Elon Musk – Forbes

REAL TIME NET WORTH

$27B

as of 12/30/19

Stats

Age48

Source of WealthTesla Motors, SpaceX, Self Made

ResidenceLos Angeles, California

CitizenshipUnited States

Marital StatusDivorced

Children5

EducationBachelor of Arts/Science, University of Pennsylvania

Musk was accepted to a graduate program at Stanford, but deferred attendance to launch his first business, software company Zip2.

As a kid Musk taught himself to code; he sold his first game, Blastar, for about $500.

$12B

Billionaires March 2015

$13.3B

Forbes 400 September 2015

$10.7B

Billionaires March 2016

$11.6B

Forbes 400 October 2016

$13.9B

Billionaires March 2017

$20.8B

Forbes 400 October 2017

$19.9B

Billionaires March 2018

$19.6B

Forbes 400 October 2018

$22.3B

Billionaires March 2019

$19.9B

Forbes 400 October 2019

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Elon Musk - Forbes

Elon Musk | SpaceX

Elon Musk leads Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he oversees the development and manufacturing of advanced rockets and spacecraft for missions to and beyond Earth orbit.

Founded in 2002, SpaceXs mission is to enable humans to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species by building a self-sustaining city on Mars. In 2008, SpaceXs Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle to orbit the Earth. Following that milestone, NASA awarded SpaceX with contracts to carry cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS). A global leader in commercial launch services, SpaceX is the first commercial provider to launch and recover a spacecraft from orbit, attach a commercial spacecraft to the ISS and successfully land an orbital-class rocket booster. By pioneering the development of fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, SpaceX is dramatically reducing the cost of access to space, the first step in making life on Mars a reality in our lifetime.

Elon also leads Tesla, which makes electric cars, giant batteries and solar products.Previously, Elon co-founded and sold PayPal, the world's leading Internet payment system, and Zip2, one of the first internet maps and directions services, which helped bring major publishers, including the New York Times and Hearst, online.

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Elon Musk | SpaceX

Elon Musk aims for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that The Boring Companys underground tunnel project in Las Vegas will be hopefully fully operational within the next year.

According to Musks tweets, the $52.5 million people-mover system being built beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center will be operational in 2020. Boring Co. and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have said that the 1-mile system will be ready by the January 2021 CES trade show.

CNN Business on Saturday reported that a spokesperson for the convention authority said the 2020 deadline is in line with the goal of being ready for the January 2021 show.

The convention authority did not immediately respond to request for comment Saturday night.

Authority President and CEO Steve Hill told board members on Dec. 10 that the project is off to an expected slow start.

Hill explained that the drill being used to create the tunnel is at its best when the entire 300-foot length of the machine is extended underground.

Its like crawling, he told the Review-Journal in December. The machine pushes against the tunnel and moves itself forward. So they have to go pretty slow when it starts, and then it picks up.

The drill was officially powered up in November to create the system beneath and around the conventional center. The first-of-its-kind system from Musks company will include about a mile of twin tunnels around 40 feet underground, connected to three stations on the convention centers 200-acre campus.

In addition to burrowing beneath portions of Swenson Street, Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive, the machine will tunnel below the convention centers Central Exhibition Hall.

Once operational, the system is designed to transport people in autonomously operated vehicles, supplied by Tesla, another of Musks companies. The cars will be able to transport up to 16 people at a time.

The company also has proposals to build similar systems in Los Angeles, Chicago and between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Musk also tweeted Friday night that the company will work on other projects after it completes the Las Vegas commercial tunnel.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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Elon Musk aims for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Be wary of Elon Musk despoiling the vault of heaven – The Guardian

Changing economics and advancing miniaturisation now enable flotillas of small satellites to be launched into space up to a hundred on a single rocket. These microsatellites are already being deployed, by companies such as Planet Lab in California, to survey every point on the Earth every day, with sharp enough images to study building sites, road traffic, land use and so forth.

But a bigger leap is now in the offing. Elon Musks company SpaceX envisages the Starlink project. This entails launching up to 40,000 spacecraft into orbit in order to create a network that will enhance global broadband communication. Other companies, such as Amazon, say they have similar plans.

In principle, these are exciting and welcome developments, especially if they bring broadband internet to the whole of Africa and other parts of the developing world. But there is a downside. Starlink would involve launching more objects into space, in this single constellation, than all the satellites launched in the 60 years since the birth of the space age. There would be roughly one in every square degree over the sky (the area on the sky covered by a small coin held at arms length).

Skywatchers could find that their familiar starry sky was augmented by huge numbers of bright spots moving across it, especially soon after sunset and just before sunrise (the periods in the day when the sun is below our horizon but shining on to satellites hundreds of kilometres above us.) For professional astronomers looking steadily at a single celestial body, these rogue lights would only be a minor irritant. However, they would cause more confusion to projects that monitor or search large areas of sky to seek transient objects exploding stars or even more exotic cosmic explosions. Especially confusing will be the cases when part of the satellite acts like a mirror, creating a specially bright and brief flash when its oriented so that it reflects the sun.

One particularly important project that could be impeded by these swarms of satellites is the search for asteroids. There are 2m asteroids, which are more than 50 metres across, whose orbits cross that of the Earth. Any of these could potentially hit Earth and would be big enough for its impact to destroy a large city. Even though most of the giant (dinosaur-killing) asteroids more than 1km across have been discovered, only 2% of these still dangerous smaller ones are known and theres a strong motive to search for all the others, so that those with trajectories that could bring them dangerously close to our world can be deflected well in advance. In such searches, the foreground of unpredictably moving satellites would be a complication.

There are also concerns among astronomers making measurements in the microwave bands trying to discover and understand young stars, protoplanets and such like, as well as their constituent gases and molecules. Such observations will be impeded if Starlink satellites uplinks or downlinks pollute observationally interesting wavebands.

Radio telescopes are constructed in radio quiet places to minimise artificial background, but there would be no hiding from the beams sent from these satellites.

In mitigation, this particular enterprise is motivated by a goal that we should acclaim: spreading the genuine benefit of broadband worldwide, especially to the developing world. And its a plus that the mega companies involved are genuinely aware of the downsides and will be doing all they can to minimise it by blackening the surfaces and choosing wavelengths carefully. These ventures are not as irresponsible as earlier (and fortunately quashed) proposals to build large advertising hoardings in space.

But we shouldnt forget that its not just astronomers a minority who care about this issue. The night sky, the vault of heaven, is the one feature of our environment that has been shared, and wondered at, by all humanity through the ages. We should deplore anything that needlessly degrades its beauty and serenity, just as, more parochially, we dont want tinsel or phone masts in our national parks.

Martin Rees is the astronomer royal. His latest book is On the Future: Prospects for Humanity

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Be wary of Elon Musk despoiling the vault of heaven - The Guardian

Elon Musk Dismisses Induced Demand, A Phenomenon First Witnessed In 1866 – Forbes

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, poses on the red carpet as he arrives for the 43rd "Goldenes ... [+] Lenkrad" (Golden Steering Wheel) awards on November 12, 2019 in Berlin. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP) (Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk has once again used Twitter to air a controversial opinion. This time the SpaceX and Tesla billionaire has upset urbanists with his dismissal of a phenomenon that was first described in 1866.

On December 29, Musk tweeted that: Induced demand is one of the most irrational theories Ive ever heard.

This was in response to critics who had pointed out that his earlier tweetBuild super safe, Earthquake-proof tunnels under cities to solve trafficwas merely describing a subway tunnel.

Musk added: If the transport system exceeds public travel needs, there will be very little traffic.

There is very little empirical evidence for this claim, and copious evidence to the contrary, especially in Southern California, where Musk lives, and where the laying down of generous amounts of asphalt has always stimulated motor-vehicle use. (Electric cars get snarled in traffic just as easily as non-electric cars.)

Urbanists have a pithy phrase to describe induced demand:

Building more roads to prevent congestion is like a fat man loosening his belt to prevent obesity.

