The sultry entrepreneur and the richest man in the world has been named by the prestigious magazine as Personality of the Year.
It’s a well-oiled ritual at Uncle Sam’s: every year, the prestigious magazine Times refers to a celebrity as “Personality of the year”, And each year everyone has their opinion on the newspaper’s selection. To succeed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, winners last year, it is the very divisive Elon Musk who has been chosen.
The newspaper explains that this title is given to the “Person who embodies what was important this year, for better or for worse”. And whatever you think of the founder of Tesla, you have to admit that this description fits him pretty well. This choice is not surprising, as the sulphurous billionaire has occupied the media this year. “The personality of the year is a marker of influence”, wrote in an editorial the editor-in-chief of Time, Edward Felsenthal. “Few people have as much influence as Mr. Musk over life on Earth and potentially life outside of Earth as well. “
The cult of innovation
A direct reference to his status as the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, two real industrial titans who have already changed the face of our planet and will probably continue to do so for many years to come, thanks to a real culture of innovation on the march. forced. An avant-gardism which allowed it to climb the billionaire ladder even faster than its rockets penetrate the atmosphere; his fortune is now estimated at more than 250 billion.
The two companies today both dominate their respective segments (electric vehicles and private aerospace) head and shoulders. Tesla is now worth more than six trillion dollars, and the market share of its futuristic vehicles continues to grow daily. SpaceX, for its part, has a series of prestigious missions and will even actively participate in the return of Man to the Moon in 2025.
And its influence doesn’t stop with space and electric cars. Musk’s companies are also working in other fields of the future such as robotics with its TeslaBot, solar with SolarCity, neurosciences with NeuraLink, or even urban mobility with its HyperLoops. An already sprawling technological and industrial ecosystem, but which may well be in its infancy.
An artist of controversy
But this success is not enough to explain Musk’s influence; you have to look for your reputation. The latter in no way corresponds to the archetype of traditional billionaires, who usually remain quite measured and cautious for fear of scaring investors. With him, it’s just the opposite. Between his rantings on Twitter, his idea of bomb March to move humanity there, his car in space, his ego duel with Jeff Bezos, his love for cryptocurrencies, his flamethrowers, his exchanges with the UN on world hunger or even his positioning on AI or the issue of subsidies, it would be an understatement to say that Musk has a taste for provocation.
The one that the Time designates as “clown, genius, master builder, visionary, industrialist, showman and goujat ”has therefore not finished stirring the media pot with rockets, electric cars and controversial positions. See you in ten years or so to see if the personality of the year 2021 will have succeeded in making his wildest dreams come true.