The Isaacson biography of Musk

Just finished listening to the audiobook. Wow! I went in with a lot of negative prejudice. Interviews always show him as an unappealing, socially awkward, empathy-devoid freak and I was also under the misconception that he was just a savvy businessman with a knack for buying businesses that others had created.
Instead I was blown away by what he has achieved and the extraordinary approach he has used to fulfil his life’s missions.
He is Spock-like which IRL must be very unpleasant at times but his contribution to the world, especially in technology and engineering, is staggering.


I feel called out…



Well, if you hang on in there and achieve a fraction of what he has, you will have lived long and prospered!


Logically speaking, you have been. :vulcan_salute: :rofl:


Keep in mind that Walter Isaacson is an old spin doctor from CNN, who made famous biographies of influential people like Einstein, Ben Franklin, Leonardo Da Vinci (and Henry Kissinger). Steve Jobs specifically requested that he be the one to write his autobiography, possibly to liken himself to those great minds from his previous books (except one). If you read through the Steve Jobs book with that in mind, it casts an extremely positive view of all of Jobs actions and minimizes his mistakes.

It’s entirely possible that the muskrat sought him out for the same reason, in which case the titan of industry/megamind propaganda seems to have worked. We may never know


Watch some of thunderf00t’s content regarding Musk and it might change your tune. Musk is a professional vaporware salesman and inventor of already invented things.


I generally see Musk in a good light although I don’t really know him.

Is it me or thunderf00t just compiles a bunch of stuff while not making any real arguments. Which is great if you hate Musk and want some validation but not so much if you want to update your opinions with more information. I’m sorry but a clip of his new twitter CEO saying “this is your introduction to advertisement” followed by a clip from a different interview of Musk saying “go fuck yourself” is the sort of thing that makes me feel manipulated and that the context of the original recordings is being thrown out for this end.


hes a piece of shit human being lol, hope he figures out how to get to mars and never comes back

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Just like everyone else, Musk is a complicated hodge podge of things you can like about him and things you can hate about him. I don’t think anyone’s persona survives well being so publicly exposed and scrutinized… except maybe professional liars like politicians and PR experts.

There are things I like about Musk and things I don’t care for. I try to use the things I like to inspire me toward my own goals, and use the things I don’t like about him to keep perceptions in check.


I choose to believe there are in fact 3 (at least musk clones) it’s the only way I can put him in a box lol

Super redundant because I try to not care when possible but…

SpaceX Musk, doing cool space shit and changing the game not the actual engineer but seems to know a lot of the technical aspects and seems to genuinely care the company and it’s missions
Let’s gooo

Tesla musk,
Idk, trying to build some cool but very overpriced electric cars, keeps poking the fed bear with the ftc or whatever… anti authority always gets a point or 2 I guess

Twitter musk,
Only point I give is, I do believe Twitter was hemorrhaging money before he bought it, so a lot of the staff reductions make sense to try and stop the bleeding… everything else though dudes a toxic troll who is trying to hide behind and gain points with the “freedom of hate speech” crowd…bought some company because of a tiff and is basically burning it and his money slowly to the ground
Dumpster fire


Yeah seems on point… his tweets illustrate how immature his internal dialog is. Combined with his anti authority bent means he’s going to say what he says without much maturity or consideration for professionalism that authority figures like… so it makes perfect sense in fact.


Yes, in the book he comes across as socially handicapped (by Asperger’s?) and extremely unpleasant as an adversary but extraordinarily driven and technically savvy which goes a long way to explain the results: the incredible success of Tesla and Space X and the relatively poor results (so far) at Twitter where a wise human adult was required.
The other thing I found interesting is that he really doesn’t seem to be money-oriented. He has certain missions he is passionate about to the point of obsession and he applies all his vast reserves of energy and resources to achieving them.


Another interesting thing was how, despite having all the human warmth of an anvil, Musk often surrounds himself with family members, has had 11 children and business relationships (always on his terms) with his brother and various cousins. He carries his youngest son X around with him, often at work and they seem to have a special bond.
The relationships are often unconventional but he does have them.