This phrase is based on a 1955 article by Lewis Mumford. Writing in The New Yorker, the great urban planning specialist suggested that [experts believe congestion] can be solved by increasing the capacity of the existing traffic routes ... Like the tailors remedy for obesityletting out the seams of the trousers and loosening the beltthis does nothing to curb the greedy appetite that [has] caused the fat to accumulate.

Mumford was describing the as-yet-unnamed concept of induced demand in transport. This theory was described in detail in 1969 by J.J. Leeming, a British road-traffic engineer and county surveyor. He observed that the more roads are built, the more traffic there is to fill these roads.

Leemings description idea was conceived shortly after German mathematician Dietrich Braess released the Braesss paradox which demonstrated that selfish motorists can not be relied upon to consider the optimal travel times for all rather than just themselves, leading to delays for all.

These ideas were further expanded in the LewisMogridge Position of 1990 and the DownsThomson paradox of 1992.

The idea that building more roads leads to more congestion was used by anti-roads campaigners from the 1970s on to combat the futility of road building, and, in the U.K., it briefly became an orthodox position following advice to government from the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment study of 1994. Prime Minister Margaret Thatchers road building program the biggest since the Romanswas halted. (Prime Minister Boris Johnson is widely expected to resurrect this program.)

Motorists in a traffic jam in central Moscow. Sergei Fadeichev/TASS (Photo by Sergei FadeichevTASS ... [+] via Getty Images)

While Leemings study has become an accepted theory among most transport academics, induced demand was known about long before 1969. Writing in 1866, surveyor and engineer William J. Haywood, one of the builders of Londons Holborn Viaduct, said the new thoroughfare would attract more travellers: the facility of locomotion stimulates traffic of itself, he wrote.

His solution? Build more roads. This was also the conclusion of Sir Charles Bresseys Highway Development Survey for London, published in 1937. In his report, Bressey wrote:

As a typical instance may be quoted the new Great West Road which parallels and relieves the old Brentford High Street route. According to the Ministrys traffic census extracts the new route as soon as it was opened carried four and a half times more vehicles than the old route was carrying. No diminution, however, occurred in the flow of traffic along the old route and from that day to this the number of vehicles on both routes has steadily increasedThese figures serve to exemplify the remarkable manner in which new roads create new traffic.

Musk is therefore continuing a long tradition of motoring-besotted experts blithely ignoring the evidence of their eyes.

Houstons Katy Freeway has 26 lanes at its widest point, expanded between 2008 and 2011 at a cost of $2.8 billion to alleviate severe traffic congestion. The expansion did not alleviate traffic congestion, it made it worse. Travel times increased by 30% during the morning commute and 55% during the evening commute between 2011 and 2014.

Musks windshield-view of the worldone of never-ending empty roadsis a pipe-dream, but his vision is a mainstream one, with local and national politicians around the world answering the problem of traffic congestion with the magic solution that has never worked: more roads, sometimes in tunnels.

Writing in 1932, the British town planner Thomas Sharp accurately described how some motorists would not be satisfied until every inch of land was capped with asphalt.

A motorist is apt to complain of the overcrowded condition of the road if he finds he has not continually got a whole mile-long stretch of it to himself, wrote Sharp.

He will declare there is no pleasure in motoring under such conditions. He will search his map for some alternative route by quiet lanes where he can speed along with the road to himself. And when others find that alternative route and all further alternatives are exhausted, he proceeds to demand a new road system so that his motoring may again become a pleasure.

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Elon Musk Dismisses Induced Demand, A Phenomenon First Witnessed In 1866 - Forbes

How Elon Musk Evolved from Nothing to the Most Successful – Interesting Engineering

People made fun of Elon Musk, his ideas and his enterprises at first, but he has been proving them all wrong.

There'll be a lot of people in your life that will tell you that you can never be successful, or who'll try to discourage you. But you shouldn't let those people put you down because if you believe in yourself and if you work hard for your goals, you'll get them sooner or later.

That was, and even still is, what Elon Musk has been saying throughout his career. There have been a lot of people who said that he wouldn't succeed, that Tesla doesn't even have a factory, and other famous car brands would overcome Tesla. But in the end, Elon Musk is now one of the most famous and successful people in the world with a successful car brand, and other successful projects at the same time.

He never let anyone stand in his way and he never lost hope on himself. All he did was work and work some more to prove the people who made fun of him wrong.

If you're going through times where you're questioning yourself at the moment, just watch this video to see how Elon Musk has evolved from nothing to the most successful and let it inspire you.

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How Elon Musk Evolved from Nothing to the Most Successful - Interesting Engineering

Can you guess what Elon Musk’s favorite movie and Netflix series were in 2019? – USA TODAY

Elon Musk's Twitter account is a hotbed of controversy.

The CEO habitually updates the world aboutthe state of Tesla and Space X.He uses the social networking website to pullpranks, share memes and make baffling declarations that have landed him into trouble in the past.

More recently, however, he shared news that his followers seemed to support.

Just over a week before the end of 2019,one of his followers asked the billionaire about his favorite movie and Netflix series of the past 12 months. Depending on how closely you've been following the tech tycoon, the answers may be surprising.

Musk said that the comedic thriller "Parasite" was his favorite film.

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The gut-twisting movie,written and directed by Bong Joon-Ho, centers around a poorSouth Korean family and their fixation ona wealthier, more glamorous family. The New Yorker compared it to Jordan Peele's "Us" and thefilm has received critical acclaim, winning the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

"Parasite was fantastic," one person replied to the Tesla CEO. Another called the movie "Really good."

Musk, a notorious video game and sci-fifanatic, said hisfavorite Netflix series was "Black Mirror." The show's fifth season premiered this year with an interactive gaming episode and one installment starred Miley Cyrus in the form of ahome robot.

Oddly enough, people on the internet compared Tesla's polarizing Cybertruck to something straight out of the dystopian Netflix show which explores society's fixation on technology. The suspenseful British series "explores a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide," according to Netflix.

One follower said he is waiting for a collaboration between Tesla and "'Black Mirror'to show potential future downsides to car autonomy/AI if we arent careful."

Musk has had a rocky relationship with Twitter this year.

Over the summer, he claimed he was deleting his account after posting about Teslalanded him in legal trouble.He proceeded to keep it open. He also conflated preorders with "orders" when gloating about the Cybertruck's sales.

The Tesla CEO has more than 30 million followers.

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/12/27/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-reveals-his-netflix-series-movie-2019/2755285001/

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Can you guess what Elon Musk's favorite movie and Netflix series were in 2019? - USA TODAY

Jason Castriota is taking on the 300 mph record — and Elon Musk – Los Angeles Times

We all love a good David vs. Goliath story Ford vs. Ferrari (in 1966, or the 2019 movie version), Steve Jobs vs. Microsoft, Harry Potter vs. Voldemort. Not many, however, feature David going up against two Goliaths.

Meet Jason Castriota, the global brand director for Fords battery electric vehicles.

He and the Ford team just launched the companys first ground-up, all-new electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E. Its a clever, tech-loaded and reasonably priced new entrant (from $36,400 after the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit) to the bustling EV scene. Ford chose to unveil it last month here in Southern California the largest EV market in the country in the same space that Elon Musk unveiled his Cybertruck a few nights later.

So his Goliath No 1: Winning against myriad competitors to bring to market an EV that appeals and steals sales from the Teslas and Audis of the world, among others. Then theres the job of persuading buyers to give up their gas-powered cars for a plug-in existence.

Supercar designer Jason Castriota is also global brand director for Fords battery electric vehicles.

(Clayton Hauck)

For a car company, let alone an executive, that is a high bar. Then theres Castriotas Goliath No. 2: hypercars with four-digit horsepower figures and seven-digit price tags.

Before joining Ford in 2016, Castriota spent the better part of his career dreaming up some of the most innovative concept and hypercars on the planet for example, the 2006 Ferrari P4/5, which he did in conjunction with Pininfarina, the legendary Italian design house that has crafted countless Ferraris over the decades, among other nearly priceless cars. The P4/5 was built as a one-off for film producer, financier and car collector James Glickenhaus.

