Musk was not one to give up as he chased his dream. His idea of using reusable rockets to reduce the cost of space travel was not worth giving up.
Tesla's Elon Musk
Elon Musk stands undefeatable. He runs Tesla, the most valuable car company on the planet. His venture SpaceX, the first private company to take astronauts to space, was celebrated as a landmark event to grow space tourism. His latest project Neuralink which wants machines to work with human brains, is venturing to do the unthinkable – solve undiscovered mysteries of the human mind.
It is difficult to believe that things were falling apart until only recently for Musk. Tesla faced uncountable hurdles during its attempt to ramp up production for Model 3. Subsequently, the Security and Exchange Commission sued Musk for “false and misleading” statements and suggested penalty charges as Musk tweeted about taking the company private at $420/share, lining up multiple investors.
However, Musk has powered through every challenge. Everything finally seems to be falling in place for him. Tesla is valued more than all car companies put together. Despite initial failures, the SpaceX launch succeeded. Neuralink, the company with the audacious dream of building a human-machine interface, recently made its first public announcement.
The man, though, thrives on his commitment. On land with his cars, in space with his dreams or in the mind with his ideas, problems bring out the best out of Musk’s ingenious mind.
Tough measures at Tesla
Musk had to personally supervise the Model 3 line in a new line that was built in two weeks under a sprawling tent, along the main factory. The job had to be done. When the team produced 7000 cars in a week, Musk’s tweet was short and crisp, glowing in praise for the team.
Generating cash has been the big challenge for Tesla. Ramping up production was only part of the problem, as investors had kept a hawk’s eye on its production schedule. They were worried about the cash burn since Musk wanted Model 3 to become a mainstream car and scale was the first obstacle.
As the first quarter closed in March 2018, Moody’s downgraded Tesla to B3, six levels below investment grade. Worries around Model 3 and financial pressures contributed.
A few quarters later, despite the odds (the Fremont factory was shut during March), Tesla produced 82,272 and delivered 90,650 vehicles during Q2 2020. During the first quarter, it had produced 102,672 and delivered 88,400 vehicles, well above analyst expectations. If there is one man who could still achieve Tesla’s target of 500,000 vehicles during 2020, it has to be Musk.
Bumpy ride for SpaceX
There were two notable failures for SpaceX, which took 18 cumbersome years to overcome.
In 2015, just two minutes into its flight that could send the dragon capsule into the orbiting outpost, the rocket’s second stage came off. It led the capsule to fall off. A year later, SpaceX’s reliability was questioned after an explosion rocked the Falcon 9 rocket during a pre-launch test. Musk described it as the “most difficult and complex failure we have ever had in 14 years”. There were more failures that threatened to disrupt the programme too.
Musk was not one to give up as he chased his dream. His idea of using reusable rockets to reduce the cost of space travel was not worth giving up. Finally, in May 2020, SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon capsule into orbit, the first launch for NASA from the U.S. after 2011. Musk emerged successful overcoming every roadblock. A group of pigs with mind-reading brain implants by Neuralink is now being spoken of as being controversial. Given his track record, this could unleash Musk’s animal spirit and prove all the critics wrong once again
Never write off a man who refuses to give up on his dreams!