Dan Rattiner's Stories

Elon Musk Is Sad: He Should Come Visit Us in East Hampton

The Tesla and SpaceX genius is enduring mounting adversity.

I never thought I’d feel sorry for Elon Musk. I’ve always put him up there with the geniuses of the world—Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs.

He shoots from the hip. Invents and challenges the world with the Tesla, a new high quality electric car. Invents and puts into service SpaceX to carry people to distant planets. Uses magnets and vacuum tubes to build a rail rocket that will take riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 50 minutes. Well, he’s working on that one. He’s also worth billions. How could this guy be unhappy?

A month ago he said he was sleep deprived from trying to nap on the floor of the Tesla factory while helping with the company’s Model 3 production ’round the clock and looking into a robot assembly line problem. He’d been doing this for months.

Didn’t even have time to go home and shower and change. Got criticized for transporting a tunnel-boring machine, without being asked, to help out in that cave in Thailand where that soccer team was trapped. People said he was doing it for the publicity. Then he said certain stockholders of Tesla were driving him crazy, either demanding he make decisions that would help stock prices in the short term but not necessarily help the company in the long run, or selling their stock short to make a buck.

He says this is a distraction to him and the company. They won’t stop. As a result, he said he had funding lined up to take Tesla private and get these people off his back. This resulted in the Securities and Exchange Commission investigating him. If he was saying that to manipulate the stock himself, he’d be subject to arrest.

Now, he says—through gritted teeth—that it’s apparent most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe they’re better off as a public company. So that is what it has to be.

It’s terrible what Elon Musk is being put through. Nobody should have to be treated like this. If he comes to East Hampton, my wife and I would be happy to have him stay at our home as long as he likes.

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