What Elon Musk just said – Tesla is philanthropy (Ep. 583)

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What Elon Musk just said – Tesla is philanthropy (Ep. 583)

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  1. I can 100% believe that Elon is honorable in everything and sweats philanthropy it’s his nature and his business plan from the very beginning.

    1. @Jonathan Root I realise it can come across that way. However, if you make the effort to read Ashlee Vance’s warts-and-all biography of Musk, you will realise that the sentiment he expresses is sincere. From a young age, Musk decided he wanted to spend his life in ways that would benefit humanity. He knew that both SpaceX and Tesla had a dismal chance of success, but he decided to invest almost all his fortune in both companies despite the poor odds, since he felt that trying-and-failing with those companies would still achieve some good (by inspiring others, advancing the state of the art, and so on). Both companies almost went bankrupt, and Musk came very close to losing 99.9% of his wealth because of his commitment to keep pumping money into those struggling companies rather than quit while he still had a fortune.

    2. @Ciaran McHale I’m aware of Elons past. Smart, good intentioned people will convince themselves they are still doing good even as greed and God complex take over. You see it historically, and you’re seeing it happen again, power corrupts.

  2. “If you want the future to be good, you must make it so. Take action and it will be.” ~Elon Musk

    1. It is easy to criticise the quote because it’s cause-and-effect message is aspirational rather than factual/guaranteed and, unfortunately, I expect it will receive widespread criticism due to that. But, like you, I think the aspirational aspect of the quote is important and worthwhile.

    2. @Ciaran McHale take action and be hyper rational like Elon tries to be. Most of his optimism is based on rationality really

  3. It actually makes sense why he doesn’t want to combine the company together. Public company has too many limitations, restrictions and greed.

    1. He wouldn’t have made Tesla public if he had a real choice. But he needed the capital to expand it.

  4. Never think I would ever admire a Billionaire until Elon Musk comes along. With Elon, there is hope for humanity

    1. Not sure what’s wrong about admiring successful people. Should we rather admire the poor?

  5. Thanks Dave, it’s good to point out the need to make a profit in order to be able to do good for humanity. Pretty complicated, and very different from other companies.

  6. I really liked it when he said it , very much reminds me of The Fountainhead where the character talked about trying to solve low-income housing not nessisarly because he wanted to help people but because he wanted to do it on a personal level.

  7. I’m really glad to hear Elon give voice and a clear definition of what he has been creating for over a decade. It was evident that his passion for each company was grounded in his love for humanity. He had stated it in so many ways but because he didn’t say “love” or it wasn’t in the form of “love” people think most often of (romantic/erotic/familial) they didn’t understand what drives him. He made it plain that money wasn’t his motivator (again against the grain and general understanding of most in society) so his actions were deemed suspect and nefarious ( interesting to look again at who felt that way and questioned his motives).

    When you break down the word philanthropy you see the core is love. If we continue to think love is only shown in a few ways or in certain circumstances the world then has very little of it to go around. People are searching for it and yet blind to it.

    Maybe this is my philosophy classes coming to bear, but we suffer from to much shallow surface thinking and yet even when things are right in front of us if they don’t fit a narrative or a frame work they are ignored or even worse despised and mistrusted. Ask yourself why you have this channel? You’ve told us and the core is love.

    Elon is the most hated and loved person depending on who you talk to, but his mission is not dependent on who returns his love, but by his need to make sure it is expressed in ways that would do the most good for those far beyond his family/friend/employees. It’s not been about making money and it’s not about Wall Street. When he states that he doesn’t care it hits a brick wall for most, it creates dissonance in many, but for me it rings like a bell.

    I’ve never followed a company or a living person as long or as consistently as Elon and Tesla. If it were only based on material gain or materialistic needs I wouldn’t still be as invested.

    We want a better world we have to make it. Elon’s companies gives the rest of humanity a chance to aide in his goals and if you aren’t working for him formally as an employee, we’re invested, sharing, talking, creating content, vlogging, blogging, creating and funding businesses and causes that help the overall mission to move humanity forward. I think even those who have recently left Youtube and those who have just started did it for the “love” of the company the mission the dream for humanity and it’s what has sustained us thus far.

    1. Well said. Yes, I love astronomy, rockets, and space, not to mention renewable energy. But the main reason I follow Musk avidly is what you have said here, and what Dave Lee highlights in this excellent video. This is in line with my own philosophy, in which “charity” or “philanthropy” is primarily doing good for people, and for humanity in general, in one’s career and paid employment.

      Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) articulated the same thing over two centuries ago: “Real charity is acting justly and faithfully in our position and our work, because all the things we do in this way are useful to the community; and usefulness is goodness, and goodness in an impersonal sense is our neighbor. As I have shown above, our neighbor is not only individual people but also our community and the country as a whole.” (True Christian Religion 422. Elsewhere he expands this to humanity as a whole.)

      Everything else that is commonly called “charity” or “philanthropy” is good. But think about it. Most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours, for the bulk of our life, at work. That’s where we can have the greatest positive impact on humanity, whether it is flipping burgers for hungry people or saving the environment for all of us by transitioning our economy to renewable sources of energy.

