Tesla CEO Elon Musk Admits He’s “Definitely” Overrated

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 54

Elon Musk In Paris In 2015

Elon Musk In Paris In 2015

A recent article by Zacks.com posted on the NASDAQ website rips into Tesla CEO Elon Musk with an eye-grabbing headline as follows:

“As SolarCity (SCTY) Crashes, Is Elon Musk Overrated?”

The article opens with this:

“Less than a week after another disappointing earnings report from Tesla Motors, Inc. TSLA, there was more bad news for Elon Musk on Tuesday. SolarCity Corp. SCTY , for which Musk currently serves as chairman, reported a wider-than-expected Q1 loss , sending shares plummeting nearly 25%.”

And concludes with this statement:

“SolarCity is struggling. Tesla is struggling. Elon Musk is not the King Midas of making companies perfect.”

Typically, Musk would have a quick retort to such a blatant attack on the solar company he is chairman of, or the automaker he is CEO of, not to mention there’s a direct shot taken at Musk himself, which would usually rile him up.

But not this time….

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to give a simple, one-word response to the question of “Is Elon Musk Overrated?” Here’s his response:

Am I Overrated? Definitely, Says Elon Musk

Am I Overrated? Definitely, Says Elon Musk

A humble response that shows you can’t always get Musk riled up, especially when the article in question is so clearly anti-Musk, anti-Solar City and anti-Tesla.

Source: NASDAQ, Twitter

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54 responses to "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Admits He’s “Definitely” Overrated"

  1. Alaa says:

    What did you fellows expected him to say?

    1. Cavaron says:

      Maybe: “For this I will release the Kraken! Muhahaha!”

  2. Jerico says:

    He is not overrated, he didn’t get involved in those businesses for their profits but because someone had to do it.

    Anti-Musk people just see him as a money-losing brainiac and they don’t see the big picture: he is changing the car market, the rocket market, the stationary storage market and helping to change the home solar PV market at the same time.

    He is crazy? Maybe. He lies and overpromises? Most surely, he is a great salesman and overly optimistic guy. He doesn’t know how to make a business profitable? He knows but he prefers to challenge three of the most difficult markets in the world: production of electricity, production of transport vehicles and space exploration.

    Unfortunately, most of us will only realize years from now how important he is being for our society.

    1. przemo_li says:

      Nope.

      For Tesla proper its either people who fail economic 101 (as if company with 50k annual sales where in any way better then company with 50k + 200k annual sales….).
      Or those who profit from such claims (bait clicks or share distortion schemes)

      A little bit crazy but in popular media its hard to see balanced critique of Tesla.

      Have not followed solar city recently so dunno about that company.

    2. beta995 says:

      Most companies are managed by free-riding rent-seekers.
      –Economics.

      So, he makes EVERYONE look bad.

      LOL. Like I should invest in companies that DON’T innovate.

  3. Aaron says:

    Don’t feed the trolls. 🙂

  4. evcarnuts says:

    Musk is Not an Arrogant fool & certainly Not stupid! Things Will bounce Back! It’s a Process there will be bumps in the road . They are only pausing to catch a breather. …….Just stay tuned….

  5. Alan says:

    It maybe even true a little, but don’t think for a minute that the guy who made that statement wouldn’t give both his nuts to be in Musk’s shoes rather than his own right this minute,

    Given Musk’s reply, you can bet he knows it too !

    1. Mister G says:

      Musk is saving planet Earth from our fossil fuel addiction…the author is probably living with his parents writing article in his underwear waiting for his mommy to bring him a snack LOL

  6. SparkEV says:

    Musk is overrated until the companies are profitable. Carlos Ghosn is underrated, way, way underrated.

    1. Michael Will says:

      Big picture goes beyond corporate profitability

      1. sven says:

        Profitability must come before investors and lenders decide to stop funding his unprofitable companies, otherwise the big picture is bankruptcy.

        An unprofitable company can continue only if it has capital to fund its operations. Once capital runs out, if investors won’t fund it with more capital or issue more debt, that unprofitable company goes into bankruptcy. The latest example is Sun Edison.

