• Power Play

  • Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century
  • By: Tim Higgins
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (456 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A WALL STREET JOURNAL BUSINESS BESTSELLER • The riveting inside story of Elon Musk and Tesla's bid to build the world's greatest car—from award-winning Wall Street Journal tech and auto reporter Tim Higgins.  

“A deeply reported and business-savvy chronicle of Tesla's wild ride.” —Walter Isaacson, New York Times Book Review

Tesla is the envy of the automotive world.  Born at the start of the millennium, it was the first car company to be valued at $1 trillion. Its CEO, the mercurial, charismatic Elon Musk has become not just a celebrity but the richest man in the world.

But Tesla’s success was far from guaranteed. Founded in the 2000s, the company was built on an audacious vision. Musk and a small band of Silicon Valley engineers set out to make a car that was quicker, sexier, smoother, and cleaner than any gas-guzzler on the road. Tesla would undergo a hellish fifteen years, beset by rivals—pressured by investors, hobbled by whistleblowers. Musk often found himself in the public’s crosshairs, threatening to bring down the company he had helped build.

Wall Street Journal tech and auto reporter Tim Higgins had a front-row seat for the drama: the pileups, breakdowns, and the unlikeliest outcome of all, success. A story of impossible wagers and unlikely triumphs, Power Play is an exhilarating look at how a team of innovators beat the odds—and changed the future.

©2021 Tim Higgins (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] sweeping history of the electric-car juggernaut.... I’ve covered Tesla as a reporter since 2016. When Higgins writes about facts and situations I’m familiar with, I can attest he’s right on the button, every time.” (Los Angeles Times

"Tim Higgins’ compelling and deeply reported history of Tesla addresses the essential question of how this upstart automaker came from nowhere to become one of the most valuable companies on Earth.... An exceptional work of business journalism." (Washington Post

“Tense, detailed and well-crafted...Power Play is a business thriller for real.... A clear, deeply reported and engaging account of how Musk launched a truly transformational car.” (Associated Press) 

What listeners say about Power Play

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but you've heard these stories before

This book is worth reading if you are interested in Tesla and Musk, but the theme is relatively straight forward and something you probably already know. Musk is wild and unpredictable, yet genius and a visionary. this book recounts many familiar headlines and goes a bit beyond the surface. I did not find it especially groundbreaking, and I don't find Musk to be all that interesting. Certainly not as interesting as Steve Jobs and his journey leading Apple. Perhaps Walter Isaacson will fill in the gaps in his personal life and deliver a more balanced autobiography one day. Until then, this serves as a fairly good start in the chronicling of Tesla.

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Detailed story of Tesla’s development, but not all that interesting

I don’t really feel I learned a whole lot that I didn’t know. Let’s just say I’m glad I listened at 1.5x speed.

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very entertaining

I would take the story presented in the book with grain of critisism but it surely was very entertaining book.

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Excellent book

Excellent, well written and read book of yet another American narcissist megalomaniac who believes his achievements, great though they are, are down to him and him alone. How company owners can get away with such rampant abuses of workers in the greatest, most advanced industrial nation the world has ever seen befuddles me. Perhaps that’s how and why America is in this position. This book made me pity the many workers and their families going through the stress and insecurity of working for Elon Musk. There will be redemption one day.

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Great insight into the growth of the organization

This page turner reads like a novel with perspective from several characters.

Very informative in how business growth works in the real world. Messy and dangerous, but worth it all in the end

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Great History Lesson

Well written and well narrated history of Tesla with the year to year behavior of Elon Musk saturating the majority of the documentary.

Worth the read and time.

Warning....it's a long one

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Tesla Haters & Fans should read

This is a pretty good comprehensive story about all the inner workings of Tesla motor Corp. which then became Tesla. It talks about all the dynamics involved and it is pretty amazing to read how Elon musk was able to group together so many people from different backgrounds and motivate them to meet ridiculous deadlines.

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If you know nothing of Tesla

Highly recommended book that goes into the company’s wild ride.

It does go into a lot of the dark side of Tesla:

-Battle with Labor Unions (personally I side with Tesla, as Unions are useless to society)

-Relentless drive to be the best, produce the highest quality cars at scale and affordable as well.

-At times Elon Musk would have a temper as he would get angry at things he didn’t want to hear.

However, given what Tesla has accomplished and contributed to the world, that is also important and everyone that starts at this point in Tesla.

Be forewarned, if you are not ready for the hardest but most rewarding career at Tesla, then Get Lost!!

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Interesting but biased

Not a hatchet job, but quick to smear Elon. Let's say unflattering. Interesting and worth a listen. Given Elon's unique ability to make people love and hate him, not a bad effort at a middle road.

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Elon Musk - You Did It

Great read going over the history of Tesla from start to current times.

Great insight into how Musk operates whether some view it as good or bad.