Michael Maiello's picture

    The Tears of a Billionaire

    Elon Musk is having a no-good, horrible, terrible year says The New York Times, which devoted a massive amount of space to an article with four bylines and an additional reporting credit at the end to the litany of Musk’s complaints.

    Spoiler: Musk works long hours, says he has spent “days” within his own factories and that he spent his last birthday working friendlessly and that he has missed time with his children.  Musk is 47 years old and worth between $20-$25 billion (Bloomberg estimate) and is, best I can tell, nobody’s slave.

    If Elon Musk is missing family functions or socially isolating himself because of work, it’s not because he’s been forced or coerced.  This is all on Musk. Though we know, though none of the army of people the Times assigned to the story mentioned, that Musk has an active social life.  He and his musician girlfriend even partied with Azealia Banks, though it seems to have ended badly.

    So, Musk works a lot, seemingly because he wants to.  Musk doesn’t see friends and family as much as he’d like.  Though Musk does party with and hang out with celebrities, which would seem to suggest some downtime.  He also does recreational drugs, which is mentioned in both the Times and Vox pieces, and this also suggests a reasonable amount of down time.

    Musk can also take a vacation any time he wants. Nobody can stop him. He says at the end of the Times piece that anybody can have his job at Tesla, if they can do as well at it as he can.  Tesla board — call me or comment below. I could do better by Tesla and will not complain about the hours, because I’d properly delegate to knowledgeable people, would concentrate on building electric vehicles rather than launching rockets or feuding with rescue workers and would not let me ego prevent me from seeking partnerships with more established auto manufacturers in order to scale.

    As for the Times — I’m sure there are harder workers out there who have had tougher years and have more legitimate complains about life, but don’t have billions in the bank.  Maybe send four of the five you assigned to this story to go find them.



    But but but...he cried. Elon Musk cried!

    PS On behalf of the Tesla board, you're hired! Also Sulzberger wants to talk.

    In my continuing research to keep Dag updated on whether Trump represents a rebirth of the Third Reich, or the beginning of a Fourth, I found a curious vehicular parallel between Tesla's trouble delivering it's innovative automobile in the age of Trump, and Ferdinand Porshe's Volkswagen production in the age of Hitler. 

    From Ian Kershaw's Nemesis, Hitler, 1936-1945:

    "On Hitler's 49th birthday, 20 April, 1938, Ferdinand Porsche presented him with a model of the Volkswagen....None of the 336,000 Germans who ordered and paid for a car in part or in full ever took delivery of one. The vehicles produced were used exclusively for military purposes."

    Has anyone put money down on a Tesla, and if so, did you get it?


    Huh? 1) no one here can afford or would afford a Tesla

    2) Tesla's shipped a shitload of Tesla cars, and yes, I know people who have them (support's not as good in this part of Europe, no big surprise...)

    There's a campaign against Musk, too uppity, maybe too South African, dunno, but he's doing amazing. Compare his minor fuckups with Trump's or most anyone else's  - Bill Gates', Steve Ballmer's, Larry Ellison's, Mark Zuckerberg's? Maybe it's that Musk isn't showing up at Sundance with a hot girlfriend on his arm (sorry, freak Azealia Banks crashing on your couch in some confused tabloid "exposé" isn't the same), or buying his own island and yachting, but instead is sleeping on his factory floor. Maybe a bit like the bias against Ted Turner (unabashed successful Southerner). Fuck 'em.

    And no, Michael, I doubt if you or I could make it through 1 of Elon Musk's mornings, thiugh I have been in the position a few times where a board or boss wanted to place me incompetently into a position where they thought their go-to guy was fucking up. Despite the potential career boost (you don't get dinged for fucking up - you get promoted) I declined. Yeah, Elon Musk's probably exhausted, and is doing great shit. I just had to tell some assholes why his "you just reinvented the subway" isn't actually a subway, and has significant advantages over a subway. But twit-tards will have their fun even as engineering isn't their strong suit (craven mocking me-too juvenile uncomprehending insults is). Our recent "heroes" all offshored production or virtualized it all like Twitter having a staff of 12 to serve billions - except Amazon and Netflix built their own virtualization systems, and Musk is actually doing domestic car production in 2018. Way cool.

    I could easily manage any organization better than Musk could. The only difference between us is the huge head start he got by having been born wealthy. He’s a carny.

    You’re a Muskovite?

    "I could easily manage any organization better than Musk could" - that's pretty ballsy considering Musk had a $340m exit *before* Paypal, has a private reusable rocket business w NASA contracts, and has been successfully shipping several generations of electric cars beating out GM and other competitors to date, including a series of battery improvements needed to do so and a new version 3 of his car that all the trade magazines say is amazing.