    2. Terawatt says:

      IDK about SolarCity, but Tesla doesn’t really need to be profitable. Musk has stated very clearly on numerous occasions that it’s purpose isn’t to make money, but to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy. Perhaps that goal can be best served by making an impossible bet that forces the incumbents to wake up and show their hand, show what sort of EVs they can actually make. Even if Tesla goes bust in the process, it still wins!

      1. beta995 says:

        The Profits are going into Company ASSETS.
        Both companies are bringing out world class leading product.
        With advanced assembly lines.

        You either value buying stock in LEADERSHIP, or you don’t.
        Clearly, many on Wall Street have heavily invested in companies that Don’t Innovate.

        1. sven says:

          What profits? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          Tesla has had a Net Loss on its Income Statement in virtually every quarter since it was incorporated. In fact, Tesla has an Accumulated Loss of $2,604,590,000 on its 1st Quarter 2016 Balance Sheet. That figure is the cumulative total of all the Net Loss and any Net Profit that Tesla has reported on its Income Statements since the company was incorporated. In other words, Tesla is running a $2.6 Billion loss since they first opened their doors.

          The only thing going into assets is the money Tesla raises by issuing debt/bonds, borrowing money (taking out a line of credit), and issuing more stock, which dilutes the ownership percentage (and share of future profits) of the outstanding shares held by current stockholder.

          http://ir.teslamotors.com/secfiling.cfm?filingID=1564590-16-18886&CIK=1318605#TSLA-10Q_20160331_HTM_CONSOLIDATED_BALANCE_SHEETS

          1. Jelloslug says:

            You cannot build a new car company from scratch AND the fuel stations AND the repair and sales stores without spending money.

  7. vdiv says:

    Sarcasm perhaps… Musk reads naysayer FUD all the time especially from the Wall Street pundits that have misunderstood and underestimated his ventures all along (and lost money shorting stock). At some point even he would start believing the nonsense 😉

  8. Mister G says:

    LOL people that attack Musk are jealous haters that swim in mediocrity.

    1. Terawatt says:

      And so are those who elevate him to some sort of superhuman superhero savior of humanity.

      Let’s face it, nearly everyone “swims in mediocrity”.

      1. Mister G says:

        True…but he’s not superhuman…but he will be a major savior of humanity…unfortunately we will not live long enough to witness Elon’s savior status.

  9. Mike says:

    Kinda funny news on a day that Goldman upgraded Tesla to “buy”.

    Seriously though, in a time when most CEOs look to mergers or cost cutting to boost their bottom line (i.e., reduce competition so you can raise prices or cut jobs and sacrafice R&D spending to show short term profit increases), it is refreshing to see someone who actually is interested in growing a company.

    1. beta995 says:

      Don’t forget outsourcing, cutting pay and benefits.
      R&D and Innovation are LAST thing on their minds.

      1. TomArt says:

        Agreed. Conventional wisdom is rarely wise…or, as has been said in the field of psychology, one generation’s survival is the next generation’s neurosis.

        Tesla Motors continues to move in the right direction, making superior products and reducing costs, improving product quality, and continuing to be faced with relentless demand.

        At the very least, playing financial games with company assets (stocks, like short-selling, etc.), is not solving problems or taking risks on innovative solutions. SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Solar City are being productive by hiring US workers and taking risks on real solutions to real problems and driving down the costs of those solutions in the process.

        SpaceX is private, so who knows what those financials are like.

        Solar City is the largest installer in the country. Last I knew, they were profitable. The criticism comes from the means by which they provide financing to their customers, and I don’t know enough about that to really say one way or another. Their recent Q1 results simply being lower than expectations is clearly due to the changing laws in Nevada – one of the hottest solar markets – which put the brakes on the entire industry.

        Tesla Motors has staggering levels of R&D as well as capital expenditures. Not only do I not expect Tesla Motors to turn a profit by, say, 2018, but also I think that it is an unreasonable expectation for Tesla to be profitable at this point.