SpaceX: Wake me up when they leave low earth orbit, beat the shuttle program actual cost/kg delivered, or actually deliver on any of the promised reusability. Also extremely questionable strategies for getting investor attention. Lived up to very few promises and caught in countless lies.

Tesla: Relatively cheaply made cars with very questionable advertising history and repair philosophy. Again, lived up to very few promises and caught in countless lies. NACS is pretty good though (not that Musk had anything to do with that).

Twitter: Do I need to say…

And if we’re being honest, Elon pretty much had nothing to do with most of the successful products of these companies besides providing capital and attracting investors. While at the same time, dozens and dozens of optimistic promises and vaporware lead back to Musk.

I probably have an equally biased view on Musk. He’s in the business of pushing impossible industries forward - things everyone said would never work. This is what he does… PayPal would never be able to stand up against banks… but it changed the payments and banking landscape… a fledgling electric car company would never be able to stand up to the big auto industry… he stepped in and pushed it forward… private reusable rockets vs NASA? Forget it. Brain neural interfaces? Pipedreams.

The most important thing Musk brings to the table everywhere is that he’s pushing it forward. Of course there will be problems and maybe even lies told in the course of marketing etc… but it’s getting pushed forward… and others are forced to compete where there was no pressure to do so before.

I’ve sat and talked with Tom, CEO of Synchron … he showed me the early prototype of his stent electrode in a box he was carrying around at a health conference. We talked about implants and even Musk. He was scared of him and Neuralink but also respected what they were doing and he was glad they existed to keep him pushing.

I’ve talked to plenty of people who work for Musk or has worked for Musk in Neuralink and Tesla. He’s actually quite involved and always pushes things forward. Naysayers pop up internally and he’ll escort them to the door… not a friendly man… not what I’d call a conducive corporate culture cultivator… but he’s a pusher. If you say no, can’t be done, but have no alternatives, you’re gone and he’ll find someone else who can come up with a path forward.

If anything, there is huge value in that alone… value to the industries he’s involved in, and value to society at large who will benefit from it. Not everything is a winner and his methods don’t jive with everyone… certainly his personality and comments are extremely irritating for many… but he makes things happen, both within the companies he’s involved with and within the competitors in those fields. This is undeniable.


TBF, that alone is already hard as fuck!

Lying on stage isn’t hard as fuck in my book. And to be fair a lot of the capital comes from government grants, his other companies government grants, or loans (see twitter acquisition).

Hard to pin down if he is knowingly telling a lie on stage or if expectations just aren’t being met… any solid examples?

As for grants, blame the government not people taking advantage of grants offered. You don’t just walk up and say give me a grant… they must be applied for and lying is hard to do in a grant application because they want tons of references and research, and applications are reviewed by peers. If his companie won grants, they probably deserved them. Also, I doubt he’s writing the grant applications himself.

I’m honestly looking for some solid examples where he personally lied or defrauded… my guess is it’s going to be very difficult to actually produce concrete evidence… but i could be wrong. I’m happy to be proven wrong in fact.

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Also, let me be clear. It’s okay to just not like the guy. Unfortunately today’s binary climate means that the person can only be good or evil, therefore the things they do can only be good or evil.

Just be careful conflating how you feel about him as a person or a social media character and what he or his businesses are doing. Just because you may not like him doesn’t mean all his businesses are frauds and valueless wastes of time. The polarized attitudes common today need to be destroyed and a more nuanced approach to life is necessary.


One example (of many) is the battery required to meet the range promises of the Roadster (claimed to be in production in 2017) would make the battery pack about the size of the entire vehicle. It doesn’t take world class engineers to make that calculation.

There are countless examples like this, I think it’s easy for people to lose track or forget over the years. A lot of them aren’t under-delivering, it’s trying to divide by zero. As well as the fact that nearly every product was inaccurately advertised (the ones that actually end up existing at least).

I agree the world is not black and white, there is room for nuance, but I’ve grown quite tired of people giving Elon the benefit of the doubt.

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