    Does that make me a "Muskovite" to acknowledge his success to date? HP threw away $8 billion on Autonomy fuckup, Microsoft did same with Nokia, the Big Three needed how many tens of billions in govt bailouts (and are shipping how many electric cars?). In the vanity sweepstakes, Omidyar couldn't even get a news mag successfully launched, Branson lost miserably in space launches, Murdoch bought & buried MySpace, Atari founder did Chuck E Cheese, Europeans do "initiatives" and mine their local monopolies, Russians just buy football clubs. I see very few entrepreneurs geting up and doing a 2nd, 3rd and 4th major venture (I know one, but his are in the $100 million range - impressive/admirable but still not at billion dollar level.

    The names we do know give it up and go into financing, VC backers et al. Tim Cooke hasn't launched a successful new product since Jobs died (but has certainly managed the Apple machine well). Google's various internal projects and acquisitions have been shit for a decade. Microsoft has done zilch aside from a queerly successful cloud biz milking its enterprise sales position, while its VR goggles move at a glacier pace. Cisco and others burned telepresence/video conferencing to the ground over a decade, and have now spent another decade slow-walking Machine-to-Machine/IoT to its who-gives-a-shit grave...

    So what besides Amazon have I missed, and its not like Bezos doesn't have his detractors.

    PS - despite a worker break and shifted production, Tesla delivered 16,775 pluggable cars in July, over six times GM's 2500, while Nissan and Toyota didnt break 2000. I believe it's expected the coming months will produce more. But hey, I could step in and do better than all of them.

    PS - it seems Elon left South Africa w/o any money, so his "head start" seems to have been from studying and working hard, and whatever "gems" of wisdom he picked up from watching his family's mining biz. He raised 3rd party money for his first venture (unlike Trump, say). Unless you know something I don't.

    Let’s not pretend Musk is self made. He describes. His own childhood as having so much money that they couldn’t close the safe because it was overflowing with cash. This is jabroni is the definition of a mediocre white man.

    Sorry your Google is half-broke so you only get shitty half answers.
    From a bit of searching around, his father bought half of an emerald mine for £40K in a fluke deal with some Italians in Africa, which seems to have stayed in operation for 6 years, and presumably is the source of those good times. While no final numbers are given, let's just say it's doubtful that £40K multiplied into more than say £4m in that amount of time, and that for a guy owning planes & Rolls Royces, i.e. serious expenses. Note that the big lesson of Elon "walking around with emeralds" was in selling 2 for £2K total and seeing them sold to final buyer for about 100x that - something that mine owners and farmers notice regularly, but doesn't quite make them that rich, whatever the humorous safe tale and Rolls Royce bit, and considering his parents divorced when he was 9, due to his father's new squeeze and sprout, with Elon staying mostly with his mom, that emerald money in the safe might not have been in an Al Gore-certified lockbox for him.

    Anyway, as Elon remarks (which of course might be embellished, you know how these "jabronis" do):

    You’re just a troll/bot, but I will reply anyway. I arrived in Montreal at 17 by myself with $2k. No support, no contacts, nothing. Father said I’d fail & be back in 3 months.

    I don't know who paid tuition in the end, but this seems to be rather backed by further anecdotes: [more early work experience in the link, including renting out a frat house as a party house on weekends]

    After leaving South Africa in 1988, Musk spent time working a series of odd jobs around Canada. According to Ashlee Vance’s biography on him, Musk first tended vegetables and shoveled out grain bins at a cousin’s farm in Waldeck, and then learned how cut logs with a chain saw in Vancouver. After a visit to the unemployment office, he inquired about the job with the best wage, which turned out to be a gig cleaning the boiler room of a lumber mill. For $18 an hour — a great wage in 1989 — the grueling work involved wearing a hazmat suit, crawling through small spaces, and shoveling residue in extremely high-temperature conditions, according to Musk.

    His father does seem to have provided $28K to Elon & brother's startup a few years later, which doesn't quite seem to obviate the "self-made man" moniker, as distinctly less than the $1 million given to prime the Trump, much less the $30 mill/year "Living with the Kardashians" that Kylie got her cut of on her way to a fat billion dollars.

    And at the end it doesn't matter - it's hard to say that Elon's father's money rather than his engineering example along with own hard work was responsible for him building Zip2, then PayPal, then SpaceX, then Tesla, then Solar City.  Not that I ridicule Kylie Jenner (since even if she had $50m in the bank, that doesn't equal promoting herself & cosmetics to $1 billion), but I consider Elon Musk's engineering design & business innovation efforts vastly more complex and impressive than selling perfume and clicks off a known personality.

