Elon Musk Versus Jeff Bezos: Visionaries For Our Future

Elon Musk


Elon Musk

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk (Image: Business Insider)


Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are two of the most familiar names in the current business world, and the two have much in common. Each of these visionaries has leveraged modern technology to transform an industry, forsaking short-term profits in a quest to change the world. Both have a deep interest in space exploration, both have attracted loyal followings who share their visions, both are great philanthropists and of course, both have become rather wealthy.

A recent article in Business Insider compared and contrasted the two entrepreneurs across a number of categories. There’s definitely a competitive vibe between them – their rivalry in the spaceflight field has occasionally resulted in some acrimonious Twitter exchanges (although Bezos graciously wished SpaceX “best of luck” with its historic Falcon Heavy launch). But we’ll leave the judgments about who has the biggest rocket to others and content ourselves with comparing the impressive accomplishments of these two Titans of industry.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

In one sense, to compare Amazon to Tesla would be unfair. Bezos founded the Seattle-based online retailer in 1994. Today it has a market capitalization of $690 billion and employs some 542,000 people worldwide. Amazon has already changed the world. The younger Tesla was founded in 2003 and has grown to have a market cap around $58 billion and about 32,000 employees. Tesla has succeeded in showing us the path to its goal of electrifying the world’s transportation system, but with electric vehicles still making up a little over 1% of worldwide auto sales, we’d have to say that the world hasn’t been changed yet.

On the other hand, a comparison between the two companies’ stock market performance is very instructive. Legions of stock analysts claim to be bewildered by Tesla – How can a company’s stock price keep going up when it isn’t reporting any quarterly profits? They forget (or choose to forget) that the young Amazon followed a similar trajectory. It had plenty of competition from traditional booksellers and defied Wall Street wisdom for years by choosing growth over profits. However, since its 1997 IPO, the company’s stock price has multiplied nearly 500 times.

Elon Musk

The rise of Amazon (Image: Business Insider)

Another thing Musk and Bezos have in common: their employees generally give them the thumbs-up. Bezos’s employee approval rating at Amazon is a healthy 87%. Musk enjoys similar standing at Tesla, where 84% of employees say they approve of their CEO. Over at SpaceX, relations are even more cordial – 96% of employees approve of Musk.

Both Musk and Bezos have given generously to a range of charitable causes – both have namesake foundations and have donated to disaster relief, technology and medical research, and scholarships. The Musk Foundation provides grants to support STEM education, renewable energy, and pediatric medicine. The foundation donated $250,000 after the Fukushima nuclear disaster to help the Japanese prefecture set up a solar power system. More recently, Tesla donated equipment to help restore power in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. In 2015, Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute, which is dedicated to ensuring that AI benefits humanity.

The Bezos Family Foundation has likewise donated to a range of worthy causes, including $33 million to a scholarship fund for DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who entered the US as minors; $10 million to immunotherapy cancer research; and $15 million to Princeton University to study neural connectivity.

Elon Musk

Tesla has been helping those in need after the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico (Twitter: Tesla)

Okay, we know what you’re all waiting to read: who’s richer? By that metric, there’s no contest. According to Forbes, Musk is currently worth a respectable $20 billion, but Bezos is technically the wealthiest man in history, with an estimated net worth over $119 billion. However, if Musk’s master plan unfolds as desired, he could get a lot richer. Under his recently announced new compensation plan, which the New York Times called “perhaps the most radical in corporate history,” if Tesla grows to $650 billion in market cap by 2028, Mr. Musk could receive some $55.8 billion in stock options. Of course, it’s safe to say that Mr. Bezos’s pile of chips will be growing as well.

Obviously, amassing personal wealth is not the primary goal for either of these men. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are visionaries who are concerned about the future of the human race. They share incredible imagination, incredible drive and powerful abilities to influence others to support their visions. In an era in which political leaders encourage us to worship the past and fear the future, and business leaders entice us with a never-ending flood of trivial consumer products, many rightly remark that the world could use a lot more visionaries like Musk and Bezos.

Alas, there are never likely to be very many.


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Business Insider

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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10 responses to "Elon Musk Versus Jeff Bezos: Visionaries For Our Future"
  1. jdbob says:

    How can it be a “Silicon Valley Showdown” if only one of them is actually in Silicon Valley?

    1. SparkEV says:

      Which one? Musk is in SoCal, Bezos in WA.

      1. jdbob says:

        Musk. Yes, SpaceX is in SoCal, but Tesla is in Silicon Valley.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Musk lives in Bel Air, suburb of UCLA in SoCal.


          I don’t blame him, SoCal is so much nicer than NoCal or WA. In this regard, Musk is lot smarter than Bezos.

  2. gagaga says:

    “They forget (or choose to forget) that the young Amazon followed a similar trajectory.” (wrt to profits, debt…)

    This is a very popular misconception. This figure says it all:


  3. SparkEV says:

    “Bezos is technically the wealthiest man in history”

    Not quite true when you account for inflation. Dollar has lost about 95% of its value since 1900s, so Bezos is “only” worth about $5B. That’s pocket change for guys like JP Morgan.

    Speaking of inflation, Gold was pegged at $25 (then $35) in 1940’s, now it’s over $1000. Having money means losing wealth, spend it all now!

    1. popo says:

      He also does not pay any taxes.

      1. SparkEV says:

        I doubt he doesn’t pay property taxes. But if he’s offsetting his taxes with his expenses, very smart man and humanitarian, because more taxes would mean more bombs to be dropped in some foreign country.

        I’m a fan of Thoreau who protested Mex-Am war by not paying taxes, and every patriot and humanitarian who protest US killing of people in foreign soil should minimize their taxes to the best of their ability (I wouldn’t go to jail over it, though). The only way to end the war on terror (aka, perpetual war) is when the tax revenue is so low that they can’t pay for war anymore.

        1. TwoVolts says:

          I agree with your sentiment regarding ending financing the perpetual war machine. The problem with your solution is that there is no connection between military budgets and tax revenue. The deficit is simply monetized… and perpetual war continues.

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