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Elon Musk: Visionary Or Crazy Person?

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk

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There are a lot of words you could use to describe Tesla chairman (and co-founder of PayPal and Space X) Elon Musk: Entrepreneur. Risk-taker. Bejillionaire. Icarus-in-training. I could go on.

If an article in the February issue of GQ is to be believed, the South African-born Musk is all those things and more. Most importantly, he is driven, he is young, he is knowledgeable (at least when it comes to math and science), and he is just a tiny bit crazy. Well, maybe more than a tiny bit.

He is also, as most people of his type are, fairly self-aggrandizing:

“We’re all focused on our little things that are of concern to humanity itself. People think of curing AIDS or cancer as being very important, and they are—within the context of humanity. But curing all forms of cancer would improve the average life span by only two to three years. That’s it.”

In other words, while eradicating disease is a worthy pursuit, and would extend the lives of individual human beings, my life’s work is extending the life span of life itself.

But then, you don't really get VC's attention by humbly disappearing into the background, now do you?

Before you click through to that rather lengthy piece, here's a (poorly encoded) clip of Musk in a recent appearance on CNBC, where he basically says, "No, no, Tesla's totally fine. We don't need any bailout support. Well, not really. But it wouldn't hurt."

[via BoingBoing]

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Comments (4)
  1. "Crazy is as..."

    Nice one Richard! LOL. From Madonna to Mozart, the most brilliant visionaries have also been quite certifiably crazy in some of their thoughts, actions, and proclivities. Perhaps you just can't have one without the other...
     
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  2. "Musk is dead on"

    We could do more for humanity by moving to clean energy and cleaning up the air. That would extend all life on this planet a good 10-20%. And it is cheaper to do than all the rest of the items.
    The man is pushing AE via SolarCity, Clean cars with Tesla, and saving humanity by trying to get us off this planet.
    He may be crazy, but IMHO, he is one of the best there is.
     
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  3. "Tesla Yikes"

    Oh My! What is the deal? Tesla issues:
    Cheating:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/21/profile-of-paypal-an.html
    Battery Deal:
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/08/16/some-complete-speculation-on-the-daimler-tesla-deal/
    Lawsuits:
    http://valleywag.gawker.com/380125/tesla-finds-the-electric-car-business-is-a-litigious-one
    Cancer:
    http://www.saxton.org/tom_saxton/2009/01/tesla-price-increase.html
    Bad karma from the start:
    http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/11/tesla-s-musk-calls-cofounder-the-worst-individual-i-ve-ever-worked-with-
    More problems:
    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/more-sparks-from-tesla/
    Pissing off the customers:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/tesla-to-angry-customers-its-all-about-us/
     
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  4. "Mr"

    Nice article. I'm trying to do something visionary. Please take a quick look.
    Thanks
    M
     
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