    I guess we can continue this for another round if you see a point. Though rather than me being a Muskovite, I see you as more the Musk-ox intent on goring him for whatever slight. I guess he's been a grave disappointment for some reason - we had such high hopes.

    Peracles, I've noted here and elsewhere how you've been a pretty lonely advocate on this issue and I want you to know your efforts are not wasted, I am sympathetic and enjoy reading what you have to say to counter the anti-Musk hordes. I just don't know enough to pipe in two cents. And it's not like I'm a big whore for the geek CEO mogul thing, for example: there's basically no argument that could make me like the whole Steve Jobs thing, to this day I just think: cult.

    I think there's no doubt Steve Jobs was much more abrasive, and his actions in say killing Real Player and Adobe Flash and preventing other content in the Apple Store or keeping other phones off of telcos were a lot more controversial in terms of misuse of corporate power/monopoly position (as is Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, along with last gen boogieman Microsoft). I just find it funny that you'd think "oh, private space travel" or "hey, Al Gore talked about the internal combustion engine dying, and here's Elon Musk doing it 20 years later" would be a slight bit more inspiring than a better search engine or a phone with 1 more Gigabyte, at least in terms of the human imagination. And while Khosla, Soros and Warren Buffett play a role on the funding side of things, I guess I am partial to the guys who actually do the work. (my parents for some reason used to criticize Albert Schweitzer as he could have worked as a doctor and then paid someone else to go do missionary work, which always struck me as quite bizarre).

    Expert estimates 6000 per month "soon", 8000 with a small amt of capital expenditure.


    Bloomberg estimates Tesla has now hit 6000 vehicles *per week* (my previous "per month" was a gaffe), claiming 2% accuracy in estimations, outproducing the Volt by 12:1, though Electrek says production is quite a bit lower. Goal of production is 10,000 per week "sometime next year", that the effort to ramp up production infrastructure is only halfway complete.

    Seeking Alpha runs hit piece on Tesla, and then in last paragraph sneaks in "oh, I guess Tesla numbers are pretty good after all".

    Meanwhile, Tesla successfully testing out new UPS truck, and suspects along with Electrek that 2/3 of complaints to Dept of Transport are fake. Guess Hillary's PizzaGate & Weiner's laptop might not be the only hit job?

    ^ ^ ^ Oh my my NCD ^ ^ ^





    It's dag sarcasm. 

    I'd heard the Volkswagen bug started in the 30s, didn't know that 300,000+ master race buyers (jews were prohibited to own cars) got stiffed by the leadership cult and it's quest for blood and soil.

    This really is where the cult of the Genius CEO leads.


    This is about genius inventors, Edison and Charles Goodyear and Nikola Tesla, or the "A man, a plan, a canal - Panama" guy - not about "CEOs". And yeah, both Edison and Tesla were quite bizarre characters - much more than Musk (Edison went around upstate New York electrocuting dogs to show how dangerous Tesla/Westinghouse's Alternating Current was - - he got lucky when the prisoner exectuion market heated up - while Tesla had some erotic fetish about pigeons rather than humans).

    Dogs, OK. Bizarre. Yes.

    Don't go with failing Dagblog fake news that Edison had  Topsy the elephant electrocuted in the "current wars".  

    Edison ONLY had Topsy's electrocution (alternating current) filmed, and copyrighted,  to promote his kinetoscope moving picture machine with the American public.

    Ah NCD, you popping up here, and me then thinking of some of your favorite memes, gave me an insight about what might be going on with the whole Musk hatefest thing.

    Two traditionally separate issues are combined with him: Mitt's "corporations are people too, my friend" and the iconoclast. His instincts to take the company private are probably about wanting to be a revered iconoclast again. The lowest common denominator of having to pander to shareholders: not for him.

    Yes. And as CEO on Mars,.... the colonist plebes will revere him, or else...expulsion to the valles marinaris.

    Saw an economic article saying Trump could block a big Saudi investment in Tesla.

    Question as to whether Trump hates Musk for quitting Trump's ceo thing so much, or, loves the sword gifting Saudis even moreso, to let the sheiks do whatever they want.

    National security of course will have zip to do with it.

    only the magic orb knows what the future will behold:


    I really don't think it's "pandering to shareholders" - it's answering shitty misleading questions from shortsellers who are trying to kill his company, so that no matter what positive comes out, there's an incredible focus on x or y problem. Think if the dumb gotcha stuff Hillary put up with and apply it to the business sphere. Going private means he can focus on production and backers who want the company to succeed.

