'Musk describes himself as a nano-manager'
Insane mode: The Kiwi who worked with Elon Musk at Tesla
Dec 01 2018 Rob Stock
Elon Musk will be remembered as the father of the electric car
Author Hamish McKenzie believes Tesla founder Elon Musk could have sparked
the industrial revolution that saves the planet
ap No longer the bullied school boy in South Africa, Elon Musk is seriously
cool. Claire Boucher (imdb.com/name/nm6929501), left, and Elon Musk attend
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in May
ELON MUSK/TWITTER Footage from the Tesla Roadster which was shot into space
by Elon Musk in February
1913 photograph shows an electric car developed by Henry Ford and Thomas
The Kiwi who worked with Elon Musk believes he's seen one of the most
important events in human history up close: The beginning of the end of the
Hamish McKenzie, who was raised in Alexandra in Central Otago, but now calls
San Francisco home, was poached by Musk's electric car company Tesla while
working as a technology journalist in the United States.
At the time McKenzie was working on a book on Musk Insane Mode, which
arrives in bookshops on December 3, and saw Musk as a figure who would one
day be seen as an equal to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Like Ford, Musk started a scale car-making company in the US (something that
had not been done since Chrysler was founded in 1925), and like Edison, the
investor of the light bulb, he created a world-transforming technology.
Working with Musk may have exposed McKenzie to the spikier side of the
technology genius, but it hasn't changed McKenzie's view of the man's
"You can see he's this inspirational visionary, charming guy, with an
interesting, funny sense of humour, but he also comes across also as this
irritable, disagreeable, angry guy, incredibly demanding," says McKenzie.
Musk is not just a micro-manager, McKenzie says. He describes himself as a
McKenzie says nobody gets too much face time with Musk, but his interactions
confirmed that the technology genius' media and twitter personality really
is an accurate reflection of the man.
Musk's record of innovation is legendary in Silicon Valley, where he has
cult status. He sold his first company to Compaq in 1999, earning himself
the stake he needed to start PayPal, the money from which he used to start
his space company SpaceX, and Tesla, the company McKenzie expects to change
Musk has come a long way since he was bullied so badly as a school boy in
South Africa that one day he was hospitalised after a beating so bad his
father could not recognise him.
No longer the bullied school boy in South Africa, Elon Musk is seriously
cool. Claire Boucher, left, and Elon Musk attend The Metropolitan Museum of
Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in May.
McKenzie's brushes with Tesla and Musk have convinced him that he's seen
history happening up close.
"I believe it is the most important technology story of the twenty-first
century," he says.
The battery technology underpinning Tesla cars is "finally bringing an end
to the oil industry's dominance of global energy supply".
Musk, McKenzie says, is on a moral mission to save the world from petrol
cars, and the sheer force of his determination seems to be dragging the
world along with him.
Footage from the Tesla Roadster which was shot into space by Elon Musk in
Volkswagon is now going electric, and other car companies are, to a lesser
degree, following suit.
It would never have happened without Musk.
Researching Thomas Edison for the book, because of the parallels McKenzie
saw between Musk and the father of the lightbulb, he found a stunning thing.
Electric cars were a thing a century ago, and a mere accident of history
turned the world onto petrol, when electricity looked a better bet to become
the fuel to drive the world's cars.
McKenzie unearthed a picture from 1913 of an electric car outside Henry
Ford's Michigan factory, and learnt of the friendship between Edison and
Ford, and how the pair had worked together to create an electric car.
However, McKenzie says: "Edison couldn't get his batteries to pass the
testing phase, and he failed even to develop one that could power an
internal combustion engine car's starter motor."
"Ford, who had other things to deal with, eventually gave up on the plan to
work with his friend, despite internal plans to buy a hundred thousand
batteries from the inventor and invest US $1.5million (US$36m today) in the
Then, an electric starter motor was developed that could start a
petrol-driven car, and, combined with the discovery of vast oil fields in
Texas, the world headed down the gas-guzzling route.
Tesla has repeatedly flirted with bankruptcy.
And, had Tesla collapsed, as looked likely after the 2008/09 global
financial crisis, the world may have once again have dropped the idea of
"There's a real risk people would have pointed to Tesla as a failure, and
big oil and its supports would have said, 'Look, electric cars can't work.
Let's move on and find other solutions'," McKenzie says.
Fortunately, he says, Tesla's refusal to die has been its greatest
"That's been it's single most important quality as a car company," McKenzie
And that's been Musk all the way.
"He wants to be seen as a hero. Failure would be terrible for him on
multiple levels," McKenzie says.
Whatever happens to Tesla, McKenzie believes the electric car revolution,
and the energy revolution is has sparked, is now the future.
Musk has shown the world that electric cars can be good cars, fast, safe,
"It's unstoppable. It's going to happen. The only variable is how fossil
fuel industries be in slowing down the transition."
Elon Musk won't be smoking weed in public again, NASA admin says
Nov 29, 2018 ... and pushing himself to his absolute limits at his electric
car company Tesla. ... Bridenstine cites disasters like the Apollo 1 fire in
1967, and the Challenger and ...
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