An open letter to Elon Musk


Dear Mr. Musk,

I just finished reading ALL (even the little hidden items and footnotes) of the Tim Urban, Wait But Why series entitled, "Elon Musk: The Worlds Most Raddest Man".  It was a great article, and it motivated this letter.  I realize this webpage might make me sound like a "fan boy" at best, or a lunatic at worst: but how do you write Elon Musk a letter without either being a little bit crazy - or at least appearing so?

I have to tell you: it’s been a long time since I have felt as inspired.  I feel a paradigm shift.  It's the feeling of having my personal perspective changed.  A feeling of being educated to a tectonic change that only allows two choices:

Join the effort
or
Be left behind.

I have felt like this before. I felt like this when I read Atlas Shrugged as a 35 year old man.  In those days, I was running my 40 employee landscape contracting business in the Philadelphia suburbs.  On my vacation (which was always supposed to be a week, but always got cut short due to work), I vividly remember sitting on the beach reading about John Galt and Dagney Taggart and turning to my wife and saying, “I’m not alone. Other people think like me.  Rand gets why achievement is so pure and important.”

The feeling came another time as I sat on my back porch in 1992, talked to my wife about buying Apple stock.  I said to her, “Yeah, I realize the stock is at $4.00 a share, and Bill Gates is bailing them out to keep Microsoft out of antitrust litigation with the government.  But I think Jobs has a good product and vision - and I just want to somehow be part of making it happen.”  We didn’t buy the stock (sadly) but we did keep buying the products long before the masses.

I can spot a winner.

These are the times when I recognize visionary folks who share my opinion, that pushing hard, forward to achieve that vision is worth doing: even at great personal sacrifice.  Although most of my friends call me crazy for putting in 80+ hour weeks, each and every week, I tell them I would rather be doing nothing else.  That building my business feels like art to me.  And that if given a choice of sitting down to watch a sitcom, or preparing an estimate for a new customer - I wouldn’t even have to think twice about which I’d enjoy more.

The art of business, and innovation, and working hard for a goal is what makes me feel alive.  And I love when I see that same trait in others and in other organizations.  In my opinion, you and your various businesses are presently unparalleled in embodying that spirit.

The first goal of this letter is simply to express my appreciation and gratitude for that effort. It’s rare, and inspiring and sorely needed in a world that seems to be moving towards less opportunity, instead of more.  But that is a topic for another day.

The second goal of this letter is to make you an offer.  This is an ofter that I’ve never made to anyone else in my adult life.  I’m offering to throw myself, and whatever resources I can muster, behind your efforts and vision.  I realize this offer might mean more to you, if I was Warren Buffet or Ted Turner…but I’m not.  What I am, is a 53 year old, independent business person of 42 years who thinks he can help.  I’ve always gone my own way (sometimes to great success, sometimes not) but I never stop trying:  

  • I started working when I was 11 years old.
  • My brother and I started a multi-million dollar business from scratch out of the trunk of a 1969 Chevelle.
  • I worked with my brother to patent and manufacture a cell phone accessories and became a QVC on-air representative.
  • Because I ran small businesses, I became disgusted with government waste, lack of vision and government treatment of small business.  So to show that government can do better, I conceived, created, and became the County Recreation Director.  With two years, I was asked to speak at the Pennsylvania State Capital (Harrisburg) on the subject of “Creating cost neutral to positive cash flow branches of government”.  I gave the talk, but I didn’t get invited back because I spoke painful truths about the nature of government, while surrounded by those satisfied to take fat paychecks for substandard effort.  But at that point my job was done.  I had done what I set out to do.  I immediately began looking of my replacement.  And when I found him, I quit to take on the next challenge.

Since those days I’ve run multiple businesses, from Outfitter to Landscape contractor, to Race Director.  I gotta keep learning.  I gotta keep moving!

I have never offered my loyalty and services to another adult individual since becoming a man.  That is not because I am selfish or greedy (in the bad sense of the word).  It's simply the result of my early realization that I liked moving faster than most of the people who want to call themselves my employer.

I feel like you have captured a vision and put the wheels in motion, in areas of improved human existence.  I think I can help.  I want to help.  This seems like a meaningful way to utilize all my life experiences that have brought me to this point.

ONE PLAN

I would be willing to develop my central Pennsylvania commercial property and business as an "Example Location" in regard to the Tesla/Solar city/SpaceX vision for the future.  Specifically, divide the property into both commercial sections and residential sections and use various electric products (supplied by your companies) to show applications in all areas. 

Part of the commercial business will be devoted to selling, installing, and educating the public in regard to the overall vision of all the products and their seemless, destination-driven combination. 

Can you envision a small business and townhouse community, on the banks of the Susquehanna River, with young professionals living in efficient solar homes with affordable Tesla model 3's automatically docking into garages with Powerwalls, as we watch the next landing of a spent SpaceX rocket on a drone barge in the middle of the ocean?  I know you can!

If you are interested and talking about this idea further, I can be reached using my contact info supplied in my email. If you would like more information about me and my various companies and initiatives: please use the supplied links below:

Bio

Earthscape Lawn & Garden

Riverside Adventure Company

Opinions, Random areas of interest

I'm hopeful that you (or your associates) will see the value of such an arrangement, or will suggest an arrangement more in accordance with the needs of the company.

Like I said, I'm here to help, and I look forward to building a meaningful relationship toward your vision.

Thanks for your time,

David Decoteau

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