Elon Musk has had a busy week, last week, and life. The entrepreneur and inventor is quite a workaholic. The South African-born businessman worked and studied day and night to get where he is today. And where he is, is pretty impressive. 21 billion dollars accumulated through innovation and technological advancement. The 47-year-old is in charge of some of the biggest companies in the World. His groundbreaking electric car company Tesla, the first private space exploration company in the World – SpaceX, and his latest venture – The Boring Company.
Lately, the news media is having a go at Musk. Everything from his tweets to the security worries, to layoffs and firings. It seems like everything the man does is under fire nowadays. This Monday he was even prompted to write a response to a complaint from the SEC. The national securities and exchange commission is trying to hold Musk in contempt of Federal Court, which is quite an offense if he does get indicted.
A bit of good news
The SEC would like to prevent him from tweeting controversial stuff that affects business and stock, and Elon said something along the lines of “you can take my titles, but you will never take my tweets,” paraphrasing the first amendment. In the past, the businessman has been known for his controversial tweeting habit that got him into quite a bit of trouble last year. 2018 was a rough year all in all for Musk. From his failed relationship to a young female rapper that turned into a PR catastrophe for him, to the infamous exchange with the people trying to rescue those boys in the Thai cave, to being forced to step down as Chairman of Tesla and face a hefty fine. It’s been a challenging 12 months.
However, a new year is upon us and It’s not all gloom and doom. Elon Musk took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce some exciting news for The Boring Company. Musk is not known to be a man who would miss out on a chance to create waves on Twitter:
It would appear that Musk finally managed to secure permissions for building his underground tunnels in Las Vegas. The entrepreneur has been trying to acquire proper licenses for quite some time now. This news comes at the beginning of a new page for the company and Musk himself.
The Boring Company is a new startup by the inventor and businessman. It aims to revolutionize how cars move around in large cities. The methodology for this is good old tunnels. Musk doesn’t seem to want to invent the wheel. Just improve on it. But all of this is under question now as Musk comes under fire from SEC.
What are Elon Musk’s plans?
We’re not entirely sure. If he is indicted and found guilty, Musk could face giant fines and even be forced to step down as the CEO of Tesla. Which could be catastrophic for the company as it already struggles. Last year, Musk already had to step down as the Chairman of the company but losing a CEO is still another level of damaging. Musk himself doesn’t seem too phased by this development. Or at least, that’s what he wants us to think. The rapper Azealia Banks did leak her private correspondence with Musk’s then-girlfriend Grimes last year.
In the letters, among other things, Grimes was seen discussing the emotional instability of Musk and some of the things he struggles with. Therefore, It’s a safe bet to say that he’s probably at least somewhat worried about what’s to come. What’s more important, is that this doesn’t appear to discourage him and his work in the least.
SpaceX for finding other Worlds, Tesla and Boring Company for advancing this one
Elon Musk is exceptionally good at branding and even better at innovating, inventing and tackling problems. The products he’s been consistently coming up with over the last couple of decades transformed the World to a degree and garnered a nearly cult-like following. Regardless, what one thinks of the man and his emotional issues, everyone must give credit where credit is due.
Musk created the then revolutionary digital payment system PayPal all the way back in the year 2000. Since then, he created Tesla, an electric car maker that pretty much single-handedly breathed a new life into an industry that barely even existed. Tesla is now worth more than General Motors and high-performance electric cars pioneered by the company are becoming more and more widespread. So is the autopilot technology which Tesla was also first to dabble in. At least in any significant way besides a cruise control mechanism.
Controversies regarding his companies and business practices
Now, none of what Musk does is perfect. He’s a human running multi-billion dollar companies. A lot of mistakes have been made and a lot of criticism attracted. But individuals like Musk are a force of nature. A necessary component for progress. They pave the way where others aren’t willing to venture. And as all trailblazers, Musk’s road is full of mistakes and controversial decisions.
Tesla itself is far from a truly environmentally conscious company. The car manufactures rubber tires and expensive batteries pollute the environment just like everyone else. The charging stations for Tesla cars also use dirty power grids. The environmental cost will only increase once those batteries start to become worthless in a couple of decades and will have to be thrown away to the landfills.
Make no mistake, Musk is no faultless environmental activist. The process of innovation is complicated and full of corners to cut, loopholes to abuse and sacrifices to make along the way. But it’s all worth it in the end. This is also where the Boring Company enters the game.