Working with Jason was very enjoyable, says Glickenhaus. He was able to interpret what I wanted to do an homage to my Ferrari P3/4, which won 24 Hours of Daytona [in 1967] yet still keep it from being a replica. It helped launch all the special projects that Ferrari has since done.

Another Castriota masterpiece: the 2005 Maserati Birdcage 75th concept, a futuristic reimagining of the Italian marques iconic Tipo 61, produced between 1959 and 1961. And on the production-car side, he oversaw the still-in-showrooms Maserati GranTurismo. And the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, and so on. Getting the picture?

From the rear with the doors open, the SSC Tuataras dramatic sculptural shape is accentuated.

(Jason Castriota )

Castriotas latest hypercar project, finished before he joined Ford, is the SSC Tuatara. The two-seater has aerospace-inspired engineering, a fighter-jet-like teardrop canopy and a custom-built twin-turbo, 1,750-horsepower V8 engine. (The name comes from a New Zealand reptile that a study has shown to have the fastest-evolving DNA of any living organism.)

Wait: EVs carrying the Mustang name sound reasonably able to compete on a global stage. But million-dollar bullets why?

There has never been a time when so many seven-figure sports cars have been on the market from McLaren, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Mercedes-AMG to boutique makers such as Koenigsegg, Pagani and Rimac. SoCal, with its wealth and weather, is a key market.

The SSC Tuatara wants to stand apart by breaking the near-mythical 300-mph mark, which no production road car had ever done until last August, when Bugatti hit 304.77 mph in a heavily modified version of its $2.9 million Chiron. The SSC team will begin top-speed testing in early 2020 at an undisclosed U.S. location, with the hope of besting Bugatti.

If SSC succeeds, it would be the second time the Richland, Wash. based start-up will have beaten Bugatti at the top-speed game. In 2007, the companys first sports car, the Ultimate Aero, achieved 256.14 mph, breaking the 253.81-mph record Bugatti had set in its previous supercar, the Veyron. (In so doing, SSC also created, in partnership with Guinness World Records, a new testing standard of averaging two high-speed runs within a set time window on the same road.)

Achieving three-digit speedswith 300 mph being merely the latest barrier broken but certainly not the lastis not for the faint of heart, as any hyper car maker will tell you. First, the cost of the additional horsepower needed to go that fast only gets more expensive the higher you go. Then theres the incredible balancing act between a cars weight, its relative slipperiness through the air, heat management, durability and drivability. Each of those factors presents its own unique challenges and solutions, explains Castriota. The right fix for one may cause an issue for anotherand you still need to deliver it all in a form that is also visually desirable and comfortable to use.

The $1.625 million (base) Tuatara, whose bespoke engine is made here in SoCal, is the passion project of Jerod Shelby, an engineer and medical-device company cofounder who has been working on putting his vision for a high-performance sports car into reality for two decades. Bringing Jason onto the Tuatara project was one of the best decisions Ive ever made, says Shelby. He accomplished a remarkable feat by penning a striking design with an unmatched aerodynamics package.

Castriota states it more succinctly. From an aerodynamic standpoint, we are far superior to all other hypercars, he says. Some parts of a car such as the Tuatara are subjective, like design. Aero is most definitely not.

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What makes the Tuataras ability to cut through the air so different? The Tuataras exterior form is already more aero-efficient than any of our competitors, but its our internal aerodynamics and heat management where we believe we made leaps and bounds over everyone else, Castriota says. Thats had a huge domino effect. We were able to reduce the size of the engine, and we need considerably less horsepower than we have to achieve 300-mph-plus speeds.

Jason has always been ahead of the curve in terms of his aerodynamic solutions, says Winston Goodfellow, Italian car expert, author and longtime Pebble Beach judge. Hes a bit like Elon Musk: He can assess a billion variables, quickly break them down, and look five steps ahead.

To quantify such a talent, its important to go back to when Castriota began sketching cars at age 5: My father was very passionate about Italian cars Ferraris in particular so many of my bonding experiences with him revolved around going to car shows and watching F1, he remembers.

His car-sketching hobby quickly turned into a full-blown passion. Its Malcolm Gladwells 10,000-hour rule; as a child, I would spend massive chunks of time every day studying car design, says Castriota.

Fast-forward to his 20s. Castriota graduated from Emerson College with a film degree and then got accepted at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, arguably the worlds preeminent transportation design program. He hit the ground running and by his fifth term won a coveted internship with VW/Audis Simi Valley design studio.

He then landed an internship with Ford, working under Moray Callum, who today heads the companys global design efforts. We quickly saw how talented he was and had him work on a full-size clay model for a production car program, which was very unusual, says Callum. Jason always questions the status quo, which is also unusual.

Both companies offered him jobs, but Castriota instead put his name in the hat for another internship, this time his brass-ring shop, Pininfarina. He got the job, jumped on a plane to Turin and never looked back, putting his education at ArtCenter on pause for his Italian dream.

It took him only five years to become one of Pininfarinas three chief designers, managing Ferrari and Maserati projects. He had a second role overseeing one-offs and aerodynamic projects.

Castriota eventually set out on his own, creating a consultancy business. During that time, he completed another five ultra-high-end, one-off sports cars for wealthy consignors, most of which the world may never see, due to the extremely private nature of his clients.

Why walk away from the sexy supercar world to go to a mass producer? Ive been fortunate to realize my childhood dream and create what are, for most, unattainable exotic cars fueled by my passion, says Castriota. By coming to Ford, Ive fulfilled my other long-term desire to create vehicles at a more realistic price point that bring out the childhood wonder and excitement that we tend to forget is inside all of us.

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Jason Castriota is taking on the 300 mph record -- and Elon Musk - Los Angeles Times

This decade in Elon Musk: SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and more – The Verge

As the decade has gone on, the occurrence of Elon Musk events has increased, and a brief glance back at the timeline shows this isnt just a psychological phenomenon: Elon really is Elonning more often.

Cast your memory back, if you will, to the reaches of Very Recent History. At the beginning of this decade, Tesla had just one car: the Roadster. SpaceX had not yet secured a commercial crew contract for NASA. Neuralink, the company attempting to create commercialized brain-machine interfaces, didnt yet exist, nor did the Boring Company, Musks tunneling concern.

Back then, Musk was still best known for getting fired from PayPal. And while Tesla had built the Roadster in 2008, wowing car nerds with its acceleration, it was still a niche product. Plus, both SpaceX and Tesla nearly went bankrupt in 2008. So while its possible Musk was saying as much weird shit as he would say later on, he didnt have the same kind of spotlight on him; the stakes were lower.

Then, in 2010, three significant Elon events occurred, which would set the stage for more to follow: in June, SpaceX launched the first version of the Falcon 9, and Tesla went public. In October, Tesla took occupancy of the former NUMMI factory in Fremont, California.

From here, the pace of Elon-related activity would only accelerate. Some of this was inevitable: SpaceX and Tesla were taking on new business challenges, launching new products (literally, in SpaceXs case), and becoming more popular. That meant Musks pronouncements took on a new weight and received more media coverage. It also meant that Musk was trotting himself out more often: because Tesla doesnt advertise, promoting the brand meant Musk had to serve as a celebrity hypeman.

After the initial 2010 launch of the Falcon 9, SpaceX became the first private company to dock at the International Space Station in May 2012. The Dragon spacecraft went on to be a major way that NASA delivered supplies to the ISS. By April 2015, SpaceX had flown seven missions to the space station. In 2014, NASA deepened its relationship with SpaceX, contracting the company to develop a version of its Dragon capsule for people.

Things began shifting in 2015. In December, SpaceX landed its first rocket. Before this, thered been some skepticism about Musks idea of a reusable rocket as a possibility at all and some skepticism still exists about whether its a reasonable cost-cutting measure. (Refurbishing a rocket is expensive.) But after this initial landing, SpaceX so routinely landed its first stages that people began to take them for granted. In December 2017, SpaceX launched and landed its first reused rocket. In 2018, SpaceX flew the first Falcon Heavy, sending Musks Tesla Roadster into orbit.

