mumbo-jumbo and you know that they’re spouting buzzwords that lack anything but a buzzing noise.
Elon Musk is a little different. Partly because, unlike so many vapid Valley types, he’s actually built a product.
You can see it on the streets. It works. As an astonishing bonus, it looks good.
If it didn’t, Tesla wouldn’t have made even a fraction of the progress it has.
There are still, though, those who just don’t buy the Tesla promise.
What do you do with these people, especially if they make a public noise about their negative feelings to your business?
Should you just ignore them? Should you offer a point-by-point analysis about why they’re wrong?
Should you be startlingly rude about them? (I’m quite fond of the English phrase “You don’t know your arse from your elbow.”)
Last week, Musk tried a different strategy. After Tesla reached a valuation greater than Ford’s, he offered a little wry humor toward all those who had expressed their doubts by shorting his stock.
He trotted off to Twitter and mused: “Stormy weather in Shortville…”
It may be that Tesla will ultimately falter and disappear down a hole — or, almost as painful — be bought by Apple.
But in these four words, Musk suggested that his confidence isn’t entirely Valley-arrogant. Instead, it’s quietly unshakeable.
The message, of course, wasn’t just aimed at Wall Street types who have all the feelings of a walrus carcass.
It was aimed at his employees, his more positive investors and everyone with whom he does business.
Doggedness and determination are more powerful than bluster and blabber.
Keep doing what you have faith in, keep working at what you believe people really want and you have a chance to leave yoke on one side of doubters’ faces and albumen on the other.
And when you do, don’t even bother gloating then. Find another few witty words to tweak them. That’ll get to them far more.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.