HAWTHORNE, CA-An in-depth profile on Elon Musk in the December issue of Esquire Magazine reveals a ‘daredevil’ personality with the habits of explorers and of dedication to the goal of getting big things done-like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and “the Great Gatsby.”
En route to launching the first premiere electric-sedan, the Tesla S, Musk led his other venture Space X, into a interplanetary global mission fueled with $278 million in funds from NASA, “pin money” behind his target of flying rockets to Mars, to be followed by $200 million more from a supportive Obama administration.
Juggling among Tesla, Mars, several wives and five children, Musk sets a fast pace. He toys with styling, having drawn up the Tesla’s rearview mirror and a button-less dashboard.
In Silicon Valley-style, Musk wears black jeans and a black T-shirt to work in the Space X headquarters near Los Angeles.
A native of South Africa, Musk, 41, is nothing if not a ‘big thinker.’ He expects to change the first rocket riders to Mars $500,000 per trip, starting in 2033.
Musk’s other eccentricities include a relationship with his muse, NASA deputy administrator Lori Green.
Musk already has encountered resistance to his Tesla: operating in states whose franchise laws forbid factory-owned stores. The 25 Tesla dealers are all factory-owned, ruling out display of Tesla cars at the Los Angeles and Chicago shows in California, Illinois and Ohio.
There follow Esquire’s quotes on the Musk game plan:
“It seems that Musk has convinced a lot of people who can influence Congress to go along with his plans,” says a U,.S. Representative Eddie Johnson, a California Democrat.
“When Musk gets into trouble, he builds products he can’t deliver…He’s having difficulty building enough Model S sedans for people who’ve already paid for them.” says a Tesla engineer.
“Suppliers operate on the principle of how much we can screw customers. It really pisses me off.”
“That’s no way to talk about your suppliers (or whomever)” says auto writer Steve Purdy.
Elon is not afraid of breaking things-he will break himself if he has to,” says his first wife Justine, mother of his five children.