The launches did not go entirely smoothly. In June 2015, a Falcon 9 exploded a few minutes after launch when a strut failed in the rockets upper stage liquid oxygen tank. The second rocket blew up during fueling in September 2016 and this time, there was a whiff of scandal, as sabotage was considered among the reasons for the explosion. This explosion was ultimately chalked up to a problem with the helium tanks, carbon fiber composites, and solid oxygen. The two explosions delayed SpaceXs other planned launches as the company investigated to determine their causes. There was a third explosion in 2017, but this one didnt slow the slate of flights since it was just an engine on a test stand. A fourth explosion happened in April 2019 when a test version of the Crew Dragon the SpaceX vehicle meant for people blew apart. Leaky valve, propellant, boom.

In September 2016, Musk presented plans for his proposed attempt to create a Mars settlement. In an hour-long presentation heres a truncated version Musk introduced the Interplanetary Transport System: a spaceship and rocket. (There were, obviously, a lot of unanswered questions left after the presentation.) This system was updated in 2017, and Musk said he planned to put all of SpaceXs resources into the Mars mission; this does not seem to have happened yet.

As SpaceX was flexing, the rocket launch market began to change. The commercial market for launching satellites into geostationary orbit was very soft in 2017 and 2018, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said. That threw a wrench into SpaceXs plans. In financial documents dating from 2015, which were obtained by The Wall Street Journal, SpaceX had projected more than 40 launches; there were actually 20. In 2019, SpaceX had estimated 52 launches one every week and there were, in fact, 12, with two more scheduled before the end of the year.

The slowing market for commercial satellites and the smaller number of rockets needed to launch them meant that SpaceX needed to retool its plans. Now, since SpaceX is a private company and doesnt have to make its planning public, I can only speculate about what that entailed.

It may be why SpaceX dipped its toe into space tourism. In 2018, Musk announced that Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire and founder of Zozotown, Japans largest online clothing retailer, will be the first private customer to ride around the Moon on the companys future ship, which was rebranded from the Interplanetary Transport System to Starship. But betting on the billionaire might not be such a good idea since he tweeted in May that he was broke. SoftBanks Yahoo Japan has since acquired Maezawas Zozo, an online fashion retailer, for $3.7 billion. So, presumably, the trip is still on.

Space tourism isnt SpaceXs only moneymaking strategy. SpaceX is also venturing into the realms of telecommunication with its Starlink venture, which may begin offering broadband services as early as next year. (Take that projection with a grain of salt: in 2011, Musk said hed put a person in space in three years. It is 2019, and a human has yet to fly aboard a SpaceX rocket.) Starlink is a proposed constellation of at least 12,000 satellites in low Earth orbit, though the company has asked for an additional 30,000 satellites. Astronomers have some misgivings about this effort.

SpaceX launched 60 of those satellites in May, and some of them have failed; a second launch in November sent up 60 more. The 2015 SpaceX financial estimates The Wall Street Journal got ahold of projected the Starlink business would dwarf the rocket launch business and now, as a result of the slowed pace of launches, Starlink seems like a make-or-break business for SpaceX. (Again, this is all guesswork; its sort of hard to figure out whats going on financially with a privately traded company.) In any event, in October, Musk tweeted that he was going to send a tweet using the Starlink system. Whoa, it worked!! he wrote.

If Starlink is successful, then the 2020s will truly be a new era for SpaceX: it will be a consumer business.

Teslas initial public offering was in June 2010; the company raised $226.1 million during the first IPO of an American carmaker since Ford went public in 1956. Tesla badly needed the cash. The company had teetered on the edge of bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis. It had only one car, the Roadster, and it had never made a profit. This would all change over the course of a decade, and thanks to the ready availability of information on publicly traded companies, Teslas travails would prove easier to track than SpaceXs.

For better and sometimes worse, this decade was the decade of the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. Every Tesla car built this decade came from Fremont. Without that plant, it seems unlikely Tesla would have been able to begin its deliveries of the Model S (in November 2012), the Model X (September 2015), or the Model 3 (July 2017).

The Model S, priced between $57,400 and $77,400, was supposed to go into production in 2010, but production didnt actually start until 2012. These kinds of delays would be a common refrain: the Model X, an SUV that started at $132,000, was introduced in February 2012 and was initially scheduled for production in early 2014; deliveries started in September 2015.

Then there was the matter of the Model 3. At its unveiling in March 2016, Musk said the Model 3 would be his affordable, mass-market electric car: the base model would cost $35,000. A week after Tesla started taking orders, the company said 350,000 people had reserved the cars.

That raised some manufacturing questions since the Fremont factory had delivered fewer than 51,000 cars total in 2015. Part of Musks initial plans for making the Model 3 involved turning the factory into an alien dreadnaught, a machine to build cars, he said in a 2016 earnings call. This did not turn out as planned. In 2018, Musk admitted that Tesla relied too much on robots to build the Model 3s, which is why there were manufacturing delays leading up to the cars introduction in July 2017.

But even after the Model 3 began production, there were bottlenecks. The Fremont factory was bursting at the seams. The catch-all for this, of course, was production hell. So Musk built a tent in 2018. And that tent became another assembly line.

The Fremont plant was also where workers complained about their conditions. According to reporting from The Guardian, ambulances had been called more than 100 times to the Fremont factory between 2014 and 2017 for fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing, and chest pains. Hundreds more were called for injuries and other medical issues, the report said. Another report from 2017 showed that Tesla workers were injured at a rate of double the injury average. Workers in the tent in 2019 said they were pressured to take shortcuts to hit production goals.

Worker unrest meant the possibility of a union arose; unions are common in car manufacturing, after all. A Tesla employee, Jose Moran, wrote a 2017 Medium post complaining at length about working conditions and saying thats why he thought Tesla should unionize. At first, Musk claimed Moran was an employee of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), rather than Tesla. By 2018, the National Labor Relations Board was involved, reviewing Musks tweets (Why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing? he tweeted in May 2018), among other evidence. In September 2019, Tesla and Musk were found to have violated labor law.

Even as Fremont was the primary Tesla site, Musks manufacturing ambitions led to several new factories. The unfinished Gigafactory 1 opened in Nevada in July 2016; it was 14 percent complete at the time. The August 2016 acquisition of SolarCity would give Tesla what would later be known as Gigafactory 2. In January 2019, Tesla broke ground for the Shanghai Gigafactory; by October, Tesla claimed it was ready for production. A fourth Gigafactory is planned for Berlin.

The Gigafactories have also given rise to some controversy. In 2018, Business Insider reported that batteries at the Gigafactory were getting scrapped (or reworked) at a rate of 40 percent. The man who was blamed for the leak was an assembly line worker named Martin Tripp, and Musk characterized him as engaging in extensive and damaging sabotage in an email to staff, Bloomberg reported. Litigation between Tripp and Tesla is ongoing. A former security manager named Sean Gouthro alleges in a whistleblower report with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Tesla behaved unethically in its search for the leaker. Tesla maintains it terminated Gouthro for poor performance.

Then theres Gigafactory 2. New York (the state, not the city) spent $958.6 million on the factory and wrote that down to about $75 million though that figure doesnt capture the plants economic value to the surrounding area, The Buffalo News reported. Some workers there have said they found the work environment hostile.

Of course, the 2016 SolarCity acquisition was more than just a factory; it was a new line of business and possibly a conflict of interest. (The shareholder lawsuits are still out there, and they allege SolarCity was going broke before the acquisition, and conflicted fiduciaries negotiated an inflated price on SolarCity shares. Tesla and Musk have denied these claims.) SolarCitys founders are Lyndon and Peter Rive, Musks cousins. Musk was chairman of both companies when Tesla bought SolarCity; he was also SolarCitys largest shareholder.

