Crazy race Elon musk: will the end of the fantastic projects of an entrepreneur?

Elon Musk is a genius or a charlatan? The biographer of entrepreneur Ashley Vance estimated the extent of the problems in companies Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity.


Elon Musk recently gave a talk in the Mexican city of Guadalajara with a speech that he was going to say all my life. Musk, with a new, strange mustache well groomed, brilliantly played the role of "shy Tony stark" in front of a crowd of space enthusiasts. Of course, he told them about his plans to colonize Mars – aerospace company SpaceX Mask send thousands of rockets and people to the Red planet, possibly within ten years, and spend about $10 billion. Some astronauts die in the course of the experiment. Where others will spend the rest of his days, Musk said.

Yet Musk continues to confound the Earth. Partly techno-Messiah – a messenger from the future, sent to Earth to save humanity from itself, partly a charlatan: nimble businessman itatively stupid investors in an even more grandiose and wasteful projects.

Every time one of his companies is having problems, the Musk makes another incredible statement, whether it is a new method of travel, Internet in space, or the colonization of Mars, which excites us or confusing.

Did the Mask so to distract from the disturbing details of his companies, or those who doubt, just narrow-minded people who not let us all into a better future?

Anyway, the company Mask are in a difficult position. In the spring the driver of the car Tesla Motors, who was in autopilot mode and died. Of fatal accidents resulted in a forensic examination from both regulators and consumers. In addition, the automaker is experiencing difficulties with the production of cars in line with the expected indicators as proposed Tesla the acquisition of SolarCity, a company Mask in solar energy was overshadowed by lawsuits from shareholders. Leading engineers from Tesla and two senior representatives of the Department of public relations, left the company. SpaceX has just had another explosion of the rocket, causing the company's future at risk.

However, instead of falling to his knees, the Mask has become even more prominent, vehemently speaking out against critics on Twitter and the corporate blog Tesla.

In Silicon valley the Mask I love and admire, idealize it. However, people began to think: not too many took it for yourself? If so, we can expect the worst scenario, because now at stake almost everything.

Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity is no longer just experiments. Tesla and SolarCity is a public company. SpaceX has a huge importance not only for the American space program, but also for countries and companies around the world that want to launch satellites for communications, entertainment and national security. If the company Mask will fail, the problem is not only that the Internet-playboy pulled millions on their whims. Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost billionaire — destroyed, and technical progress is retarded.

A famous example of how Musk handles arranged himself Apocalypse. In 2008, Tesla and SpaceX were on the verge of collapse. Trying to release the first electric car called the Tesla Roadster and safely launch a rocket into space SpaceX, Musk has spent nearly $200 million earned in the sale of PayPal. He had to borrow money from friends, and the parents of his future wife Talula Riley offered to remortgage his home to save his companies (he did not use this feature). Then Musk has divorced his first wife Justine, and the media, who previously sang his praises began to criticize him.

"It was similar to death in the flesh, recalled Riley in the biography of a Mask. — I remember thinking that he had a heart attack and he dies. He seemed on the verge". At that time he was suffering from what can be called a nightmare industrialist. "He felt physical pain. Climbed at me and screamed it in my sleep," said Riley.

However, the Mask emerged from this dark period, like a magician Houdini in a burning straitjacket. While the "right" of the automakers declared bankruptcy amid the global economic crisis, Musk convinced investors to invest more money in Tesla. Then he persuaded NASA to give a chance to SpaceX and its rockets. After four years of development, through luck and sheer force of will, Tesla and SpaceX has achieved somewhat of a strong position. In 2012, Tesla released the Model S sedan, which even the skeptics in Detroit found possibly the best car in history. Rocket SpaceX has docked with the International space station, and SolarCity – went to the exchange. Musk looked into the abyss, and then made probably his best business race.

