Another Elon Musk Biography…But

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Brian Langis
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I’m just going to say this regarding biographies in general. Maybe the subject matter doesn’t have to be dead, but can we wait until his career is at least over? I feel the stories are told way too early. For example, when Ashlee Vance’s bio of Musk came out, it just felt like there was a lot left of the story to be told. The Musk story was just starting. Anyway…

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Elon Musk

Another Elon Musk biography is out. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson. Musk allowed Isaacson to shadow him for two years, granting access to his family and confidants. Anything Isaacson is the authoritative biography. Isaacson is behind some of the greatest biographies out there. Einstein, Da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Jennifer Doudna (CRISPR, gene-editing) etc…

I read two Musk biographies, including the one by Ashlee Vance, which was considered “the” biography until now. They were good but felt incomplete. Like I said, the story was just starting. Vance tried to get Musk to collaborate for his biography. Musk wouldn’t at first and it took a lot of convincing. Musk finally agreed to give his version of the story to some of the stuff others said. The other biography was on the Paypal Mafia. It had a lot of early Musk stories that I never heard of. Anyway, you sort of knew that more biographies will come out eventually because the Elon Musk story is not over.

I read some excerpts of Isaacson’s biography of Musk. That’s the one you want. It’s by far the most intimate. As for the never-ending pile of biographies being published on Musk, it just seems like it’s a bunch of stories shared at the bar across the plant by a guy who got fired.

But I get it. The guy is fascinating. The guy has to be studied. Yes he has issues, he’s not perfect, he can be controversial, but I believe the world needs more Elon Musks. He’s a polarizing figure. There are good things about Elon, and there are bad things about Elon. And sometimes it’s hard to have a clear picture.

I have shared my Elon Musk opinion in the past. The Elon Musk that makes EV cars, that wants to colonize Mars, and push the frontier of technology. Great Elon! The Elon Musk that talks shit on X/Twitter and posts crap emoji. Bad Elon. And what’s going on with that solar roof? Wasn’t it promised 8 years ago?

I wish there wasn’t so much drama around him. But it’s a package deal. The greatness comes with a lot of dumb stuff too. If you are going to assess anybody, or anything, you have to look at both the good and the bad.

That’s it, have a good weekend.