At the time, SolarCity was the biggest player in residential energy. Since then, its been passed by Sunrun and Vivint Solar, Marketwatch reported in June. Maybe that was because most of Teslas resources were being sucked up by Model 3 production, as Musk said in a deposition. (Tesla has said that the number of batteries supplied by Panasonic is a fundamental constraint.) Maybe people got tired of waiting for the Solar Roof, a product announced by Musk at the same time as the acquisition which still hasnt seriously surfaced as a consumer product three years later. It is perhaps also worth mentioning the hair-raising litigation from Walmart now dropped about a series of solar panel fires.

Energy storage and solar panels may be a Tesla business we see grow over the course of the next decade or so. After building the largest battery in the world in Australia to help buttress the electric grid, Tesla may soon be building an even bigger one in California. The company has also introduced a new industrial storage pack. In California, several energy companies have been cutting power to avoid wildfires, and those blackouts are unlikely to stop anytime soon. That may provide an opportunity for Teslas consumer energy business as well.

At times, the pressure from Tesla appeared to be getting the better of Musk. The most significant stress period occurred in August 2018. On August 7th, Musk tweeted: Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured. By August 24th, Musk had abandoned this plan. Then, a month later, the SEC sued him over the funding secured tweet: In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source, prosecutors wrote in the complaint. Two days later, the suit was settled: Musk would step down as chairman of Tesla, and both he and Tesla would pay $20 million fines. Also, there was a provision about tweeting, which got relitigated this year because Musk will never log off.

In any event, Tesla carved out its first back-to-back quarterly profits in the last two quarters of 2018. In the second quarter of 2019, Tesla made and delivered the most cars in its history, though the company still posted a loss for the quarter. It made its first profit in 2019 during its third quarter. One consistent theme throughout Teslas existence has been skeptics whove said the business doesnt seem sustainable. Despite the naysaying and some close calls, Tesla is still in the ring. With the Model Y (a compact SUV) and Cybertruck coming in the next decade, Tesla has the opportunity to prove naysayers wrong or undergo another production hell. Strap yourself in because, whatever happens, its likely to be a fascinating ride.

Musk launched two new ventures this decade: Neuralink, a company for brain-machine interfaces, and the Boring Company, a tunnel-boring venture. The two companies appear to have much less day-to-day attention from Musk. At his Twitter defamation trial in December 2019, Musk described Tesla and SpaceX as occupying 95 percent of his time. Still, both ventures are worth mentioning at least in part because they seem to expand Musks science fiction-influenced worldview.

Neuralink was founded in 2016, about a decade after the first clinical report of a person using a brain-machine interface to move a cursor on a screen. Neuralink was publicly unveiled in 2017, and Musk gave more details on the companys ambitions: to give people who are disabled a way to command computers as a compensatory aid, allow for telepathic communication, and graft human thought onto AI systems.

Well, Musk usually dreams big.

In 2019, we got some more details on the design of the Neuralink technology: flexible threads to be embedded in the brain. Also, a monkey has used the technology to control a computer with its brain, Musk announced, to the surprise of his team. The company is still in early stages, and biotechnology usually takes more than a decade from initial research to sale on the market, with lots of studies in between to help characterize the technology.

The Boring Company is moving faster, probably because it doesnt require brain surgery. In January 2017, Musk tweeted about Los Angeles traffic driving me nuts. He said he had a new venture in mind: the Boring Company.

Musk wasnt kidding. The Boring Company began as a hole in the SpaceX parking lot. Financed by hats and Not-A-Flamethrowers, plus an equity raise, the tunnel-boring concern debuted its test tunnel with a party in December 2018. At that time, three other potential projects were in the works: one for a Dodgers Stadium in LA, one in Chicago, and one in the DC area. (A potential tunnel on the west side of LA was canceled after a group of residents and community groups sued.)

In 2019, Chicago got a new mayor, and, suddenly, the Boring Company project was placed on the back burner. But Las Vegas, which is no stranger to quixotic transit projects, stepped into the breach: the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority entered into a $48.6 million contract with the Boring Company to build a people mover. That project broke ground in November 2019, and its expected to be completed by CES 2021.

Musks Twitter account exists in an ongoing state of epistemic uncertainty. Sometimes he tweets things that seem like jokes and arent a lot of these things pertain directly to the Boring Company, which seems to be something of a catch-all for Musks whimsy and sometimes he really is just joking. (I dont think hes going to build a volcano lair.)

There are, however, some more general things that Musk was up to during the 2010s, of which, the most significant were his involvement with OpenAI and the hyperloop.

The hyperloop was first revealed to the public in 2012, with more details following a year later. Musk said publicly that he had no plans to build his design, but that didnt stop a lot of other people from forming hyperloop companies. The basic plans called for pods traveling at 800 miles per hour to send people quickly from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Musk did build a test track thats about a mile long outside his SpaceX headquarters, and in 2015, he began hosting a pod-racing competition for students. These events seem to be largely hack-a-thons, which may also serve as recruiting pools for engineering talent. Next year, Musk says, the test track will have a curve. And an actual hyperloop may eventually be built in India.

There is also the matter of artificial intelligence. While many AI experts have come to believe that artificial intelligence is likely to be limited, Musk has warned about hyper-intelligent, human-hating AI: we are summoning the demon, he said in 2014. (As of 2018, hes still anxious about it.) So Musk was one of the founders of OpenAI, which is meant to build friendly AI. The foundation initially raised about $1 billion from various tech companies and executives, including Musk. In February 2018, Musk stepped down from the foundation since there might be some conflicts between his attempts at Tesla to build self-driving cars and OpenAIs work, but he said he will remain a donor. The CEO remains Sam Altman who was formerly the president of Y Combinator.

If this all seems a little far-fetched, there may be an explanation: Theres a billion to one chance were living in base reality, Musk said onstage in 2016. Musk has apparently done a great deal of thought about the possibility that were all living in a simulation, and my brother and I agreed that we would ban such conversations if we were ever in a hot tub. The notion of a base reality may be a reference to a 2003 hypothesis put forward by philosopher Nick Bostrom, though it appears a bit more certain than Bostroms line of thought. It is a view echoed by some computer scientists, though the most effective rebuttal Ive seen is, essentially, well, so what if we are? This is a distinction without a difference.

Musk also poured $2 million into a satire company, Thud. In March 2018, Musk announced the venture on Twitter with some former Onion staffers on board who said at the time, We can confirm that we have learned nothing from prevailing trends in media and are launching a brand-new comedy project. By December 2018, however, Musk told the group that no further funding would come from him; the group then had six months to launch and figure out a monetization strategy before the money ran out. Ambitious projects, like DNA Friend, a 23andMe satire, were quickly rushed out the door. Thud was shuttered in May.

In somewhat less amusing news, Musk also stood trial for defamation in December 2019. The suit was brought by Vernon Unsworth who helped rescue a soccer team and their coach whod been trapped in a cave in Thailand. Musk had also attempted to assist with the rescue, by building a minisub, with the notion that it could be used to ferry the children from the cave. In an interview with CNN, Unsworth said the tube was a PR stunt with absolutely no chance of working and that Musk could stick his submarine where it hurts. (Musks lawyers would later pressure Unsworth to apologize for some of the comments he made in this interview during the suit.) Musk then called him a pedo guy on Twitter.

Musk apologized for and deleted the tweets, but Unsworth felt hed been defamed. In a week-long trial in Los Angeles, both men laid out their cases; Musk won. That weekend, he celebrated by going to celebrity hot spot Nobu in his Cybertruck prototype with his girlfriend, pop star Grimes.

Theres probably some stuff Ive missed here, but thats just because theres so much stuff. It does seem, looking back, that the pace began to accelerate around 2015. One question I get most often about Musk from friends, family members, neighbors, and my editors is Okay, but is this dude for real? Well, the rockets are real, the cars are real, the Not-A-Flamethrower is real, and so is the tunnel starting in the SpaceX parking lot. The lawsuits are varying degrees of real. The timelines Musk gives himself on the products he makes are almost always wishful thinking, and not all of his ideas work in reality.

