Elon Musk: Visionary Or Crazy Person?

January 21, 2009

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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