The Best and Worst of Elon Musk in 2018
Whether you love or hate him, there is no doubt Elon Musk is making a big impact on the world around him.
The energetic entrepreneur is CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX and the founder of his ‘hobby’ company ‘Boring Company’ 2018 was a big year for Musk, one in which he described to the New York Times as: “This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career. It was excruciating.”
Tesla Roadster blasts tunes to stars
Let’s start from the top. In February this year, we all watched in awe as SpaceX successfully launched Falcon Heavy, SpaceX's most powerful rocket - inside was the hilarious and wonderful payload of Musk's own Tesla Roadster, that was left behind to float in space.
Behind the wheel of the little red car was a mannequin in a SpaceX space listening to David Bowie's classic track, Space Oddity.
Falcon Heavy sends a car to Mars https://t.co/Y7uBtU6Mt2— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2018
The launch was significant not only for SpaceX but for Space exploration generally as it sets the scene for a massive year full of historic events.
Musk moves into the factory to hit ambitious production targets
Musk then turned his attention to Tesla, his electric car company. After a lot of hard work and sleepless nights, Musk was able to announce that Tesla had managed to achieve its ambitious production goal, managing to pump out 5000 Model 3’s in a single week as well as 2000 of their other production vehicles.
7000 cars, 7 days— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 1, 2018
♥️ Tesla Team ♥️
In order to achieve the ambitious target, Musk reportedly moved his office to the factory floor while a huge tent was constructed to house additional production equipment. "It was pretty hectic," said one worker who described the atmosphere as "all hands on deck."
Twitter doesn't fly well with Musk
Musk is an avid Twitter user, and while he often uses it to disclose breaking news from all of his companies, there hasn’t been a single another medium that has caused him so much trauma this year.
Arguably the first foray into Twitter hell was after he offered to help the junior soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand in July. The young team got stuck in the cave after waters levels rose.
Thai cave rescue turns into a PR nightmare for CEO
Musk offered to speed up the development of a tiny submarine that he already had in production to assist in their rescue. He personally flew the child-sized submarine to Thailand, but due to the nature of the rescue, it could not be used.
After the boys were successfully rescued by experienced divers, one of the consultants, a British diving expert Vern Unsworth was interviewed and asked his opinions on Musk’s input. Unsworth criticized Musk’s submarine design saying he could “stick his submarine where it hurts”.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem Musk can handle criticism and he hit back at the diver calling him a ‘pedo’ in a now-deleted Tweet. The unsubstantiated claim was repeated by Musk at a later day despite heavy criticism from all around him.
Musk says he was sober despite 420 reference
The pressure was obviously getting to Musk though and in xx of this year Musk sent out Tweet that would ultimately cost a lot both financially and personally. Musk tweeted “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”
While many were excited about the idea, the Securities and Trade Commission thought otherwise and after investigation fined Musk 20 million dollars. Telsa was fined the same amount.
Deleted my Tesla titles last week to see what would happen. I’m now the Nothing of Tesla. Seems fine so far.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2018
As part of the agreement with the commission, Musk was asked to step down from all roles with Tesla except CEO.
Musk came under fire for the tweet not only because of it's possible disruption to markets but due to its reference to marijuana culture, by naming the potential share buyout price at 420; a number commonly associated with smoking marijuana.
Smoking with celebs tips Tesla board over the edge
If Musk wasn’t already in the hot seat with the Tesla board and its investors, he really pushed buttons when he appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and video and smoked a tobacco and marijuana cigarette.
Boring Company goes deep to get Musk kudos
Magic Musk again managed some redemption when he announced last month that the Boring Company Dodger’s Loop is going ahead.
The Dodger Stadium project or Dugout Loop is ‘a zero-emissions, high-speed, underground public transportation system from the Los Feliz, East Hollywood, or Rampart Village neighborhoods ("western terminus") to Dodger Stadium in the City of Los Angeles.’
Another highlights from Musk this year was the quiet offer to fix the water problem in Flint.
Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 11, 2018
Musk won't stop looking forward
Musk is certain to continue to set records again in 2019.