For most of the rest of it, your guess is as good as mine. It may turn out that he was serious about that volcano lair after all. Because with Musk, the spectacle is also the point: hes not just a CEO; hes an influencer. I mean, he smoked weed on The Joe Rogan Experience; beefed with the president, the press, and Azealia Banks; spent time taunting his haters; and sent his Roadster into space and then live-streamed it.

The rise of the social media influencer as a new form of celebrity in the 2010s seems to have suited Musk. Hes leaned heavily on YouTubers and, like many other influencers before him, engaged in a popular crossover event. He has a devoted army of fans, just like Taylor Swift or PewDiePie. Like most influencers, he seems to enjoy spectacle. And also like most influencers, hes used social media and his own celebrity as a valuable form of marketing. Thats especially important for Tesla (which has arguably become the car brand for YouTubers) since Tesla doesnt engage in paid advertisements. Sure, some Elon activity is decidedly spontaneous, but even that works in favor of the marketing since it makes his fans feel closer to him. I mean, how many big-deal CEOs besides Musk tweet about Rick and Morty, or engage with random followers? To borrow a turn of phrase from Jay Z: Elon Musk isnt just a businessman; hes a business, man.

Musk seems unlikely to stop Elonning anytime soon. We do not yet have the technology to predict cycles of Elon activity, thus allowing us to forecast heavy Elon seasons. I sincerely hope someone is working on this, but, until then, I suppose wed all better keep an eye on his Twitter account: he appears more often there than anywhere else.

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This decade in Elon Musk: SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, and more - The Verge

Why Elon Musk’s SpaceX Is Launching Cannabis and Coffee to Space in 2020 – Inc.

It wasn't long ago that SpaceX chief Elon Musk was criticized for smoking marijuana on Joe Rogan's podcast,The Joe Rogan Experience. Now, Musk's team will be flying cannabis to the International Space Station (ISS).

In a planned flight in March, SpaceX will be bringing cargo to the ISS. In addition to its regular payload, the cargo will also include hemp and coffee,Newsweekreports,after talking to the companies behind the decision. According to the report, Front Range Biosciences is partnering with SpaceCells USA and BioServe Space Technologiesto determine whether space travel and the environment in space in any way genetically mutatethe plants.

Hemp is a federally legal strain of cannabis that's used in a variety of ways, including in clothing, shoes, rope, and more. It has an extremely low level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which means it can't produce the psychoactive effects common in marijuana. On a federal level, marijuana is still illegal. Some states, however, have made it legal for recreational use, medicinal use, or both.

Bringing hemp and coffee cell cultures to space could have important and profound effects on our broader understanding of agriculture. Chiefly, the scientists want to know whether space in some way materially affects the plants and how they can be used in the future for a variety of products. Certain beneficial changes could create new discoveries in plant-based products.

Similarly, the scientists toldNewsweekthat they want to examine the plants when they get back to Earth to determine whether they can genetically modify them to grow in harsher environments. Indeed, the researchers hope that they candevelop ways to ensure plants can survive in different environments as climate change furtherimpacts the world. A trusted plant-based food source at that time could be critical.

To achieve that and get some real insight, however, the plants will need to be in space for 30 days. The scientists are sending 480 plant cultures into orbit andthen evaluating the plants when theyreturnto the planet.

For its part, SpaceX is acting as little more than the courier, bringing the plants to and from space. The researchers were quick to note, however, that if their efforts are successful, many more plant-based trials will be conducted aboard SpaceX vehicles to develop hardier plants.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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Why Elon Musk's SpaceX Is Launching Cannabis and Coffee to Space in 2020 - Inc.

Elon Musk appeared at The Game Awards to support girlfriend Grimes – Business Insider

Elon Musk appeared on Thursday night at The Game Awards, an awards show for the video-game industry and one of the biggest events of the year for gaming culture.

The camera found Musk in the crowd following a performance by Grimes, the award-winning pop star who's been in a relationship with Musk since 2018. Grimes debuted a song, "4AEM," which later was released on streaming services.

Grimes' performance, which featured intense CGI visuals and special effects, had a "Cyberpunk 2077" theme. The game, set to be released in April, will feature music by Grimes, and she'll also voice a character, a pop artist named Lizzy Wizzy.

Musk sat and clapped for a few moments before getting up to give Grimes a standing ovation.

Musk giving Grimes a standing ovation after her performance. YouTube/IGN

Grimes' performance was announced in advance, and many people predicted that Musk would accompany her in some way.

Musk is an avid gamer and a big fan of games like "Overwatch" and "Mass Effect" that feature futuristic aesthetics and combat. "Cyberpunk 2077" definitely falls into this category to the point that Musk has even hinted at putting Tesla's new Cybertruck in it.

This was Musk and Grimes' only appearance at The Game Awards.

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Elon Musk appeared at The Game Awards to support girlfriend Grimes - Business Insider

Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Tie the Knot – Is Elon Musk Getting Worried Yet? – TheStreet

With Peugeot (PUGOY) and Fiat Chrysler(FCAU) - Get Reportannouncing that they are tying the knot in a $50 billion deal that will create the worlds fourth biggest carmaker, one has to wonder: Is Teslas(TSLA) - Get ReportElon Musk getting worried yet?

The answer, for the short term, is a definitive no.

While the mega, trans-Atlantic merger positions both Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler to take on the inevitable shift to electric vehicles and other new people-moving technologies, there is no immediate plan the Italian-French car-making duo to immediately plug in to Teslas turf, according to preliminary statements from the companies' boards.

The longer-term picture, however, is absolutely.

With the likes of Ford F, General Motors(GM) - Get Report, BMW (BMW.DE) , Daimler AG (DAI:GR) , and others allworking on shifting their combustible engine-focus to electric, it is only a matter of time before Peugeot/Fiat Chrysler or any of the other large automakers comes up with a Tesla-beating offering.

The Peugeot-Fiat Chrysler deal, when completed, will create an auto-making giant selling 8.7 million vehicles a year with revenue of nearly 170 billion ($189 billion).

It also marks an around-the-world trip for what was once America's dead-last automaker, saved only by the ingenuity and foresight of Detroit legend of Lee Iacocca, who had the foresight to introduce smaller, lighter engines and vehicles that guzzled less gas - and an iconic convertible that both rebranded and reinvigorated the ailing company.

One cant leave it to chance that Iaccocas legacy still doesnt linger within Fiat Chrysler, and that another mass Tesla-challenging hit wont emerge from the newly combined company.

For Musk's part, he has publicly stated that he welcomes innovation in the staid auto industry, and would love to see the competition bring it on.

Besides, none of them will have Tesla's soon-to-be-built Cybertruck.

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Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Tie the Knot - Is Elon Musk Getting Worried Yet? - TheStreet

Elon Musk Works For Tesla For Free But Thanks To A Highly Unusual Compensation Plan He Could Earn $100 Billion – Celebrity Net Worth

Can you imagine working for free? That's exactly what Elon Musk does. Now, of course, he has $23 billion reasons to not need any more money, but still! He owns 20% of Tesla. The company's current market cap is $60 billion, so $12 billion, or a little more than half comes from his electric car company. The other $10-ish billion comes from his majority stake in the private company Space X. Musk does not accept a salary at either company. It's not as nuts as it sounds, because if Musk meets certain goals laid out by the board of Tesla two years ago, he could take home $100 billion. Let's take a look at how that works.

First, it needs to be pointed out that Musk also has $500 million in debt. He recently claimed to be cash poor, something we can relate to and we don't have a million dollars, let alone $23 billion. Basically, 99% of his personal wealth is tied up in shares in Tesla and SpaceX. He has $209 million in debt owed to Morgan Stanley. At least $60 million of that is the mortgage on his home(s). About $213 million is debt owed to Goldman Sachs. Nearly 50% of his Tesla shares have been pledged as collateral to Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Musk reportedly burned through all of his liquid cash from the sale of his previous companies to start SpaceX.

TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

Now, back in January 2018, the board of Tesla presented a compensation plan for Musk that could be worth $100 billion. Musk will receive up to $100 billion in stock options over a decade if he (and Tesla) meet certain goals called tranches. There are 12-tranches to this plan. He gets the first chunk of options when Tesla hits a market cap of $100 billion. At the time the plan was announced, Tesla had a market cap of about $50 billion. Today is has a market cap of $60 billion. After that, Musk gets another of the tranches every time Tesla's market cap increases by $50 billion. If Musk can grow Tesla to a $650 billion market cap, he would earn the entire $100 billion.

However, if Musk doesn't achieve any of the goals, or tranches, he gets $0 in compensation for the reportedly 80-hour work weeks he puts in. Because he declines his base salary of $56,380, he gets no compensation at all until he hits the $100 billion market cap. He would then get $10 billion as long as Tesla maintains that market cap for 12 months. So really, he gets the compensation a year after achieving the goal. That's one way to keep someone motivated!

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Elon Musk Works For Tesla For Free But Thanks To A Highly Unusual Compensation Plan He Could Earn $100 Billion - Celebrity Net Worth

Elon Musk Is Talking About Powering All of America with Solar – Futurism

Solar U.S.A.

Elon Musk is talking, again, about his idea to turn 10,000 square miles in the U.S. desert into a solar farm that can power the entire nation. In a Saturday Twitter reply to an article by Treehugger about Bill Gates questioning the efficiency of solar power, Musk fired back that all you need is a 100 by 100 mile patch in a deserted corner of Arizona, Texas or Utah (or anywhere) to more than power the entire USA.

He first talked about the idea in 2015, and reiterated them in 2017, as Inverse points out. The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile, Musk said at the National Governors Association Summer Meeting in Rhode Island in 2017. One square-mile. Thats it.

Musk also linked to a University College London blog post, in which energy researcher Andrew Smith did some back-0f-the-envelope calculations, finding that a 10,000 square kilometer area far smaller than the 100 by 100 mile patch to be clear could generate about 500 Gigawatts at 21 percent efficiency, the average in Northwest Texas. Thats more than the U.S. annual average consumption of 425 GW.

But it would be an extremely expensive mega project as well. If you were to cover the patch with Teslas solar panel-covered Roof tiles, it would still cost about six trillion dollars, according to Popular Mechanics which is about the GDP of Japan.

READ MORE: Elon Musks Plan for One Giant Solar Farm Is a Little Insane, but Not Completely Insane [Popular Mechanics]

More on the idea: Elon Musk Tells National Governors Association How We Could Power the U.S. With Solar

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Elon Musk Is Talking About Powering All of America with Solar - Futurism

Was Elon Musk Really in ‘Rick and Morty’? – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

No one can expect things to be normal in any episode of Rick and Morty, which makes it continually popular with fans this year into a wild fourth season. One thing about the show is they dont typically go the route of The Simpsons and have cameos from real people.

They did make one exception, though, only because the notable person they used happened to be friends with the shows creators.

If anyone thought it was only a rumor Elon Musk appeared on Rick and Morty, its more than true. This wasnt any ordinary cameo either. His particular cameo wasnt as his usual self either, something only R and M fans will understand.

What were the details behind this bizarre appearance? Having him appear seemed apropos for the style of the show, not including celebrating Musks own mysteriousness.

One would think Musk is more than ripe for being satirized to death by the Rick and Morty creative team. The creators (Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon) just so happen to be big fans of Musk and his scientific advancements. Musk has returned the friendship, leading to hangouts with Roiland and Harmon. Latter two later managed to convince Musk to do guest voice work playing himself.

While recorded a while ago, the episode just aired recently on Adult Swim as part of Season Four. In the episode, fans saw Rick and Morty encounter an alt-reality Musk whos known as Elon Tusk.

Yes, the name is literal and has the animated guise of Musk wearing real tusks.

Earlier in the year, Musk changed his Twitter handle to Elon Tusk in celebration of his involvement, even though nobody knew what the reference meant at the time. It was a typical move by Musk, who always wants to stay mysterious and more than a little oddball.

Since Musk is a cannabis user, he might have had a history of watching Rick and Morty while fully imbibed.

Any fan of this show must have realized any cameo from someone famous wasnt going to be the usual. After finding Elon Tusk, Rick and Morty realize hes the head of a company called Tuskla that uses tusks on all of his inventions.

Other than this, it was the same Elon Musk, proving the hilarious concept of one alternate universe possibly having one slight variation into the absurd. Anyone who really believes in alternate realities might think something just as crazy could truly exist. Regardless, the world of Rick and Morty is already like smoking cannabis with Musk himself.

Theres every reason to believe the creators of Rick and Morty have done exactly this with Musk based on the disturbingly surreal story lines they create each season. Not that anyone can argue its not the most creative animated show around.

Landing Musk might have been a major coup, but what does it portend for future celebrity cameos on the show? Theyve already brought in famous voices without necessarily portraying themselves.

Those whove followed the show along from the beginning will know various celebrities have come on to voice specific guest-star characters. Everyone from Susan Sarandon to even Werner Herzog have done cameo voice work. Paul Giamatti is yet another upcoming.

None of these celebs have played a version of themselves, unlike Musk. Lets assume this might change the longer Rick and Morty stays on the air. After all, its almost a pop culture privilege for a celeb to portray themselves on The Simpsons. Rick and Morty is almost on the same level now, making it more likely some notable will show up in an animated guise.

Then again, with Harmon and Roiland once saying John Lithgow turned them down vehemently, there may still be some trepidation by a few A-list stars based on how relentlessly weird the show continues to be.

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Was Elon Musk Really in 'Rick and Morty'? - Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Elon Musk says Twitter is nonsense. Why does he use it to break Tesla news? – Los Angeles Times

Twitter is nonsense. Dont take it seriously. That, in essence, is what Elon Musk and his team of lawyers argued in the defamation case won by Musk last Friday.

Twitter is infamous for invective and hyperbole, his attorneys said in legal briefs. Users play fast and loose with facts, they said. Forums like Twitter are not a source of facts or data upon which a reasonable person would rely. Twitter participants expect to read opinions, not facts.

Which raises the question: If Musks Twitter account, with its 29.9 million followers, cant be taken seriously, why should anything Musk says there about Tesla, SpaceX and his other companies be believed?

And for those concerned about the functioning of open and honest financial markets, how can the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission continue to consider Musks account a legitimate channel for investor communications?

In the defamation case, a jury last Friday declared Musk not liable for a tweet in which he called a British rescue diver a pedo guy. The divers lawyers said pedo guy meant pedophile. But one juror said the panel supported Musk because his tweet didnt specifically name the man, Vernon Unsworth, in his tweet.

The case raises more questions about how corporations and regulators should treat social media.

The SEC allows corporate executives to use their personal social media channels to convey corporate information considered material to investors, but says they must inform investors what channels are being used for that purpose. Companies tend to follow the guidance.

James Naughton, a professor at the University of Virginias Darden School of Business, notes that to keep things clear, many companies use a separate account for marketing and another run by the investor relations department for all material corporate information.

T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere, for instance, is a colorful and sometimes profane presence on Twitter. The company included the following near the top of its 2018 10K annual report:

Investors and others should note that we announce material financial and operational information to our investors using our investor relations website, press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. We intend to also use the @TMobileIR Twitter account (https://twitter.com/TMobileIR) and the @JohnLegere Twitter (https://twitter.com/JohnLegere), Facebook and Periscope accounts.

Twitter, the company, does the same. CEO Jack Dorsey is, no surprise, active on the site. Twitters 10K disclosure is similar to T-Mobiles. The same is true for countless other companies.

Tesla, as in so many other matters, has been an outlier.

At Tesla, there appears to be only a single official mention of Musks Twitter account, a Form 8K disclosure in 2013 that reads: For additional information, please follow Elon Musks and Teslas Twitter accounts.

Notices on Tesla social media policy have not appeared in recent 10K annual reports.

