Bezos knocked from #1 slot that he has held since 2017
According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX just passed up Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person. While this, in and of itself is a fact that many will likely fetishize, the real story here is why and how.
There could not, IMHO, be two people more diametrically opposed in terms of motivation, inspiration and method. Both obscenely rich now? Of course. In each case because of stock holdings in companies they founded? Right again.
After that it is all a study in contrasts and contradictions. For example, as recently as Christmas eve 20o8 Elon Musk was nearly bankrupt and was on the verge of losing both SpaceX and Tesla. Later as recently as 2019, Tesla was in a deep financial hole.
Was this a case of bad management? Apparently not. What it was related to was the prime difference between Bezos and Musk. Musk has always only had one mission. Was it having the world’s most dominant eCommerce company? (or any other kind). One that would destroy entire business categories and be called the “grim reaper” due to it’s destruction of markets and competitors?
No – Musk has always wanted to save the world from itself. Tesla’s stated official mission is:
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. … Teslabelieves the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.Tesla / Elon Musk
Perhaps the cynical would say this is just some kind of veil hiding a capitalist and monopolist hunger a la Bezos. But they’d be wrong. Musk has openly stated that he is willing to share various proprietary technical information with his competitors if it would help the world’s transition to sustainable energy succeed faster. Would Bezos give away Amazon’s secrets. Take a guess.
Another interesting tidbit – Both SpaceX and Tesla have publicly disavowed all copyright claims to their photos, videos or other marketing assets. They also do zero paid advertising. This is brilliant and has made them money in the end, but more importantly it is additional proof that it is the success of the mission, a mission that ultimately benefits all humanity more than any singe individual, that is paramount in his thinking.
Though Musk may not realize it, he and Steve Jobs are kindred spirits
The only other highly successful tech visionary that had this kind of focus on the real success, which can by definition only ever be success for all, if Steve Jobs. With so much misinformation and focus on meaningless stats, like whose stock is worth the most paper dollars (printed at will by the Fed) at any given moment, it is often misunderstood that the mission and the sincerity and effectiveness of the mission that will always matter in the end.
Probably the greatest gift Bezos ever has or ever will give to humanity was via his divorce. Any other “charitable” act he will ever commit will be, first and foremost, have the goal of improving his image and stroking his massive ego.
Therein lies the difference.
Early Thursday Tesla shares (TSLA) rose by 6%, and further lifting the CEO’s stock holdings and options by $10 billion, resulting in the net worth of approximately $191 billion.
Musk edged past the Amazon founder who is currently has the net worth of around $187 billion.
He later added, “Well, back to work …”
Musk, who pinned the following past tweet from 2018 explained his intentions and how he will use money from his success, “You should ask why I would want money. The reason is not what you think. Very little time for recreation. Don’t have vacation homes or yachts or anything like that.”
Bill Gates is trailing as the third world’s richest person at $132 billion.
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