Elon Musk’s now lauding Jensen Huang for having once cleaned toilets

Elon Musk’s now lauding Jensen Huang for having once cleaned toilets
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"Absolutely the right attitude," Elon Musk (left) said of Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's (right) work ethic.
“Absolutely the right attitude,” Elon Musk (left) said of Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s (right) work ethic.

  • Elon Musk is a fan of Jensen Huang’s work ethic.
  • Huang said he once worked for the breakfast chain Denny’s, where he washed dishes and cleaned toilets.
  • The Nvidia CEO said the experience shaped his hands-on working style.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang’s indefatigable work ethic has helped turn the chip giant into one of the most valuable companies in the world.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that Huang’s client and fellow billionaire, Elon Musk, is a fan of his management style.

“Absolutely the right attitude,” Musk said in an X post on Sunday. “During the toilet paper shortages of Covid, I was making sure that our factories and offices had toilet paper.”

Musk was responding to a clip of an interview Huang gave in March to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he talked about his experience working at the breakfast chain Denny’s.

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“To me, no task is beneath me because, remember, I used to be a dishwasher,” Huang said. “I used to clean toilets. I cleaned a lot of toilets. I’ve cleaned more toilets than all of you combined.”

The experience, Huang said, proved formative in shaping his working style — taking on a hands-on approach toward solving problems with his staff.

“You can’t show me a task that’s beneath me,” Huang said. “If you send me something, and you want me to help review it, I’ll do my best. And I’ll show you how I would do it.”

Musk, for his part, hasn’t been afraid to be hands-on either.

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The Tesla CEO said he once spent a spell sleeping in the EV giant’s factories to personally inspect the vehicles coming off the production line.

“The reason I slept on the floor was not because I couldn’t go across the road and be at a hotel. It was because I wanted my circumstances to be worse than anyone else at the company,” Musk told Bloomberg in 2018. “Whenever they felt pain, I wanted mine to be worse.”

To be sure, Musk’s praise for Huang probably isn’t just because they are kindred spirits when it comes to the hustle. He hasn’t hesitated to pick fights with other billionaires known for their hardcore work ethic, like Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban.

Musk’s friendly overtures may instead have more to do with how intertwined their fortunes are. After all, Musk’s ambitions with AI — including Tesla’s goal of making self-driving cars and his desire to turn xAI into the world’s leading AI company — mean acquiring Nvidia’s chips has become a matter of survival.

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And for what it’s worth, the admiration between Musk and Huang appears to be mutual.

“Tesla is far ahead in self-driving cars, but every single car, someday, will have to have autonomous capability,” Huang said in an interview with Yahoo Finance in May.

“Thanks Jensen,” Musk wrote in an X post in response.

Representatives for Musk and Huang did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI sent outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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