4 min read.Updated: 28 Apr 2022, 01:20 AM ISTRahul Jacob
The challenges of this platform could distract him from his core business of electric cars and space vehicles
In an essay over a decade ago, Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist, provocatively argued that the technology industry had let people down. “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters," he said in a takedown of the world’s obsession with Twitter. In the past couple of decades, Elon Musk has become an emblem of a visionary tech titan, a living four-letter rebuttal to the Thiel critique. Musk has built an array of innovative businesses. First he helped create PayPal, which he sold to eBay in 2002, making $100 million. Then, with Tesla, in which he started as a first-round investor in 2004, he made going green sexy by combining seductive automobile styling with long-lasting batteries to revolutionize electric cars. He built the rocket company Space X, which was valued at $100 billion last year. At both Tesla and Space X, he has given manufacturing a futuristic edge. The Tesla factory in Fremont, California, sits on the site of a former General Motors-Toyota plant but is leagues ahead.