Elon Musk on love, turtlenecks, and why he wishes Tesla had remained a private company
Friday, November 17, 2017/
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Tesla and SpaceX founder and entrepreneurial firebrand Elon Musk has bared all regarding his personal and professional lifee.
The revealing chat saw Musk reflect on his relationship with his parents, his disdain for turtlenecks and his love life woes.
It’s been a big year for Musk, who has been focused on projects across Tesla, Space X and Boring Company, not to mention helping to solve South Australia’s power woes with a giant battery. Just hours ago he arrived to an audience of adoring fans in a Tesla electric big-rig truck, which was unveiled for the first time.
Speaking to Rolling Stone contributing editor Neil Strauss earlier in the week, Musk “earnestly” discussed his recent breakup with American actress Amber Heard, saying how much it had affected him throughout the launch of Tesla’s Model 3.
“I’ve been in severe emotional pain for the last few weeks,” Musk told Rolling Stone.
“Severe. It took every ounce of will to be able to do the Model 3 event and not look like the most depressed guy around. For most of that day, I was morbid. And then I had to psych myself up: drink a couple of Red Bulls, hang out with positive people and then, like, tell myself: ‘I have all these people depending on me. All right, do it!'”
“If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy,” Musk added, explaining how “alone” he has felt after his breakup.
Musk has also recently been pulled into a debate sparked by a high-profile US short-seller around whether the founder will leave the business by 2020, with the seller claiming Musk “is the reason people own the stock”.
Musk reportedly showed his kids one of the highest short positions in the entire US stock market — a $US9 billion ($11.9 billion) Tesla short — then proclaimed short sellers were “jerks who want us to die”.
“They’re constantly trying to make up false rumors and amplify any negative rumors. It’s a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It’s really awful. It’s…hurtful,” he said.
Thanks to this, Musk revealed he would prefer if he “could be private with Tesla”, saying “it actually makes us less efficient to be a public company”.
Finally, Musk used the interview to weigh in on the cult-like following of him and his companies, with the founder expressing disdain at being depicted as “real-life Tony Stark or the second coming of Steve Jobs”.
Reacting to being asked to wear a black turtleneck at a recent photoshoot, Musk responded: “If I was dying and I had a turtleneck on, with my last dying breath, I would take the turtleneck off and try to throw it as far away from my body as possible”.
From the frontlines
Alan Jones: How to raise investment for a startup with no customers and no revenue Alan Jones M8 Ventures partner
Canva's Melanie Perkins has 10 tips for startups with 'crazy-big dreams' Melanie Perkins Canva co-founder
Why Up's transgender controversy shows there can be no separation between founders and their companies Joan Westenberg StartupSmart columnist
Take a stand: Why being neutral hurts profitability and engagement Steven Maarbani VentureCrowd executive director
The power of passion: Naked Wines' co-founder reflects on what made the startup successful Peta Jecks Naked Wines co-founder
Hipsters, hustlers and hackers: Three instances of everyday bias in startupland Theresa Lim Play2Lead founder
Diversity and coaching will rid the banking sector of its toxic culture problem Hema Kangeson inSpur founder
Why you should find the right role for the right person — not the other way around Bruce Stronge Outfit founder