Elon Musk is a gamer, but I do not mean the term for video gamer though I am sure he would be great at that too. I mean he really knows how to game systems, be they federal or state tax benefits or praying on public fears, such as his latest gambit to protect us from near earth objects that might collide with Earth.

He is brilliant, competitive, i.e.; doesn’t give up, and is very hard working. He is a wild risk taker. In this fantastic economy, all this combined has made him very wealthy.

I don’t admire him for his propensity and skill at manipulating facts and his ability to take taxpayer monies. He has learned the people who believe in him and his stock, can be lied to and they will still believe him and buy more stock and not sell their existing stock.

I believe he knows how much he can stretch the truth. Every few months he hypes batteries, for example, then solar, and solar tiles. He spreads his stories out in a time period that he has learned he can take advantage of people’s lack of memory and their true belief in him and his company. Each time the stock price goes up a little bit. So like Pavlov’s dog, he gets rewarded for his exaggerations.

I would bet, if you added up the stock price increase for each time he has hyped his China factory, these marginal increases in the stock price would add up, to something close to the entire stock price of Tesla. I also think there is a very high probability that the China factory will never make a profit.

Musk is completely truthful sometimes, but not consistently. I think he knows well, just what he can get away with. In other words, when he says that Tesla will have a fleet of Robo taxis in a year, the true believers believe him and give a large valuation to this dream, and the stock price goes up. He realizes that so many feel he is helping save the world from global warming, that they justify and will accept his exaggerations.

These types of companies and scammers may be the future, if the green zealots get a larger hold on our society.

Elon Musk is a Genius. He is not a Fraud, he knows how to game the system but his dreams can become irrational as his reach exceeds his grasp.

The price of Tesla stock has no relation to real value, but rather that he is almost a religious icon. Can it last? I don’t know. It surely has shown resilience so far.

His business philosophy is to build businesses where there is initially no competition thinking out into the future.

The key to all his businesses is to maximize tax breaks and subsidies.

The state of Nevada gave him a package of benefits worth $1.2 billion to place his battery factory in Nevada

CRAZY Ideas

He has started a boring company intending to tunnel from New York City to Washington DC and send people in capsules as vacuum tubes do at your drive through bank

He has started a computer company planned to link your brain directly to a computer

He is starting an airplane shuttle that will go out of the atmosphere and travel 18,000 miles per hour and re-enter the atmosphere landing any where on earth in 40 minutes at minimal cost to passengers

LESS CRAZY ideas

He has begun working on an electric truck with a 500 mile range battery to compete with standard diesel trucks for which he already has reservations from trucking companies

He told the government of South Australia that is having brown outs because of insufficient wind and solar power for 30,000 homes that he would build the world’s largest battery to support them for $50,000,000 in less than 100 days and he succeeded, but the battery only supported the 30,000 homes for one hour which works out to $1,666 for an hour of electricity for each home

SPACE X is clearly a success at many levels but not all

The company has been able to retrieve rockets on ocean platforms and reuse them saving money

His goal is to send astronauts to the space station but has not yet qualified to do so and is competing with two other rocket companies

Space Travel

Musk says he will send 100 passengers to Mars at a seat cost of $200,000 taking 3 to 6 months to get there and begin a new colony

NASA said travel to Mars must take 6 to 12 months and they will not be ready to send anyone in less than a decade

SELF DRIVING CARS

Tesla is the most advanced in placing self driving computer assist on their cars and may get first to a totally self driven car but the jury is not yet in on how much use self driving cars will get. They will exist in niches and the technology will make driving safer but total self driving we can not be sure.

If I could ask Musk one question it would be why in spite of his brilliance and success he continues to predict things that are highly unlikely to ever work or happen. He would likely answer that if you do not reach for the stars you can not possibly get there”. Reaching beyond his capacity to grasp is who Elon Musk is.

Author

  • Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition. He has authored more than 1,000 magazine and journal articles and 36 books.