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How to build a Rocketship

Elon Musk's 5 step process for manufacturing

Step 1: Make your requirements less dumb


"It’s particularly dangerous if a smart person present’s requirements because you might not question them enough."
- Elon Musk

Step 2: Try to delete the part or process


"If you are not occasionally adding things back in you are not deleting enough."
- Elon Musk

Step 3: Simplify or optimise


"The most common error of a smart engineer is to optimise a thing that should not exist."
- Elon Musk

Step 4: Accelerate cycle time


"You are moving to slowly, go faster. But don’t go faster until you have worked on the other three things!"
- Elon Musk

Step 5: Automate


"I’ver personally made the mistake of going backwards on all 5 steps multiple times, and I had to repeat the process."
- Elon Musk


Digital Athlete Notes

Don’t automate something until it’s moving fast.
Don’t move faster if there is a simpler way to move.
Don’t consider something simple until all parts have been removed and you determine they all must be added back in.
Don’t evaluate things in isolation.
Start with a simple explanation of your system that considers the complexity within it.

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