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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is Elon Musk A Colossus of Scrodes or a Metro-Redneck?

Regular GM-Volt poster Don C has meticulously argued that Elon Musk is a "psychopath".

There is now more information available supporting Don's hypothesis:

Elon Musk once scolded a Tesla employee for missing a work event to witness the birth of his child

Here's the email Musk reportedly sent to a Tesla employee who wasn't identified by name in the book:

"That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We're changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t."

The quote above is just one snippet from the book that illustrates how Musk prioritizes his work above most other things, including his personal life
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http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-email-tesla-employee-2015-5
 

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To be a CEO you are a psychopath...I have worked with enough and it is so true.

So apply that same measure you are applying to Musk to virtually all US CEO's.
 

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Normally, I would pile on here. So many people think having money means you are a good person when the data suggests so many CEOs are narcissists (which means in short you really are far from a mature human) For example:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericjackson/2013/09/16/the-top-25-most-narcissistic-ceos-in-tech/ or
http://www.businessinsider.com/study-says-narcissistic-ceos-get-paid-more-2014-7

That said, I have a tremendous soft spot for a guy running both an electric car company and a rocket company.

I condemn the note and behavior, but no one is perfect, and unlike just about any other CEO, he's a pretty cool engineering oriented guy.
 

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Psychopaths are over represented in prison populations, on Wall Street, and in corner offices. They are not super rare. Ultimately you have to feel sorry for them because they can never make the human connections that humans find so rewarding. Whether Musk is a psychopath shouldn't be determinative as to whether you want Tesla to succeed.

Not every jerk is a psychopath. Some people are just clods. It's more a pattern than anything.
 

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Doesn't make the Tesla any less of a car, tell me you don't want one (with a solar city solar array and Tesla battery wall)? Just ell me and I'll go my way...
 

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I like the stick men. +1. I'll pin a few up around the house to 'remind' people! :)

On Elon, for me the interesting point of the piece is not his OTT reaction to paternity absence, that you could just put down to a bad day and a lapse into poor management skills. What is far more telling is that he genuinely thinks he's changing the world.

Not yet, you're not, Elon. Paypal probably changed the world. Tesla is a car. We've had 'em for a long time before you got here. They've been evolving for over 100 years now as a means for business guys to make money out of them. Some are better than others. Maybe you can join us in the real world sometime soon.
 

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It won't keep me from buying one. I hate to say this but if I'm spending $75K to $110K for a car, I want the employees building it to be "all in". I was in the USAF for 22 years and missed many family events due to my obligations. Not only am I alright but so are my kids and wife.
 

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...What is far more telling is that he genuinely thinks he's changing the world.

Not yet, you're not, Elon. Paypal probably changed the world. ..
Sure he is.
You have changed the world as well, as have I and everyone else here.

The only question is, to what degree?
PayPal alone, has had a very large change.
The Tesla has also had a significant change to many lives. The people employed, the people who are paying more attention to their energy use, the Volt, and the affect it has had on the world, etc.

Those that tell others something is impossible shouldn't get in the way of those that are doing it.
 

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There isn't a person in this world today, that hasn't made a dumb mistake sometime in their lives. I certainly know that I have, many times unfortunately. I applaud Mr. Musk for his imagination, his vision, his efforts, and his pursuit for a better tomorrow for our world and specifically for the automotive industry. Without him prodding the auto industry to pick up the pace with electric autos, we would still probably be looking at Volt 1 preproduction cars running around, wondering and waiting for them to finally be available to the masses. But especially, I am glad he is not outsourcing his talent, money, research, and production, overseas.

As for him changing the world, as stated in the previous post, we all are to one degree or another. But Mr. Musk, I believe, has had and is having a greater influence than most of us.
 

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I honestly don't understand the intense anti-Musk sentiment that many people seem to foster.

Obviously the story is disputed, but the Musk-o-phobes will jump on it.

I'm thinking this attitude stems from some deep insecurity. Obviously Musk is an incredibly high achiever, and I applaud him for taking on the big challenges where others would have walked with their billion dollars for a life of sybaritic self-indulgence. I'm certainly not saying I'm anything like this; frankly I'd probably happily retire and maybe do a little volunteer work.

So basically, I think the harsh Musk critics are saying more (negative) about themselves than showing any kind of great insight. Which begs the question, "who is really the colossal a-hole?"
 

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I like the stick men. +1. I'll pin a few up around the house to 'remind' people! :)

On Elon, for me the interesting point of the piece is not his OTT reaction to paternity absence, that you could just put down to a bad day and a lapse into poor management skills. What is far more telling is that he genuinely thinks he's changing the world.

Not yet, you're not, Elon. Paypal probably changed the world. Tesla is a car. We've had 'em for a long time before you got here. They've been evolving for over 100 years now as a means for business guys to make money out of them. Some are better than others. Maybe you can join us in the real world sometime soon.
His vision goes beyond just cars, he is trying to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and speed the conversion of energy generation and use to renewable sources. That is clearly changing the world.
 

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Many high profile CEOs piss people off. Especially low performers or those who have been fired for one reason or another. I don't think one anonymous source is enough to toss the guy under the bus (an electric bus of course).
 

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Musk started the only all-electric car company on the face of the planet that actually has had arguable success. He expects his employees to be dedicated undoubtedly to the company and its mission. I respect that. I don't think getting on someone's case because he decided to witness the birth of his child vs. come to a meeting is remotely appropriate, but nonetheless, he has done more than any of you on this forum in groundbreaking, disruptive business endeavors. And he's a billionaire because of it.

On the contrary, the company I am consulting for right now. People arrive at about 9:30AM and leave at, oh, 3:50 PM -- you know, cuz traffic is bad and they want work life balance. Two days a week they work from home. Many don't work that hard - there are gems but by and large, yikes. Many haven't kept up on their know-how to be effective which is why they're so behind the curve. They're always pushing back deadlines to the point that millions of dollars are being blown. Little sense of urgency. Excuses. This is not a culture that Musk would allow at Tesla, and my lord I'd love a taste of Tesla's culture at this client. It'd be their saving grace.
 

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I would question any criticism of Musk without any solid evidence to back it. There are many who are deeply jealous of his success and contributions.

On another note, Musk strikes me as an epic workaholic. He's brilliant but he doesn't seem to enjoy his wealth much and his personal life is a bit of a mess considering all the divorces he has been though. Not that it's surprising considering all he has done. He admits in "Revenge of the Electric Car", he has worked so hard he is borderline insane. He sure seems like someone who might work themselves to an early death sadly.
 
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