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comment by thenewgreen

You’re drawing equivalency between Musk and Holmes? Lol. One hiodwinked the VC world with a product that never worked. The other has built an electric car company, so far as I know the cars work. I’ve driven one. Lovely ride. He also built a rocket company, so far as I know he’s been able to launch and LAND a reusable rocket. Yep, works. There couldn’t be a more disparate comparison.

Flame thrower company? Lol. He did a limited run of some flame throwers as a joke and a way to raise $10m for boring company. If mk did that for Hubski, we’d all think it was awesome. We wouldn’t think he was a sociopath (even though he is).

People root for Musk because he has accomplishments where others said he would fail. He’s no Elizabeth Holmes. Also, please never mention Theranos to me again. Try raising a round of funding for a biotech company right after she is exposed. Not fun. Fuck her.

mk  ·  756 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm a sociopath like Musk.

thenewgreen  ·  756 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Truth in jest, if ever there was :)

kleinbl00  ·  756 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I am absolutely drawing equivalency between Musk and Holmes. At the end of the day, Holmes shoved an off-the-shelf assay device into a box and called it revolutionary. Musk:

- moved payments networks on the Internet prior to regulatory permission and was forced out when regulations became an issue

- Out-soviet the Soviets while looking for cheap launch capabilities and undercut the existing players through rock-bottom pricing enabled by tech lust and a lack of pension or healthcare overhead

- Created a solar company driven out of Nevada for banking irregularities and illegal tax schemes

- Operated a car company at tremendous loss for years through the largesse of the speculative market

- Dug a hole in Hawthorne

You know something about bloodwork. Thus, Elizabeth Holmes makes your blood boil. I know something about engineering. Thus, I can admire what Elon Musk has done: cut profits and expenses to the bone in the interests of disrupting markets. Slides 8 and 9: ULA comes in at around $9k per kilo for an Atlas V while SpaceX comes in at around $3k per kilo for a Falcon 9. This is an awful lot like, but not exactly like, the operating costs of legacy carriers vs. the new carriers like Southwest and Jet Blue:

The argument with SpaceX is "he's doing it cheaper" which is accurate. The argument with Tesla, on the other hand, is "he's losing more money" which a great strategy that nobody but Musk is allowed to practice. Here we are talkin' tunnels, though, and somehow the Internet has decided that the ability to dig a one-car-wide tunnel under Hawthorne is revolutionary.

Elizabeth Holmes took a standard Siemens blood analyzer, diluted its samples four to ten-fold and sold that shit to Safeway and Wallgreen's. Elon Musk loses money on electric cars and his market cap is higher than Ford's. You know a little bit about blood analysis. I know a little about cars. I've built cars. I've built electric cars. But I doubt anyone would let me lose $30k per car for five years, let alone celebrate my doing it.

thenewgreen  ·  756 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I doubt anyone would let me lose $30k per car for five years, let alone celebrate my doing it.
Depends on how many cars we are talking about. If it's millions of cars, then hell yeah... I would. If those cars come with future revenue streams, brand loyalty, etc. If over time you can show me that you will increase efficiency and be able to maintain price point. Sure, I would invest. Do it, KB. It's not a practice only Musk gets to practice btw. It's extremely common in SV. We can get to 1000x growth and then figure out how to make money later. Happens all the time. You know this. Shit... just keeping to the forum we are on, think reddit/twitter. Which comes first the users or the profit? Often it's the users.

Your comparison to Holmes and Musk falls flat, for the reasons I mentioned before. His products work. Hers didn't, but she falsified that they did. It's that simple. He delivers the product. She didn't. I never said he delivered them at a profit. You make good points about poor people being left out. I, like many others I suspect, just enjoy seeing someone doing things. The world needs dreamers, and doers.

kleinbl00  ·  756 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah doesn't work that way. Know who founded Tesla? This guy.

And this guy.

They took one of these

And converted the batteries from lead-acid to lithium (making it crazy-expensive in the process). Then the guy with the lead-acid batteries told Elon Musk about the guys trying to make a lithium sports car, then Elon Musk invested, then Elon Musk forced those guys out, and then he put lithium batteries in a Lotus Elise.

Tesla went to the 2007 LA auto show. I was there. They were relegated down to the annex with all the other SEMA rejects because they were showing a kit car. It was a Lotus Elise with batteries and an electric motor - there was less innovation there than GEM.

But it was Elon Musk. Who swore to never go to the LA Auto Show ever again because they refused to treat him like a rock star.

This is my broader point, which you keep dodging around: rich people get to play by different rules, all the time, primarily because we give them a bye for being rich. People love to talk about how Elon Musk came to the US with only $2000... they hate to hear it's because he was on the outs with his dad and avoiding the draft and that he was the first kid in South Africa to get a computer. We make these myths because they help us make sense of a senseless world where a guy putting liens on peoples' houses in exchange for solar panels is a visionary rather than a thief. We pillory GM for losing money on an electric car and cancelling it and celebrate a man who launches "autopilots" with no testing or oversight (while losing tens of thousands per car).

I refuse to celebrate rich people breaking the rules because they can. Maybe that makes me a communist. But fuckin' hell Hawthorne needs the apartments Musk shut down more than it needs the tunnel he dug.

Elizabeth Holmes was a dreamer, and a doer. And she dreamed and did whatever her heart desired because everyone around her refused to see her for what she was.