Alle powerquotes uit het Grote Elon Musk Interview

Elon Musk zou enigmatisch zijn, maar de laatste tijd was hij nachtburgemeester van Twitter en geeft-ie vaker interviews. Deze keer een lang gesprek, waarin hij onder andere uithaalt naar de pers, verhaalt over automutilatie en nadenkt over Saoedi-Arabië.

We beginnen even met een teleurstelling: de interviewer mocht vermoedelijk niets vragen over Musks akkefietje met de Amerikaanse Securities and Exchange Commission, dus dat onderwerp passeert uiterst summier de revue en is de facto een hiaat in een verder tamelijk openhartig interview. Hier de powerquotes.

'Well, I tweet interesting things pretty much as they come to me, and probably with not much of a filter. I find it entertaining. I think, “Oh, other people might find this entertaining.” Sometimes they do. [I tweet] mostly at home. I spend a lot less time on Twitter than people probably think. It’s like maybe 10-15 minutes or something.'

'Not really. I think it’s mostly just if it’s something that might cause a substantial movement in the stock during trading hours. That’s about it.'

'I have to say, my regard for the press has dropped quite dramatically. The amount of untruthful stuff that is written is unbelievable. Take that Wall Street Journal front-page article about, like, “The FBI is closing in.” That is utterly false. That’s absurd. To print such a falsehood on the front page of a major newspaper is outrageous. Like, why are they even journalists? They’re terrible. Terrible people.'

'It’s been a very difficult year. We had the Model 3 production ramp, which was excruciatingly difficult. It is incredibly difficult to survive as a car company. Incredibly difficult. People have no idea how much pain people at Tesla went through, including myself. It was excruciating. (...) It’s been terrible. This year felt like five years of aging, frankly. The worst year of my entire career. Insanely painful.'

'It sounds like you’re not hearing me. Making a car company successful is monumentally difficult.'

'[Tesla and electric cars are] very important for the future of the world. It’s very important for all life on Earth. This supersedes political parties, race, creed, religion, it doesn’t matter. If we do not solve the environment, we’re all damned.'

'Yeah, there’s no question there’s, like, self-inflicted wounds. In fact, my brother said, “Look, if you do a self-inflicted wound, can you at least not twist the knife afterwards?” You stabbed yourself in the leg. You don’t really need to twist it in your leg. Why do that? (...) It’s not intentional. Sometimes you’re just under a lot of pressure, and you’re not getting much sleep, you’re under massive pressure, and you make mistakes.'

'I think at Tesla we’re doing pretty well right now. Tesla’s not staring death in the face. We’re in, I think, a pretty good position. We don’t want to be complacent, but it’s not ... Up until around September, we were really faced with, like, “We must solve this or we’re gonna die,” constantly. I feel like we’re no longer in the staring-death-in-the-face situation.'

'Yeah, you know, not to harp on those short-sellers, because people think I have this obsession with them, but I spent like 1 percent [or] less of time thinking about them. Less than 1 percent of my tweets have anything to do with short-sellers. But the issue is that there’s a group of people who are quite smart, very mean, and have a strong financial interest in Tesla’s downfall. And what that results in is a constant attack on the Tesla brand, on me personally, on the executive team, on our cars. You know, every mistake we make is amplified.'

'A supersonic vertical-takeoff-and-landing electric jet would be interesting to do at some point, I think. But my head would definitely explode if I tried to do that right now. But I’ve been thinking about that design for nine years. It’s great.'

'(...) Actually, I’m personally most excited about the pickup truck. Well I can’t talk about the details, but it’s gonna be like a really futuristic-like cyberpunk, “Blade Runner” pickup truck. It’s gonna be awesome, it’s gonna be amazing. This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart. It’s like, oh, it’s great.'

'Well, this may be a little controversial, but I actually like the idea. I think it’s cool. You know, like, when the Air Force was formed, there was a lot of like pooh-poohing, and like, “Oh, how silly to have an Air Force!” You know, because the aircraft in World War II were managed by the Army. (...) And people today may not realize back then it was wildly panned as a ridiculous thing to create the Air Force, but now everyone’s like, “Obviously, you should have an Air Force.” And I think it’s gonna become obvious that we should have a Space Force, too.'

Sorry voor de enige en laatste inleiding, maar de journalist in kwestie (die natuurlijk heel erg graag wil dat Musk de moord op journalist/columnist Khashoggi veroordeeld en hem derhalve voor het blok zet over het accepteren van Saoedisch geld) vraagt of Musk Saoedisch geld zou accepteren. Desgevraagd:

'I think we probably would not, yes.'

Wat. Een. Verademing. Is. Die. Musk. Toch. Misschien zegt-ie wel heel veel dingen die niet kloppen, maar hij heeft nagedacht over wat hij zegt. Hij kan hartstikke fout zitten. Maar hij liegt gewoon niet. Chapeau.