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Elon Musk And The Worst Thing About The Tesla And SpaceX Founder

Q&A site Quora. Photo: Quora

This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Nishanth Salinamakki

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It’s true that Elon Musk is seen as nearly perfect (especially in the Quora community). It’s because a very few percentage of people can start one successful company, and he’s founded three (Zip2, SpaceX, PayPal) and been involved in others (Tesla, SolarCity, OpenAI). He’s now leading two companies in two completely different industries that have long-term goals that resemble science fiction. His companies are striving to change the way we live , not consume goods. That kind of success and drive is unprecedented; that’s why Musk is hailed as one of the greatest entrepreneurs and the reason why everyone is obsessed with him. Everyone wants to be like him.

However, no one is perfect, and everyone has a dark side, especially insanely successful men like Elon Musk (often because of the traits that make them successful). Musk’s flaws are highlighted in Ashlee Vance’s comprehensive biography on Musk.

Elon Musk is not the best with relationships. He even whispered to his first wife during the wedding, “I am the alpha in this relationship”.

He never took no for an answer, and he rode his employees hard, right out of their minds, and sometimes right out of the company. Mary Beth Brown was a devoted assistant to Musk, who was there from the beginning of SpaceX (when it was viewed as a joke) and worked the same hours he did. However, when she asked for a raise, Musk still questioned her value to the company and after telling her to take two weeks off, decided that SpaceX could operate fine without her.

He is uncompromising and demanding, forcing employees to work long hours (if any other CEO did this, no one would work for him/her but since Musk’s companies’ goals are so exciting and meaningful, everyone agrees to pour their heart and soul into the company’s mission).

He had laser-like focus; if there was something he wanted, he would stop at nothing…

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