        If – and that’s a big IF – the production ramp goes according to the first goal of 500k vehicles by 2020, then it would be worrying if they weren’t profitable by, say, 2022. At that point, they will be developing new vehicles and improvements to old vehicles, but the showrooms, repair shops and SC networks should be pretty much built out by then. Combined with the fact that they should be selling enough units annually, then it would be reasonable to assume that quarterly profits should be positive.

  10. floydboy says:

    I think I prefer the humble tinkerer CEO, who though at times may whack his thumb with a hammer, does tend to get things accomplished. As opposed to the golden parachutist, whose great leaps from one ivory tower to the next, accomplishes little other, than showing the size of his parachute.

    1. TomArt says:

      Perfect.

  11. Francois van Vuuren says:

    Typical media…

    THEY cause the hype over him and inflate his so called “rating”… Now he is “overrated” all of a sudden…

    1. TomArt says:

      Yep, the media does a great job of creating problems, then quietly ignore the fact that they caused the problems.

  12. Texas FFE says:

    “Good to Great”. It’s quite common for visionaries to start companies then have the reigns taken over by someone who can make the company profitable or not. I’m don’t think it’s time for Mr. Musk to step down but eventually he will have to if his companies are to survive and grow. Hopefully he will be able to find someone that can make his companies great (prosperous) but that’s actually a fairly rare event.

  13. William says:

    Most CEO’s of car companies get more than their share of backlash from these so called “analysts”. When Elon tweets a rating of the analysts and, their due diligence research, then that would be something truly objective to consider. Until then, with Bob Lutz no longer in the mix, and VW shaming in the rear view mirror, it’s now all “ON” for Elon!

  14. CDAVIS says:

    Tesla (both Tesla Automotive & Tesla Energy), SolarCity, & SpaceX are amazingly all concurrently profoundly disrupting their respective industries (very large $$$ entrenched industries that have a desire to maintain status-quo). I’m not saying here that the Zacks.com anti-Musk article is anything other than an objective reality check but true also is that it can be expected that the sharp knives are out as Musk continues to step on others toes…or as he chops a few toes clear off…perhaps even an entire foot.

    Also, just to point out that musk has himself pointed out more than once that he thought the market was over valuing his public enterprises (so excluding SpaceX).

    I do find the Zacks.com article a tad disingenuous (biased) in how they titled it and wrote it.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      SolarCity is definitely the weakest of the 3. They are just solar pv installers.

      1. Michael Will says:

        Right and why would we need solar on every roof it all cars operate on gas. Oh wait…

        1. Rick (no, not that Rick) says:

          Right, only 99+% do.

        2. Speculawyer says:

          That’s not what I meant. Solar installers are important . . . but any electrician can do it. SolarCity lacks a serious commercial advantage.

          – SpaceX has reusable rockets.
          – Tesla has the best electric cars on the planet.
          – SolarCity has . . . ? The ZIP mounting system? A PV panel plant that isn’t pumping out cheap panels yet. What is their advantage over the competition?

      2. sven says:

        SolarCity is already backtracking on how many jobs its new factory in Buffalo, NY will create from 1,460 to 500 jobs.

        http://www.wgrz.com/news/investigations/investigative-post/solar-city-scales-back-on-job-commitment/190503441

        On a side note, the tax breaks given to Solar City’s factory as part of the governor’s “Buffalo Billion” program is smack in the middle of state and federal corruption investigations of the governor and his cronies. Many political pundits are expecting our beloved crooked governor to be indicted in the not to distant future. Just the other day, Solar City was slapped with a subpoena as part of the Buffalo Billion investigations.

        http://www.wkbw.com/news/solar-city-gets-subpoenaed

        1. beta995 says:

          Solar City is producing the close to the most advanced solar panels on the market, if not the most advanced.

          It’s not a scam corporation.

  15. Speculawyer says:

    He is overrated by some and underrated by others. He does suffer delays and misses budgets but he’s landed rockets on barges and delivered the great EV the world has seen.

    It is all relative.

