Showing posts with label Tesla Motors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tesla Motors. Show all posts

Friday, August 14, 2015

Elon Musk, Talulah Riley

Larry Ellison on stage.
Larry Ellison on stage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have a theory or two about self made billionaires doing exciting work. If the work is exciting, they get interesting. The billions are just tools they need to do what they need to do. Plus, I guess you can buy things with the money.

Elon Musk seems to have had some bad experiences growing up in apartheid era South Africa. Looks apartheid was not just hard on the black people. That can impact you. And I am not sure therapy helps, although it might. But if you are simply focused on your work and are obviously good at it, is that focus a problem? Something that needs to be "cured" through therapy? I think not.

A prior billionaire also all over the map in terms of private life is Larry Ellison. So he is with his first wife. And they barely get by. She has a job. He does barely enough work to be able to help with the bills. And one day he goes ahead and puts a down payment on a boat. For a future billionaire, that is no big deal. But that sends the wifey into therapy. During one of the therapy sessions, when he realizes, maybe money is one of the issues why his marriage is so obviously breaking down, he blurts out he is going to "make a million dollars." The wife bursts out laughing. She thinks he is making it up to impress her. That was not his first divorce.

Both Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs were adopted. If you think that is emotionally vexing, there are always hungry children in Somalia, but I guess that does not help.

So Elon Musk's first wife goes on this tangent where basically she is invading his privacy. She blogs every detail of their life. Elon compares that to having to "eat glass."

His second wife I think is very, very pretty. They met in a bar. She approached him. She actually supposedly likes talking about electric cars and space travel. Maybe the guy talks about little else. He is in this zone. You have to be. Or you can't perform at those levels.

The entrepreneur is the ultimate minority person who qualifies for minority rights. There ought to be a Bill Of Rights for entrepreneurs. As in, if you work for Elon, and he fires you, no hard feelings. It was a work relationship. He was not trying to bond, exactly. No hard feelings. You perform, and you last.

I am intrigued by the home school Elon has designed for his kids.

I am happy for him that his second wife decided to come back to him because "there is no one out there even remotely close to like him." Better than one of Ellison's wives (ex) boasting that her divorce was better than her friends' marriages. She might have been talking money. I don't know.

Madonna said at one point, "My life is not a democracy."

An entrepreneur takes huge risks. People who go to work for them know what they are getting into. Especially for someone like Elon who is out there at the far cutting edges, he's got to push people so they do their very best and then some. This is not a Soviet job. You are not pushing paper, and digging trenches.

And to think he came so close to losing it all. That dip might have cost him his first marriage. The wife should not have blogged. Or she could have blogged about her hobbies, whatever. If the only reason you want to be close to him is so you can destroy his privacy, you don't deserve to be close to him.

One of Larry Ellison's wives, at around divorce, had a choice between Oracle stocks and the family pickup truck. She went for the truck! I guess Larry must have gone for her looks or something. She sure was not seeing anything in him.

My advice to Elon, if you have a wife who makes you ride planes, keep it. I mean, keep her. You like risks? Here we go. Seems to be the message.

Elon Musk: Myths And Legends: Be That As It May

Sustaining marriage for the 44-year-old billionaire entrepreneur and innovator is almost as challenging as developing his electric car Tesla, designing rockets that deliver supplies to the space station- SpaceX, or founding PayPal. ....... Silicon Valley tycoon, Elon Musk, called the Thomas Edison of our time, remains married to his second wife, Talulah Riley, after divorcing her once, marrying her twice and tearing up the second set of divorce papers........ Talulah met her man at London's West End club, Whisky Mist, in Mayfair in 2008 when he was trying to clear his head after divorcing his first wife, Justine Wilson, after a six-year marriage that produced five children. ........ Introduced by the club's promoter, Musk was aroused by the curvy, sultry-eyed actress who arrived with a girlfriend, wearing a full-length, flowing gown showing her 'dazzling figure' ....... 'She did look great, but what was going through my mind was 'Oh, I guess they are a couple of models. You know, you can't actually talk to most models.' But Talulah was really interested in talking about rockets and electric cars.' ..... They had lunch the following day and Musk told Talulah, still a virgin at 22, that he wanted to show her his rockets....... They met up again in Beverly Hills several weeks later and lying in bed together at the Peninsula Hotel, he asked her to marry him. He didn't have a ring so he suggested they shake on it and they did. ...... 'I remember him saying, 'Being with me was choosing the hard path'. I didn't quite understand at the time, but I do now. It's quite hard, quite the crazy ride'.......It turned out to be a baptism by fire. His divorce was not final from Justine, he was short on cash and his two big investments, SpaceX and Tesla desperately needed cash infusions. ......