    Inc does a good job of describing how stupid the incident was. https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/elon-musk-was-right-questions-were-bo...

    Another "scandal" recently was that Musk may have given a whopping $30k to some Republican congressional election group, kind of what you figure a typical billion dollar company might have to do to keep talking to various important committee members (and last I checked the Republicans still have the majority in both houses and all the power). 

    Just remember that having money at all makes you a target for some. When Elon noted he arrived in Toronto with only $2000 and no contacts, one of the comments was "$2000 is a lot of money!" Well, no, it's survival for 4-5 months at best while finding a job. (I remember a similar time where I cut it close in LA, had to have someone follow me to cash my 1st paycheck and then fill up my car - it's not enough to have a job - you need the money as well, oops. Though I could at least sleep in my car as need be - Musk didnt have that option). There are a lot if idiots out there.

    ok points taken. All I was trying to say is that iconoclast genius does not usually jive with any communal systems, including publicly traded corps. And here you have your believers in capitalist communalism and jealousy of rich people and haters of iconoclasts and haters of elites all ganging up together, making an exceptionally big bunch.

    Traditionally people like him had elite patrons protecting from the masses, or the lowest common denominator at the time.

    This is why the Henry Ford story of going mass market and succeeding is still very compelling. While many were still screaming get a horse you idiot....it is something special about U.S. culture but it takes an extra special genuis with multiple skill sets to not appear offensively elite.

    Think you're reading too much into it all. He has done some mind-blowing things in terms of technology and large-scale disruption of diverse industries with powerful incumbents deeply invested in his failure. I don't think we've ever seen anything like Musk. Ever. That's on the one side of the scale. On the other side he called a cave rescuer a paedophile for rejecting his mini-sub idea and blew up on a conference call with investors. I'm sure he'll regret both after a bit of R&R and after the model 3 production ramps up. 

    So you read the description of the investment conference? Nothing to add?

    Nice explainer! A hedge fund trader I know seems to make most of his money from planting deliberately awkward questions with green sell-side analysts who mostly have no idea why they are asking the question, and then juices the resulting talking points on trader chat groups, at which point Reuters has to cover the rumor, and like magic it becomes reality. My point being, before going on that call, Musk should have taken a quaalude or done some transcendental meditation or whatever they're doing these days. 

    Yeah, well, he would have but some pedo stole his thorazine.

    Peracles... Just for kicks and the info...

    Staying Public

    Elon Musk August 24, 2018

    Earlier this month, I announced that I was considering taking Tesla private. As part of the process, it was important to understand whether our current investors believed this would be a good strategic move and whether they would want to participate in a private Tesla.

    Our investors are extremely important to me. Almost all have stuck with us from the time we went public in 2010 when we had no cars in production and only a vision of what we wanted to be. They believe strongly in our mission to advance sustainable energy and care deeply about our success.

    I worked with Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who have world-class expertise in these matters, to consider the many factors that would come into play in taking Tesla private, and to process all the incoming interest that we received from investors to fund a go-private transaction. I also spent considerable time listening to current shareholders, large and small, to understand what they think would be in the best long-term interests of Tesla.

    Based on all the discussions that have taken place over the last couple of weeks and a thorough consideration of what is best for the company, a few things are clear to me:

    • Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company. Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company. There is also no proven path for most retail investors to own shares if we were private. Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was “please don’t do this.”
    • I knew the process of going private would be challenging, but it’s clear that it would be even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated. This is a problem because we absolutely must stay focused on ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable. We will not achieve our mission of advancing sustainable energy unless we are also financially sustainable.
    • That said, my belief that there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private was reinforced during this process.

    After considering all of these factors, I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree.

    Moving forward, we will continue to focus on what matters most: building products that people love and that make a difference to the shared future of life on Earth. We’ve shown that we can make great sustainable energy products, and we now need to show that we can be sustainably profitable. With all the progress we’ve made on Model 3, we’re positioned to do this, and that’s what the team and I are going to be putting all of our efforts toward.

    Thank you to all of our investors, customers and employees for the support you’ve given our company. I’m incredibly excited to continue leading Tesla as a public company. It is a privilege.


    Already saw it, but thanks.

    Peracles... How about this one?



    Same thing with Muskie, and he was standing in the New Hampshire sleet - but didn't matter - press sunk him anyway.

    So... he says he’s going to take Tesla private and even falsely claims to have secured funding to do so. He spiked the stock to $380 with a false claim, all while making jokes about selling Tesla branded “short shorts.” and now the stock is down more than 25% since his own false statements.

    Oh, and the pedo diver story, which should have gone away by now, is still a story because Musk basically said that if the diver didn’t sue him for libel, he wasn’t really denying the allegation.