Whats crazy right now is youve got a situation where Elon Musk can tweet that hes taking his company private, but he also gets to have hundreds of tweets that are totally irrelevant, Naughton said. He gets to have it both ways. Investors are left to sort out whats real from whats not.

The going-private tweet landed Musk in deep trouble. In August 2018 he used Twitter to declare he had funding secured for a company buyout at $420 a share, sending the stock soaring.

The tweet didnt simply play loose with the facts; there was nothing factual about it at all. The SEC charged him with fraud, stating that specific deal terms were never discussed with potential buyers. The Bel-Air multibillionaire settled the fraud charges by paying a $20-million fine and giving up his Tesla chairman title for three years.

The SEC declined to comment. Tesla did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Tesla does file some corporate information in 8K current report documents through the SEC, and on the news page of the companys website assembled by Musks public relations team. Musk, however, discounts the value of public relations. From the witness stand in the defamation trial, Musk said, We dont have much of a PR team at Tesla.

But much essential corporate information for Tesla investors can be found only on Musks Twitter feed.

In January, for instance, Musk tweeted new information about Teslas new Gigafactory in China: Shanghai Giga will produce affordable versions of 3/Y for greater China. All Model S/X & higher cost versions of Model 3/Y will still be built in US for WW market, incl China. That information was not communicated through an 8K or on Teslas news page.

Musk uses Twitter not only as a channel for corporate communications, but as a bully pulpit to battle enemies real and perceived; a forum for silly memes; a message board to announce new Tesla products and features; and a mechanism to warn short sellers theyre about to get burned, as he did a few weeks before his going-private tweet.

Critics say he uses Twitter to pump up Teslas stock price, with prognostications about future products and delivery schedules that often fall short of reality. The fraud settlement with the SEC was meant to stop that, but after he tweeted in February that Tesla will make about 500,000 cars in 2019, he was hauled before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for contempt. He and the SEC came up with more specific rules for subject matter Musk needs to run past a Tesla securities lawyer before he tweets it out.

Musk tends to veer from tweeting trivial information (adding fart sounds to Tesla cars) to tweeting serious business information. Sometimes his wild ideas are just that (hes tweeted about entering the liquor business with a Teslaquila), and sometimes they actually happen (flamethrowers).

On April 14, Musk used Twitter to update investors on Teslas Powerwall storage battery business. Powerwall production is now ramping fast, he said. Four days later, after hours of joke-making among Musk and his followers about sheep, Musk tweeted out My Twitter is pretty much complete nonsense at this point.

On July 29, Musk set investor expectations for Teslas solar roof tile product. Spooling up production line rapidly. Hoping to manufacture ~1000 solar roofs/week by end of this year. Musk hasnt updated production levels since then. There is no indication that Tesla is anywhere close to that level of production.

In November, after Musk unveiled the Cybertruck concept vehicle, he said on Twitter that Tesla had received 250,000 orders. Nonsense? For real? Who can say.

The government sets rules on corporate disclosure to keep the playing field level for stock traders. A trader with inside knowledge that a company hasnt released to the public can make huge profits, but at the expense of stockholders who are left in the dark. Insider trading is illegal, and those convicted of insider trading can spend years in prison. The SECs Regulation FD requires broad dissemination of material corporate information, either through an 8K filing with the agency or by other means.

Before the World Wide Web was invented in 1989, a company disclosing such information would typically prepare a news release and send it to wire services such as the Associated Press or Dow Jones, which forwarded it to newsrooms throughout the country and around the world.

The web made dissemination simple. A company could simply post material corporate information on its website, available to anyone with a computer.

The spread of smartphones and social media complicated matters. Chief executives created personal accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Defamation attorney Jenny Afia, of the international law firm Schillings, said there remains an unresolved tension between the use of Twitter as a serious communication channel for business and Twitter as a war zone, as Musk has described it, where reputations can be attacked and people can be smeared.

The corporate stance is right, she said. I disagree that Twitter isnt a forum to be taken seriously.

The relevance to corporate disclosure caught the agencys attention in 2012, when Netflix CEO Reed Hastings used his Facebook account to announce the streaming services monthly online viewing had exceeded 1 billion hours for the first time. There was no press release and no 8K. Netflixs stock price jumped 19% over the next trading session.

The SEC last formally addressed the social media disclosure issue in 2013. In a guidance update, the commission stated that corporate officers could communicate important corporate information through their personal social media accounts, so long as investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information. (Its unclear whether Tesla is meeting even that threshold.)

Corporate investor relations executives began to wonder whether social media is an approved means for issuing potentially stock-moving corporate information. If so, must the communications channel be restricted to a corporate account, or are a CEOs personal accounts OK, too?

The SEC stated, as part of its guidance, that personal accounts could serve as a legitimate corporate channel, but each company must tell investors which channels were official.

The SEC has not said whether it intends to further clarify social media rules. Robert Jackson, one of the SECs four commissioners, encouraged a review on a cable news show in September 2018.

If youre wondering whether it might be time for us to clarify this, I am too, Jackson said. We have issued some guidance in the area, but its quite old.

Jackson could not be reached for comment about Musk and Tesla.

Excerpt from:

Elon Musk says Twitter is nonsense. Why does he use it to break Tesla news? - Los Angeles Times

Elon Musk wins in ‘pedo guy’ defamation trial – CNN

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Read more from the original source:

Elon Musk wins in 'pedo guy' defamation trial - CNN

Folks Are Going Wild Over Elon Musk Sitting Next to Ikumi Nakamura at The Game Awards – Comicbook.com

(Photo: The Game Awards)

During The Game Awards 2019, a wild Elon Musk appeared. Yes, that's right, Elon Musk is at the world's biggest gaming awards show. Why? Nobody knows, but as you would expect, the camera panned to Musk after he briefly stood up to applaud the performance of Grimes, who was showing off a track that will be in Cyberpunk 2077. And of course, the moment the camera panned to the Tesla boss, the Internet went wild, which it does every time Musk does anything.

That said, the biggest talking point around this brief camera pan is that he's sitting next Ikumi Nakamura, one of the most beloved developers in the industry, who left Bethesda and Tango Gameworks only a few months ago. Of course, some people were thrilled to see this unexpected duo, but others were not pleased.

As always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know over there. Why do you think Elon Musk is at The Game Awards, and what did you think of his quick cameo?

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Folks Are Going Wild Over Elon Musk Sitting Next to Ikumi Nakamura at The Game Awards - Comicbook.com

Vergecast: Tesla Cybertruck first ride, Elon Musks bad tweets trial, and the departure of Googles founders – The Verge

The Vergecast is back after a Thanksgiving break and our Pirate Radio series with a new tech news roundup for the week. This weeks theme: billionaires doing weird billionaire things.

Dieter Bohn, Casey Newton, Andrew Hawkins, and Paul Miller begin the show discussing Teslas event when it unveiled its new electric pickup truck the Cybertruck, as well as Ford revealing its first electric Mustang. Who among the crew is on board for this weird billionaire thing?

In the second half of the show, deputy editor Liz Lopatto joins us from Los Angeles where she is covering Elon Musks defamation trial regarding Musks bad tweets. Liz explains how this lawsuit came to be and what has happened at the trial so far.

Theres a whole lot more in between all of that from Pauls weekly segment In the apocalypse, we dont need space bars to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin kind of leaving Alphabet so listen through to get it all.

Stories discussed in this episode:

2:00- Tesla Cybertruck first ride: inside Elon Musks electric pickup truck

23:55 - Fords Mustang Mach-E is an electric SUV with up to 300 miles of range

30:30 - No, e-bikes arent cheating

37:03 - Elon Musk tries to explain Twitter in pedo guy defamation case

1:00:55 - Pauls weekly segment In the apocalypse, we dont need space bars

1:03:23 - Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin relinquish control of Alphabet to CEO Sundar Pichai

1:19:05 - Qualcomms new Snapdragon 865 flagship is here without integrated 5G

The Vergecast

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Vergecast: Tesla Cybertruck first ride, Elon Musks bad tweets trial, and the departure of Googles founders - The Verge