He had intense nightmares that made him yell out, climb on her and start screaming in his sleep.

....... She saw him through a very rough period of borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, burning through $4 million a month to keep his projects alive, borrowing from friends to make payroll and negotiating with investors. ..... He retreated within himself. He lost a lot of weight, bags formed under his eyes and 'he looked like death itself', Riley said. ...... 'I remember thinking this guy would have a heart attack and die. He seemed like a man on the brink' – that is until SpaceX metamorphosed from the joke of the aeronautics industry into one of its most consistent operators.' ..... she came back to Elon because of 'the lack of viable alternatives'. ........ 'I looked around, and there was no one else nice to be with. Number two is that Elon doesn't have to listen to anyone in life. No one. He doesn't have to listen to anything that doesn't fit into his worldview. But he proved he would take s**t from me'. ........

'Elon does what he wants and he is relentless about it', Justine said. 'It's Elon's world and the rest of us live in it.'

..... Justine knew all about Elon's miserable childhood and brutal upbringing in South Africa by his father who exerted some unidentified form of psychological torture. ........ Justine walked into their marriage knowing he was a tortured soul. ....... Growing up with a sister, Tosca, and brother, Kimbal, Elon wasn't interested in sports in an athletics-obsessed culture........ He spent his time reading. He often drifted off into trances and read too many comic books and then two books a day. He became the classic know-it-all who abrasively enjoyed correcting people, happily showing them that their thinking was flawed. ...... His classmates didn't let him get away with that. They loved to beat him up.
He was kicked in the head, shoved down a flight of stairs, kicked in the side, his head bashed against the ground until he passed out. It took a week to recover. ........ 'For some reason, they decided that I was it, and they were going to go after me nonstop. That's what made growing up difficult. For a number of years, there was no respite. ....... 'You get chased around by gangs at school who tried to beat the s**t out of me, and then I'd come home, and it would just be awful there as well. It was just like nonstop horrible'. ....... He escaped South Africa and landed in Canada where he had an uncle in Montreal. He worked his way across Canada and ended up at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. ........ Justine Wilson was a fellow student who 'radiated romance and sexual energy'. She had dumped an older man to go to college and figured that her next conquest would be a damaged James Dean sort...... Elon saw her on campus and went to work on winning her affections. ...... 'She looked pretty great. She was also smart and this intellectual with sort of an edge. She had a black belt in tae kwon do and was semi-bohemian and, you know, like the hot chick on campus.' ...... But she wasn't dating Musk exclusively and that drove him nuts. He wore her down, calling her insistently sending flowers, handwritten romantic musings........ By the year 2000, living together in Silicon Valley, she thought if she was going to put up with all his drama, they should be married and she suggested that he propose to her. He got down on his knee and did so on the spot....... They vacationed in December in Brazil and then South Africa at a game reserve near the Mozambique border........ Elon contacted the most virulent form of malaria that was misdiagnosed and mistreated which nearly killed him. A day later without the proper treatment he would have been dead. Six months passed before he was well again. ..... The couple decided on a change and to begin the next chapter of their lives in Los Angeles where Justine got pregnant. .......... She gave birth to a son, Nevada, who tragically died of sudden infant death syndrome at ten weeks. It broke Elon's heart and he grieved in private. ........ Justine gave birth to twins and then triplets within the next five years but that didn't temper Elon.
He was tough on the people who worked for him. If marketing people made grammatical mistakes in emails, they were let go..... Intimidating, he told employees, 'I want you to think ahead and think so hard every day that your head hurts. I want your head to hurt every night when you go to bed'. ...... He had tirades at suppliers who let him down and talked of balls being chopped off or and other violent or sexual acts....... He spit coffee across a conference room table because it was cold....... To dig Tesla out of its financial problems, he had to lose his entire fortune and almost have a nervous breakdown....... Leonardo DiCaprio begged for a free Tesla Roadster but Musk turned him down. ......... All the while, Justine blogged about the party scene, turning it into a nightmare for Elon who was called 'part playboy, part space cowboy'.......... By spring of 2007, the marriage was in trouble and Justine was suffering postpartum depression...... She felt she was treated like 'an arm ornament and couldn't possibly have anything interesting to say'. Elon had no respect for her writing. ....... She felt like a trophy wife with her team of nannies taking care of their five children........