    This has been a good month for me as a Musk-Ox.  He keeps goring himself!

    The "pedo" first told him to shove his boat up his ass. So why exactly do you care about this soap opera? Because Elon is a billionaire? Or some other pertinent reason?

    More importantly, what do you say to the evidence of short-selling, and that the famous "you're boring me" was about 2 short-sellers who hadn't even bothered to read the information sent out ahead of the earnings call? Or do you think Elon has an obligation to suffer fools gladly, unlike Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Jamie Dimon, and all the other prickish CEOs of America? I'm still trying to figure out why I or you should be shocked or even have a dog in this fight. And last I saw, the SEC wasn't going to even take the investigation of the take-it-private statement forward, so it appears to be be dead in the water at this point.

    And since all this started around concern trolling abiut Tesla's production, does this recent report sound like a company in trouble? https://cleantechnica.com/2018/08/30/tesla-model-3-production-has-25-33-...

    Musk's on record apologizing...


    Now run along Mikey and find a fake wrestling match to keep you entertained.



    I hope you’re kidding, Duck.

    Maiello ... Kidding?
    There's more than enough repetition of Musk/Tesla bashing at MarketWatch alone that puts your missive to shame,

    The last time Wall Street’s ‘fear index’ and stocks traded this closely it didn’t end well 1:00 p.m. Sept. 2, 2018 - By MarketWatch The last time Wall Street’s ‘fear index’ and stocks traded this closely it didn’t end wellU.S. stocks and one popular measure of volatility on Wall Street have been moving in lockstep lately, and some market experts think that is a bad sign.

    8:00 a.m. Sept. 2, 2018 - By MarketWatch The last time Wall Street’s ‘fear index’ and stocks traded this closely it didn’t end wellU.S. stocks and one popular measure of volatility on Wall Street have been moving in lockstep lately, and some market experts think that is a bad sign.\
    5:00 a.m. Sept. 2, 2018 - By MarketWatch The last time Wall Street’s ‘fear index’ and stocks traded this closely it didn’t end wellU.S. stocks and one popular measure of volatility on Wall Street have been moving in lockstep lately, and some market experts think that is a bad sign.
    This timeline charts Elon Musk’s dramatic rise to internet fame (or descent into internet infamy) 1:07 p.m. Sept. 1, 2018 - By Jessica Marmor Shaw This timeline charts Elon Musk’s dramatic rise to internet fame (or descent into internet infamy) Key moments for the billionaire and Tesla CEO, as his renown and Twitter following have grownKey moments for the billionaire and Tesla CEO -- as his renown and Twitter habits have grown.
    Elon Musk is more famous than ever, and maybe more dangerous 12:42 p.m. Sept. 1, 2018 - By Claudia Assis Elon Musk is more famous than ever, and maybe more dangerous The evidence of Musk’s skyrocketing celebrity is written all over social media, and it could spell trouble for TeslaHere is the evidence of Musk’s skyrocketing celebrity. It could spell even more trouble for Tesla.
    Elon Musk faces his own worst enemy 12:10 p.m. Sept. 1, 2018 - By Tim Higgins Elon Musk faces his own worst enemy Musk seeks to ferry mankind to Mars and investors to prosperity — his ego may be all that stands in the way. Elon Musk seeks to ferry mankind to Mars and investors to prosperity, and his ego may be all that stands in the way.
    Elon Musk is more famous than ever, and maybe more dangerous  5:00 a.m. Sept. 1, 2018 - By MarketWatch Elon Musk is more famous than ever, and maybe more dangerous. Here is the evidence of Musk’s skyrocketing celebrity. It could spell even more trouble for Tesla.

    The pedo diver story does remain in the news because of Musk's strange fixation/inability to STFU.
    Aside from that,wasn't very good for Musk goring as 1) Musk got the shorts off his back (yeah, we'll see where an SEC investigation goes - don't hold your breath), and 2) Tesla is on track to reach its Q3 numbers, slightly beat revenue (loss) projections, and is actually making a profit per Tesla 3 now. Is a pivotal quarter for him, for sure. If he can keep his mouth shut. But the great thing about Musk-goring is whatever goes right, there's always something trivial to quibble over, so gore on.

    Tesla builds new delivery organization to handle ramped-up production.

    That’s a dramatic boost in Tesla production in just the past 5 years. And remember, every step along the way, critics claimedoften quite loudly — that Tesla couldn’t produce significantly more cars than it was producing at the time, that demand wasn’t there anyway, and that the sky is neon orange (you’re just not looking closely enough). It appears all three claims have been incorrect.



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