Musk is an innovator above everything else
Elon Musk’s self-proclaimed main goal is to create a colony on Mars. That’s what his SpaceX-related efforts are focused upon. He already revolutionized space exploration by becoming the first person in History to create reusable rockets, drastically slashing the costs for traveling to space. But not the least of his goals is to change how life works here on Earth. His struggle and frustration with Los Angeles traffic inspired him to create the Boring Company. The company wants to build complex underground railway and tunnel systems for speedy travel. The name cleverly plays off of the term “bore down”. As we mentioned, Musk is a master in branding. He’s also created Neuralink, a company the ultimate goal of which is to create a human-computer interface. Essentially, Musk wants to log a computer’s processing power into the human brain. This in case somebody thought his projects weren’t ambitious enough.
Elon Musk is aware of the environmental challenges
Musk seems to be acutely aware that his industrial efforts are leaving a trace on the environment. In a way, the Boring Company is one of the methods of combating that. Getting traffic off the city streets and down under might just prove to be a truly functional solution for city pollution. At the very least, it will reduce the amount of harmful gases and smog that city inhabitants are forced to ingest every day. The company already unveiled its first high-speed tunnel located in Hawthorne, California. The tunnel is merely a mile long and cost 10 million USD to finish. However, like all technology, it needs experimentation and tests in order to become truly efficient and functional one day.
The 10 million required for the test tunnel might sound like a lot to us, but Musk made it in a few days. Having just finished selling off 50,000 hats for 20 dollars each, Musk and Boring Company created “Not a flamethrower” in 2018. 20,000 units of the “not” flamethrower were sold for 500 USD per unit. The supply was gone in record time. And voila, there’s you 10 million dollars. This is exactly the kind of energy and unbound ambition Boring Company will need to alleviate traffic from US cities.
Boring Company: From an afterthought project to Musk’s flagship enterprise?
The Boring Company was founded nearly 3 years ago. That’s less than what it sometimes takes to pass simple legislation. During that time, the company has made impressive progress. In the beginning, the company was little more than a hobby for Musk. He said the following while being interviewed by Joe Rogan on a podcast of the same name:
“I have this, it’s sort of a hobby company, called The Boring Company, which started out as a joke, And we decided to make it real and dig a tunnel under LA. And then other people asked us to build tunnels, so we said yes in a few cases.”
It’s safe to assume that Musk didn’t have grandiose plans for the company in the start. But things change and the company now does have plans that are quite grand. The run-ins with the US lawmakers and bureaucrats must have been exhausting over these years. But now that the city of Las Vegas has finally given the project green light, the road is all clear. Musk wants to build a tunnel from the Las Vegas International Airport heading into the city. This could prove extremely helpful with the traffic problems in the city. The company claims it can do the job a measly 35-55 million USD. Compared to some of the absolutely pointless or ineffective spending cities like Las Vegas do year-round, that sum is a steal!
It might be time to let Tesla develop on its own
In case the SEC goes through with its threats and Musk is actually made to step down as CEO, it might not be the worst thing in the World for the entrepreneur. In fact, it might even be the correct way to go. Boring Company needs an effective and daring leader right now. It’s a new and highly interesting business opportunity. Especially considering how urbanization is increasing non-stop around the World. Big cities are in dire need of relief from traffic. Now that the legislative and bureaucratic threshold is beginning to lift, Musk cannot wait around. Tesla could hire a reliable, intelligent person, appoint him as CEO and the company would be fine. The company is a well-established player on the market and as we already said, has amazing market capitalization.
Tesla doesn’t need an eccentric, benevolent mad scientist risking billions is stock price over a pair of tweets or a joint. All it needs right now is a careful guiding hand and it will be fine. The company has already started making more affordable cars and recently even slashed the prices.
Boring tunnels: A new, ironically quite exciting business venue
Public and private transportation is facing some real challenges in the US. The United States Government has so far been unable to adequately deal with the challenges the country faces. This is true in high-urbanization areas as well. The political good will and attention seem to be focused elsewhere lately. Meanwhile, the problems persevere.
SpaceX is an amazing company and the footprint it left in space exploration will never be forgotten. However, with a lot of people expressing serious doubts about how realistic a colony on Mars really is, Boring Company might provide Musk with an enterprise he can really commit to and see the results. Evolving Boring Company into a huge organization which will spread its tunnels in the World’s largest cities, alleviating or at least easing the problems associated with urbanization might even become the foremost thing Elon Musk will be truly remembered by. It would be unwise to let that opportunity pass.