Okay, folks: we need your help. Because honestly, we can't decide if Elon Musk is just another egomaniacal Silicon Valley schmuck, or if he's crazy--crazy like a fox--and playing us media types for chumps.
On Friday, Yahoo posted an interview with the chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors, and in the first 60 seconds, Musk calls a writer for the New York Times "a douchebag...and an idiot" for suggesting that Tesla doesn't deserve any government support in developing its electric automobiles. Musk's primary rationale seems to be--and we're paraphrasing here:
- "We can't raise cash from my venture capitalist buddies (even though they totally love me) because they're in dire straits these days."
- "We're asking for a loan, not a grant, and it'll have to be repaid before Tesla investors make money."
- "We're the little guy, and you can't hurt the little guy! Who ever heard of hurting the little guy?"
No matter how well you think these points illustrate the guy's knowledge of the auto industry, the interview makes one thing abundantly clear: Tesla would have a tough time finding a replacement for Elon Musk. In fact, we're beginning to think that he knows exactly what he's doing. Heck, all that alleged "crazy talk" keeps him--and Tesla--right in the media spotlight. And we'd wager that's at least partially responsible for the remarkable pre-sales stats on the Tesla Model S.
But even worse than feeling chumped out, we at TCC feel ignored. Seriously, we've said plenty of snarky things about Musk. Where's our "douchebag" moment, Elon? Where is it?