For one of the world’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, Elon Musk has an unparallelled gift for calamity. What’s more, he seems determined to surpass himself with every new gaffe. The hotly-anticipated launch of Tesla’s Cybertruck couldn’t have been more disastrous if he had tried.
The pick-up’s bizarre, futuristic design prompted a flurry of jokes on social media with observers comparing it to everything from a cross between the Batmobile and a Hummer; a triangle on wheels and Homer Simpson’s station wagon. Several posts pondered whether Musk came up with the idea while smoking marijuana.
If that wasn’t bad enough, a show-stopping attempt to demonstrate live on stage how indestructible the vehicle’s windows are backfired spectacularly when they shattered -not just once but twice. Still, none of it is likely to matter. One commentator has joked that Tesla should be renamed Teflon Motors, because no matter how many cock-ups its founder makes, nothing sticks. Investors don’t seem to care.
If anything, the bad publicity seems to solidify his status among the company’s legion of devoted fans and investors: to them he’s a “maverick”, a “risk-taker”, he doesn’t play by the rules. Musk is the first punk boss.