By June of 2008, Musk was out of money and filed for divorce. Moving in with Justine's parents was not a viable option.

..... Justine went house hunting with Sharon Stone and blogged that the marriage was 'a good run'. ...... 'We married young, took it as far as we could and now it is over.' ........ The morning that Elon filed for divorce, he cut off Justine's credit card....... She continued blogging and fought for more money in their divorce settlement. She appeared on CNBC's Divorce Wars, and wrote a story for Marie Claire, 'I Was A Starter Wife'........ Elon didn't have any liquid assets at the time but she ended up with $2 million in cash, $80,000 a month in alimony, child support for seventeen years and that coveted Tesla roadster....... Justine continued to work out her revenge in her blog, even giving her views on Musk's new girlfriend and future second wife, Talulah........ It was the first time, the public got some insight into Musk's hardline behavior........ 'We were at war for a while, and when you go to war with Elon, it's pretty brutal'.
According to the author, 'the pair have continued to have their difficulties.'

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not Mars

I don't feel any imminent danger that unless Homo Sapiens also colonize Mars, it is too great a risk. As of now, I don't believe in Singularity either. But I do see a lot of great things happening along the way. Like, truly, amazing, world changing great things. Man on the moon mission also gave people appliances.

But I see great promise in Elon Musk sending 4,000 satellites into low orbit to beam Internet to every corner on earth. And I see great promise in the Asteroid Belt. That is where he has to go to become a trillionaire.

Indians could use a little more gold.

Mars? I am way more excited about the earth's surface.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Musk's Cross Pollinating Ways

