When it was found earlier this year that Apple had begun plucking good engineering talent from competing companies for its electric vehicle project, it seemed like a typical case of one company offering a more enticing deal than the other. But, could it actually be that those fleeing to Apple simply couldn't cut it at the other companies?
That was a question raised just yesterday, after Elon Musk made some rather eyebrow-raising statements. He said, in effect, that if Apple snatches up Tesla's talent, it's because those folks couldn't "make it" at his company. In effect, Apple gets the rejects, to put it bluntly. Well, perhaps not as blunt as how Musk put it: "Important engineers? They have hired people we've fired."
Elon Musk and NVIDIA's Jen-Hsun Huang speaking at GTC 2015
That comment had to have sent shivers down the spines of those engineers, because that's not what you want your former employer to say about you, even indirectly.
Nonetheless, Musk has today decided to calm things down a little bit, but I don't think he succeeds. On Twitter, he clarifies that he doesn't "hate" Apple, and that it has a lot of talented people. Further, he's "glad" that the company is working on an electric vehicle. No where does he take back the insinuation that Apple's EV unit isn't just a "Tesla graveyard".
Yo, I don't hate Apple. It's a great company with a lot of talented people. I love their products and I'm glad they're doing an EV.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 9, 2015
In a bit of a detour, Musk followed-up with another tweet to give praise to the Apple Watch, noting that designer Jony Ive and his team created a "beautiful" design. He does say, though, that the functionality isn't compelling, though by the next iteration, "it will be". We're not sure what gives him that sort of confidence, but I suppose it's good to hear.
Perhaps that should be Tesla's next market? With the company's battery prowess, maybe it could pull off creating a smartwatch that lasts longer than one or two days!