      Musk is pointing us back to what business and commerce are really all about. It’s not about making money, though that is a beneficial side-effect. It’s about working for the benefit of people, and of humanity as a whole.

    2. I’ll just note that one of the weaknesses of the English language (though who knows? perhaps it is also a strength) is that we have one word “love” for a wide range of uses.

      As you no doubt know, Greek had multiple words for love. The three most commonly known among English speakers are philia (brotherly love, love for one’s friends), eros (sexual desire), and agape [ ɑːˈɡɑːpeɪ / ˈɑːɡəˌpeɪ, / ἀγάπη / agápē ] (among English speakers used chiefly in Christian circles, it refers to an unconditional love for others or a general sense of charity towards all humankind). There are others too – a quick search finds storge (devoted love such as towards family), pragma (mature love), ludus (playful love), and mania (obsessive love).

      The love in “philanthropy” is therefore probably more accurately agape than philia, but we have a number of words in English that use the same root for a general love. You of course used another such word in your comment, “philosophy” (the love of wisdom). Most any word beginning with “phil-” or ending in “-phile” is likely to be a reference to this root.

      Far more businessmen than is commonly understood try to exhibit this agape love in their everyday dealings. Most do it imperfectly, but especially among small businessmen in developed nations I think it is more common than not. It is a chief reason why developed nations became developed in the first place, that its businessmen sought the common good and not just their own. But of course it is always a delicate balance, because a businessman must first ensure his business survives if it is to serve the public.

      Of course, the other half of this is that not only do some businesses _not_ have the interests of its customers at heart, but some businesses actively seek to exploit their customers without regard to their well-being, and even some organizations claiming to be charities exploit the needs of some and the kindness of others for the benefit of their directors. One must develop discernment if one wants to enable those doing good in the world and to avoid those doing ill.

    3. Well put. I wanted to buy a tesla in order to support the vision and help ensure success. At the time I could not afford a tesla so I bought some stock for mostly the same reasons. Last I was retired and could see my way to buy a Tesla and ended up spending a lot more than planned on a LR MY. No regrets, happy to enjoy supporting Elons dream.

    4. @Alan Light Thank you for going.deeper and adding a point that I had in mind but didn’t include. Charities and some business that do harm or abuse the love of their donors for their financial gain. The need for discernment (a woefully underused skill) in who we give our time, talent, money and attention to should be included. On this point I feel very strongly that Elon is one of the greatest (not perfect but very very good) allocation of the resources he is given to do the most GOOD.

  8. Dave, you are a brilliant communicator. What you said is so obvious in hindsight. But this video has changed my outlook permanently.

  9. I remember the first quarter that Apple made a profit after Steve Jobs returned. He spoke to us in the cafeteria. “We’re not in business to make money, any more than you’re alive to breathe; it’s just something you have to do.”

  10. I think people like Elon because he seems in a lot of ways like an average down to earth guy. His aim to make Twitter transparent and a true free speech platform is blatantly well intentioned and in the interests of mankind.

  11. Great, good, bad product or not, people with disposable income will spend.

    In this moment, it is a huge bonus when a product is as sustainably produced as possible and at the same time trying to solve world scale problem.

    People who buy these product (in a way) is also ‘donating’ for the endeavor.

    It massively helps when the company is in the forefront of technology as well.

    1. You wrote, “People who buy these product (in a way) is also ‘donating’ for the endeavor.” I agree. Many years ago my wife and I visited some eco-friendly houses that the owners kindly invited the public in to see as part of an open-day project to raise awareness. One house had a massive water tank buried under the garden, and this was filled by water flowing from the rooftop gutters. The water quality was not good enough for drinking, but was good enough for (if I recall correctly) washing laundry, showering and flushing the toilets. The intention was to make the house more sustainable when it comes to water usage. The house was owned by a woman in her 60s or 70s, and I asked her about the cost of installation and (since the system reduced her water bill) the payback period . She said it would not pay for itself within her lifetime, but that was not her intention in getting it installed. Instead, she was happy to be a loss-making early adopter to provide financial support for start-up companies that wanted to bring sustainable technologies to market. I admired her attitude.

  12. Wow Dave, thanks for this insight! 🙏

    Those who truly want to understand Elon already understood this, but most people refuse to believe he is genuinely doing it for all of us…

    Hopefully he will get the Nobel prize during his lifetime!

  13. I got goosebumps from listening to this episode! I believe in Tesla, Elon Musk is meaning well to humanity.

  14. I was just thinking about this this morning. I’m dumping a significant amount of my portfolio in tsla stock, and I actually feel like it’s for a good cause. It’s not a “sin stock” where I have to question whether or not my moral standings are being sacraficed to make a profit. It’s really great to be a part of this.

  15. That last line would be a great t-shirt for someone like Warren Redlich. I watched the entire interview earlier and it was very moving to say the least. Humanity truly has an amazing champion in Elon!

  16. Thanks Dave. After watching Elon closely for several years, I believe Elon’s conviction to help humanity was born out of his resilience from being repeatedly bullied when young and even now. His compassion must have primarily come from his family and friends. Whar do you think?

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