English: Elon Musk at the panel Tribeca Talks:...
English: Elon Musk at the panel Tribeca Talks: Revenge of the Electric Car, for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Musk, it should be noted, had no experience building rockets. All he knew about space exploration had been gleaned from books and training manuals. Vance describes in gleeful detail Musk’s improbable quest to build a NASA-worthy rocket essentially from scratch. “I am a billionaire. I am going to start a space program,” Vance reports him saying to the man he enlisted to go with him to Moscow to persuade the Russians to sell him an intercontinental ballistic rocket, which he planned to use as a launch vehicle. When that didn’t work out—Musk thought the Russians were trying to get him to part with too many millions of his billion-plus fortune—he crunched some numbers and determined that it made more sense to build the rocket himself. It would be low-cost, low-orbiting, and designed to ferry satellites into space on a regular schedule. The idea, he told the first employees of his new company, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), was to become the “Southwest Airlines of Space.” ....... the spirit of a Silicon Valley start-up—learn by doing and do it around the clock—and like those start-ups, it would take advantage of exponential increases in computing power. Software developers would tap into that power to design and build the company’s avionics, while the rocket’s components would be assembled, as much as possible, from equipment purchased off the shelf. ...... because of Musk’s relentless and successful pursuit of the best young engineers and coders and the unremitting demands he placed upon them, it would be made. ...... it, too, fell back to earth. The company was burning through Musk’s money; its margin for error was narrowing while Musk’s reputation as yet another rich guy with a vanity space program was growing ........ Finally, in 2008, six years after Musk declared his galactic intentions, and four and a half years after he said it would happen, the SpaceX Falcon 1 became the first privately constructed rocket to reach orbit. As Vance tells it, the human costs were at least as high as whatever number of dollars had come from Musk’s pocket (one estimate put it at $100 million) ......... Some of these people had spent years on the island going through one of the more surreal engineering exercises in human history. They had been separated from their families, assaulted by the heat, and exiled on their tiny launchpad outpost—sometimes without much food—for days on end as they waited for the launch windows to open and dealt with the aborts that followed. So much of that pain and suffering and fear would be forgotten if this launch went successfully. ............ The portrait of Elon Musk that emerges from these pages is of a man of visionary intellect, fierce ambition, and fantastic wealth, who is emotionally bankrupt. “Many of us worked tirelessly for him for years and were tossed to the curb like a piece of litter,” one former employee told Ashlee Vance. “What was clear is that people who worked for him were like ammunition: used for a specific purpose until exhausted and discarded.” ......... Loyalty was expected but not honored. Fear of getting publicly dressed down by Musk—or worse—was rampant. “Marketing people who made grammatical mistakes in e-mails were let go,” Vance reports, “as were other people who hadn’t done anything ‘awesome’ in recent memory.” And then there was the employee who “missed an event to witness the birth of his child. Musk fired off an e-mail saying, ‘That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.’” ........... Musk’s severe rationality and emotional detachment, as well as his preternatural ability to master complex subjects quickly, have led to an ongoing joke among denizens of certain Internet forums that he must be an alien, beamed down from space. (No wonder he’s so keen to colonize Mars!) In fact, the man has all the attributes of a classic narcissist—the grandiosity, the quest to be famous, the lack of empathy, the belief that he is smarter than everyone else, and the messianic plan to save civilization. Steve Jobs comes to mind, though Jobs’s ambitions were pedestrian compared to Musk’s. ........... Twelve electric vehicles besides the Tesla Model S were brought to market in 2014 and fourteen were released in 2015. One of them was conceived and designed in Croatia. ....... He has applied to the Federal Communications Commission for permission to test a satellite-beamed Internet service that, he says, “would be like rebuilding the Internet in space.” ............ While SpaceX’s four thousand circling satellites have the potential to create a whole new meaning for the World Wide Web, since they will beam down the Internet to every corner of the earth, the system holds additional interest for Musk. “Mars is going to need a global communications system, too,” he apparently told a group of engineers he was hoping to recruit at an event last January in Redmond, Washington. ......... fifth mode of transportation ..... Musk’s critics—and he has many—are quick to point out that he is merely piggy-backing on existing technologies, not inventing them. There were electric cars before there was Tesla, rockets before there was SpaceX, solar panels before there was SolarCity, and even pneumatic tube travel has a long, if spotty, history. Yet as true as this is, it misses the point of what Elon Musk is doing. By now it is a cliché to put the words “Silicon Valley” and “disruptive innovation” in the same sentence, but disruption is precisely the point of every one of Musk’s ventures. He has made disruption itself his business plan and it is working. It required a lot of hubris to take on the aerospace industry and the automobile industry and the utilities, but he did, and he is, with precipitous consequences. Will they be precipitous enough to catapult the man to Mars, ten years hence?

Monday, June 01, 2015

Only 9,000 Cabs?

New York City taxi cabs
New York City taxi cabs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
That is an amazing number. I just read it on the Gary's Guide newsletter.
"9000 self-driving cars could replace every taxi cab in NYC (avg wait only 36 secs & cost only $0.5/mile). Ancillary industries such as auto insurance ($198B), auto finance ($98B), parking ($100B) & auto aftermarket ($300B) will collapse as demand evaporates. The Transportation Cloud is coming."
Autonomous cars will destroy millions of jobs and reshape the US economy by 2025
Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced. They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point....... Morgan Stanley’s research shows that cars are driven just 4% of the year, which is an astonishing waste considering that the average cost of car ownership is nearly $9,000 per year. Next to a house, an automobile is the second-most expensive asset that most people will ever buy ...... Driverless cars do not need to park—vehicles cruising the street looking for parking spots account for an astounding 30% of city traffic, not to mention that eliminating curbside parking adds two extra lanes of capacity to many city streets. Traffic will become nonexistent, saving each US commuter 38 hours every year—nearly a full work week. As parking lots and garages, car dealerships, and bus stations become obsolete, tens of millions of square feet of available prime real estate will spur explosive metropolitan development. ...... As most autonomous cars are likely to be electric, we would eliminate most of the 134 billion gallons of gasoline used each year in the US alone. And while recycling 242 million vehicles will certainly require substantial resources, the surplus of raw materials will decrease the need for mining.
Taxi Cabs Factbook