5 Bizarre Quotes That Prove Elon Musk Is Probably a Genius

Illustration for article titled 5 Bizarre Quotes That Prove Elon Musk Is Probably a Genius

When everyone—including you—jokes that you have a secret volcano lair, it’s probably more than likely some other off-color remarks might find their way out of your mouth. A new book about Elon Musk contains at least two dozen such statements. If even a third of these are true, he’s probably even smarter than we thought.


Ashlee Vance is the author of the superbly well-timed Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, the new book out this week about everyone’s favorite battery-makin’ billionaire. The Washington Post gave it a read and plucked out 22 incredible Musky nuggets from his employees, ex-wives, and parents (who, coincidentally, were worried about how much time he spent staring off into space—space!—and took out his adenoid glands thinking it would improve his hearing).

We know Musk has a pretty decent sense of humor, so some of these might be a little tongue-in-cheek. The one story that everyone seems to be sharing right now is the one I kinda do not believe? Musk supposedly reamed an employee via email for skipping a work event to be present at the birth of his child (assuming it was a man he got mad at and not a woman). But a few other stories just sound like typical Musk we’ve come to know and love.

His ex-wife thinks of him as a cyborg

“I do think of him as the Terminator. He locks his gaze on to something and says, ‘It shall be mine.’ Bit by bit, he won me over.” — Justine Musk, Elon’s ex-wife [I think “It shall be mine” is actually attributed to Wayne Campbell, but ok]

He has a great pickup line

“I believe the second sentence out of his mouth was, ‘I think a lot about electric cars.’ And then he turned to me and said, ‘Do you think about electric cars?’ ” — Christie Nicholson, who met Musk at a party


He’s a billionaire hobo

“He’s kind of homeless, which I think is sort of funny. He’ll e-mail and say, ‘I don’t know where to stay tonight. Can I come over?’ I haven’t given him a key or anything yet.” — Google’s Larry Page


He wants to put a roller coaster in Tesla’s factory

“Everybody around here has slides in their lobbies. I’m actually wondering about putting in a roller coaster — like a functional roller coaster at the factory in Fremont. You’d get in, and it would take you around [the] factory but also up and down. Who else has a roller coaster? … It would probably be really expensive, but I like the idea of it.” — Elon Musk


He let a knife thrower throw knives at balloons held between his legs

“I’d seen him before, but did worry that maybe he could have an off day. Still, I thought, he would maybe hit one gonad but not both.” — Elon Musk


What do you think? Were his words taken out of context or is this the Real Musk™? Head on over to read the rest and let us know if you’ve gotten any similarly frightening emails from your boss.

[Washington Post]

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP



I think it’s a mistake to confuse billionaires that possess grandiose visions of the future with genuinely brilliant people. Musk is a legitimate engineer, but these days he’s a businessman first. He pays people to be brilliant for him, and he continues to spin the marketing in much the same way Steve Jobs did.

But apparently, he’s also a huge dick: http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-emai… It sounds like he’s got a ridiculous work ethic, which no doubt contributes to his fortunes, but also that ego has gotten the better of him — though anyone who makes an absurd amount of cash is likely to fall into such a trap.

Though he’s still infinitely better than his Paypal compatriot, Peter Thiel.