To obtain the most direct representation of the state of Affairs in the Country Mask possible through Tesla. For too many years, the company could not set up production. Tesla continues to release new products to market late. The company regularly performs projections of sales and timing of shipments due to delays in production, and the cars cost $100 thousand are still shortcomings. Tesla was able to move forward with production of its expensive battery factory in Nevada, however, until the company can find a way to make a profit. Players on the slide who "burned" during a success after the release of the Tesla Model S, are back in full force; some of them stated with confidence that the company is hurtling toward a terrible end.

Musk knows about these problems firsthand and, at least, thought about their ability to overcome it all alone. A few years ago Musk was close to do Tesla CEO Tony Fadell, Creator of the iPod and the former CEO of the company Nest. "Elon has repeatedly said that I joined Tesla as CEO," said Fadell in 2014, as stated in the biography of a Mask. According to some, Musk also held talks with the former CEO of Skype, Tony Bates, about possible Executive positions. Bates himself has not commented on this information. However, Musk has always been reluctant to cede control over the company and continues to personally conduct daily operations. If in doubt, puts the Mask on himself.

In addition to financial and production problems, Tesla is facing the worst PR crisis since the release of the Roadster. For the company, the chief patron of the technology of auto-pilot, falls a wave of criticism whenever an accident involving her machines. In response, Musk provides huge amounts of statistical data that justifies the technology rather than sympathetic. Many do not share this "algorithmic" approach of Silicon valley.

SpaceX, meanwhile, the situation is better, although not by much. Over the past year the company has reached such heights, starting and returning back to Earth the rocket that these incredible achievements began to seem something of a routine. However, in early September, a SpaceX rocket exploded on the launch pad – this is the second such case in the last 15 months. No one was killed, but the explosion has given a new reason for critics of SpaceX and led to doubt even her faithful consumers.

Doubts about the Mask, with this in mind, clear. Perhaps he really lost his way, and Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX will end up with only exemplary cases to study hubris.

However, as the man who for many years researched the identity Mask, I seriously doubt that this is the outcome and find the cynicism that surrounds him, something of a cross between "depressed" and "ignorant".

Empire Mask now has a much more solid Foundation than in the dark days of 2008. Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity – the real company with factories and tens of thousands of employees. Musk already has enough confidence and "star" power to the relative ease of finding money or rely on the help of their super-rich friends, sharing its aspirations. His company has developed world-class technology, and certainly there are a number of those who are willing to buy any of his enterprises.

Only on the technological standards of the company's Mask has already achieved sustainable impact on the world. So, the transformation of the electric vehicle in reality has happened mainly due to the fact that Tesla, selling tens of thousands of expensive cars, was forced to give an answer to such giants of the industry like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen. Software Tesla also made the automotive industry is once again interesting. Producers had to improve ON in their vehicles and to speed up programs-pilot.

SpaceX, which pay less attention, maybe, is even a greater achievement Mask. There is hardly a more Patriotic history than the story of how a South African immigrant, used his own money to bring life back to the aerospace industry of the United States.

Until SpaceX was considered abnormal that a person trying to compete with States that have years of experience and billions in budgets. Now the number of rocket companies is multiplying, and they're trying to compete with SpaceX on price. As the fall in the cost of space travel dozens of other startups offered new types of satellites that promise to change the technology in various fields, from image transfer to medicine.

With the development of automobiles, energy and space exploration, Musk has opened a new industrial era. Suddenly, the world of machinery and infrastructure was ready for the lightning-fast development. It is no exaggeration to say that Musk Saral a huge role in changing the world.

And the fact that we forget about all of this, the handiwork of the Mask: every time his company achieve a strong position, he continues to promise more and more, erasing the memory of past achievements. Perhaps he fell into addiction from overcoming himself.


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Wall street and ordinary observers often find repulsive approach the Mask, and it is absolutely clear. They want sustainable earnings per share and direct dialogue, and Musk constantly invents and is so willing to risk that it would drive others crazy. However, because the Mask always managed their companies on the brink, he reached such heights.published




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