    1. TomArt says:

      Agreed.

  16. Scott Franco says:

    I’d say the his response proves he is not (overrated).

  17. Breezy says:

    LOL. Well, that’s an encouraging bit of self-awareness. First “hubris,” now this.

    CEOs are always over-rated when their companies are doing well, and under-rated when they’re doing poorly.

  18. Marshal G says:

    Compare his response to Donald Trump, who reflexively talks about suing anybody who criticizes him. I appreciate that he isn’t totally full of himself.

    1. Mister G says:

      The GOP want Trump and many Bernie supporters would rather have Trump win than vote for Hillary…WTF???

      1. TomArt says:

        Yeah – a lot of people are often mischaracterized by being compared to Hitler here in the US, much to my chagrin…however, I’m afraid that the analogy is, in all seriousness, apropos when applied to Trump.

  19. Brad says:

    We all should strive to be 10% of who he is. There are a lot of smart selfish people out there. He cares.
    Haters gonna hate.

  20. Yoda says:

    From a number of different perspectives Musk has done more in his lifetime than a number of countries have in that same timeframe…

    Overated?? Nope…

    Starting running and growing billion dollar business is not necesarilly cheap easy or smooth…

    They can bash him in the beginning and middle but we will see where his ventures end…

  21. Errollus says:

    Amazon was unable to show anything near a profit for years. The same with many other startups. Apple only just made it.
    That’s the way it goes. On other things the same.
    It was years of work before the Boulder Dam could provide electricity.
    Tesla is the best mode of transport we’ve ever had, hence the enormous desire by people to have one.
    As for Solarcity, we MUSt move to clean energy. It’s not a choice. The only way to do that, use the solar reactor in the sky, is to give these solar energy installers jobs to do. Only by working at it will we make the breakthroughs we so badly need,
    Forget about the USA. The enormous population growths in the third world are burning carbon fuel at a rate never seen before. We have in many places given these people solar water heaters which have reduced the pollution a lot, but that’s not enough. They must stop burning fossil fuels at this rate or we must give them other means of energy if humanity is to survive,

  22. Errollus says:

    As for Elon, he is light years ahead of us all. That’s plain for anyone to see.

  23. MTN Ranger says:

    Currently, Elon is facing some high resistance dealing with the realities of mass scaling of EV manufacturing. Hopefully he can charge through these circuitous times and things come out positive. Sometimes reality grounds his high voltage personality.

    Or his generated reply is just being snarky.

  24. ModernMarvelFan says:

    But the guy is running 3 different companies at the same time.

    Is he overrated as a “God like” figure as some of the Tesla fan boys have claimed. Yes.

    But is he overrated as an inspiring CEO? Absolutely NOT!

  25. no comment says:

    musk is definitely overrated but that is because the PR strategy is to position musk in a steve jobs role – sort of a blend of technology and show business. all that said, there is no denying that musk is an influencer, especially in the automobile industry; maybe not as much so in the solar industry.

  26. Martin Winlow says:

    I suspect SolarCity’s current share price issues have more to do with Buffalo Billions than notional losses (or rather ‘non-profits’)… it does puzzle me why everyone finds it surprising that SolarCity – like Tesla – is ‘losing money’ when both are currently engaged in gargantuan investment in production facilities. Strange no-one ever mentions this when analysing the financials… Perhaps it doesn’t feature in the ‘books’ – I’m not an accountant – but it still seems glaringly odd.

    1. Mister G says:

      It’s not glaringly odd if 99% of wall street (financial) industry is rigged and corrupt..don’t forget the cause of Great Recession…Wall street greed and lies.

  27. Sese says:

    For all the criticism about cash burn and losses of Tesla from media and investors alike on Tesla growth strategy, nobody seems to propose an alternate one. How else is a small startup involved in heavy manufacturing supposed to keep up with their demand. Growing slower is not an option given the competition has huge piles of cash.

    If it were easy then I am sure there would have been atleast one more successful American car company in the last 90 years.

    1. TomArt says:

      Interesting point…