Elon Musk is as popular these days as the mini-skirt once was. Musk is the renewable energy icon that defines our time. Musk is the top of many things, and now he is #1 of Vanity Fair’s recent (annual) list of top “disruptors.” He is a leader of all things electric as well as clean energy, heading up Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and Space X.
It seems these days that everyone has heard or dropped Musk’s name from the tip of their tongue. People need to change and Musk, a benevolent billionaire, is doing something — cutting the cloth and a new model of business into green. His concern is not simply his Teslas or his billions but a positive legacy. He is fresh and he wants people to know what is going on. Musk is disrupting dirty oil more than anyone else on the planet.
Vanity Fair explains its pick, pointing out that his “staggering ambition with a do-gooder sense of purpose has made him revered among his peers.” Vanity Fair also points out the famous love and admiration of Larry Page. “You know, if I were to get hit by a bus today,” Google CEO Larry Page purportedly once said, “I should leave all of it to Elon Musk.”
His do-gooder sweet-faced grin might appear that he is living an easy life with his 12.9 billion. But he works. And he works hard. He is leading the investment and cleantech story of the past year and a half, Tesla Motors, as its CEO and Chief Product Architect, which is more than enough for pretty much anyone on the planet. But the man does not stop there. He’s also the CEO and Chief Designer of Space Exploration Technologies at Space X, his space-exploration company, and he is the Chairman of leading solar power provider SolarCity. SolarCity has operations in 15 states. It shows a stock price that has increased more than eightfold since its IPO, at the end of 2012, and it commands approximately 25% of the US residential solar market, as well as a good portion of the commercial market.
Stirring the Vanity Fair readers, Musk’s marital status is described in Vanity Fair as “complicated.” Musk is said to be living again with his ex-wife — the second one. And he is the papa to five children who he shares with wife number one. In this way, Musk is like the many, not alone in the woes of modern-day co-habitation sagas.
As a business man, or as a father, he expresses concern. No doubt that much of his concern is for the planetary situation that will be there for his children and their children. And he makes decision after decision to try to tackle increasing global warming and its many negative effects. “In June, Musk wowed observers by announcing that he would share all of Tesla’s patents with any company that wants to develop electric cars, in an attempt to get more of them on the road and slow the pace of climate change,” Vanity Fair notes.
“I don’t think people quite appreciate the gravity of what is going on,” Musk said. “We really need to do something.”
As the only auto executive to end up on either the publication’s “disrupters” list or its “powers that be” list, Musk stirs the trendsetting change occurring in that market.
Musk was #5 last year on the Vanity Fair “disruptors” list, and is ahead of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin; Apple’s Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive; and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Elon Musk has a wonderful, fresh style of thinking, communicating, and working for change. Whether or not it fills his bank, he remains connected to the critical issues of our time. He sheds the insulation that many find with wealth. There is something very innovative in this man. He is quite entertaining along the way with his communicating style, and so …riveting.
Image via Tesla Club Belgium
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