Elon Musk Is A Bad Businessman


Elon Musk is a prominent figure in social media and has founded several well-known companies. Source: JD Lasica from flickr

Elon Musk. The name is often perceived as the best businessman and entrepreneur of the 21st century. He founded Paypal, SpaceX, and launched Tesla into what it is today. His twitter account boasts more followers than the population of Australia. In all, his net worth currently stands over 23 billion dollars. Yet ignoring what the internet glorifies him as, Musk is truly a terrible businessman.

Characteristics of a good businessman typically fall along the lines of a dependable, humble, and inspiring leader. That takes a stark contrast to the true Elon Musk. Far from dependable, Musk is currently CEO of an energy company, space company, and even a transportation company that he started as a joke. Each business is fighting for his utmost attention. One is trying to put out, update, and repair hundreds of thousands of vehicles. Another, supplying the ISS, building the next manned moon rocket, and planning for mars. And one more is digging tunnels under Los Angeles and selling flamethrowers. There are only so many hours in a week! Successful businesses need someone they can expect and depend on to lead. Elon Musk is not the man.

If another characteristic of a successful businessman is humility, Elon is 0 for 2. His lack of humility and self-control makes him an absolute wreck. It’s one of the reasons Elon has so many ventures: Elon wants to fix and do everything. Most car companies specialize in just making cars. However, if you take a look at Tesla’s remiss structure you can see they create solar panels, battery systems, develop driverless technology, hold the largest charging structure in the US, and hold the sole permit to sell and repair Teslas. Rather than delegate, Elon Musk takes charge of every aspect of his companies. And the reason is simple: he sincerely believes he can do everything better than anyone else can. Everything is adapted to what he thinks, and that’s as unproductive as unproductive gets.

That leaves us to the characteristic of an inspiring leader. To the general populous, Musk is certainly an inspiration leading the way to the future. To anyone who works for him, Elon Musk is the authority to explicitly avoid. This micromanager fires anyone who takes orders with hints of question. He believes everyone is like him, sending memos criticizing vacation time. And his Twitter account is a loose cannon that would make President Trump feel uneasy. Elon coming to attend to your department is a notice from the reaper. There are horror stories of people losing jobs because their families asked for a picture. And lest not get started on Musk’s vilification of whistle-blowers. Not quite inspiring. Not quite a leader. 

While Elon Musk is making great change for this world and is personally my favorite Twitter account, Musk is nobody I would ever want to work for or invest in. You thought your boss was bad? Elon Musk is the definition of a toxic work environment. He’s undependable, full-of-it, and a micromanager like no other. So hold off before you give Elon more praise. He certainly is a great entrepreneur, but he’s not close to a great businessman.