Elon Musk Recalls Billionaire Who Told Him All ‘the Ways Tesla Would Fail’

by Victoria Santiago

Elon Musk and his electric vehicle company Tesla might be automaker staples now, but that wasn’t always the case. Many even thought he would fail. Of course, since then, Musk has proven them wrong tenfold. Tesla is now the most valuable automaker on the planet. The EV company has a market cap of over $950 billion.

During a recent Twitter conversation about cryptocurrency, Musk gave us some insight into what the early days of Tesla were like. After Berkshire Hathaway’s vice chairman Charlie Munger made a tweet dissing crypto, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO quickly jumped in.

A Billionaire’s Lunch Gone Bad

Apparently, Charlie Munger was not a Tesla fan. In fact, he once told Musk that Tesla would fail. He said this at lunch in front of a bunch of other wealthy people. Elon Musk didn’t elaborate on what exactly that entailed, but we’re sure it was motivating (if not a little bit hurtful).

“I was at a lunch with Munger in 2009 where he told the whole table all the ways Tesla would fail,” Elon Musk tweeted. “Made me quite sad, but I told him I agreed with all those reasons & that we would probably die, but it was worth trying anyway.”

Without any context, though, Munger’s harsh words might have given Musk the push he needed to succeed. What better way to not fail than to be told all of the ways in which you will? If anything, Munger’s unsupportive stance on Tesla probably gave Elon Musk a checklist of things to stop doing.

It might seem like the two billionaires would have a sour relationship given that bit of personal history, but it appears to be more complex than that. One bad lunch in 2009 doesn’t set the stage for their relationship forever. In fact, Charlie Munger even gave Elon Musk a compliment once. “Never underestimate the man who overestimates himself,” Munger said. “Some of the extreme successes are going to come from people who try very extreme things because they’re overconfident. And when they succeed, well, there you get Elon Musk.”

Elon Musk’s ‘Overconfidence’ Has NASA and Competitors Scrambling

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship. We all know that the CEO has ambitious plans for space travel, but it seems that his plans might be happening sooner rather than later. According to Musk, his Starship will be ready to go into orbit soon. The spacecraft will take humans to the moon. Then, it will eventually take humans to Mars.

While his Starship isn’t quite there yet, it’s getting close. The fact that his spacecraft is ready years ahead of NASA’s is causing the space agency to sweat. If Elon Musk can successfully pull this off, NASA and its contractors will essentially be useless. Musk has proven time and time again that when it comes to space and technology, he can do it better, faster, and cheaper. Take notes, NASA.