In this year’s Best of the Best, we continue to honour the brands and people who have continued to create covetable products, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Here, we have Elon Musk, the best provocateur in the motoring business
As divisive as any politician, pundit or showman today, innovative engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk is a Renaissance man trying to advance his version of enlightenment regardless of who wants it. “I think you should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side,” the self-made billionaire has said, and he seems to have made battling the status quo his life’s mission. Viewed as a visionary by some, charlatan by others, he’s a cultural disrupter who not only made Tesla the first commercially successful electric vehicle (EV) company, but single-handedly proved an EV could be a mainstream status symbol.
As with any agitator worth his salt, Musk has generated a good share of criticism and blowback, including from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which levied a US$40 million (S$54.33 million) fine after finding that his Twitter posts were misleading and fuelled Tesla’s increased stock value. That, of course, is pocket change to a man worth roughly US$156 billion (S$211.9 billion) and who is simultaneously bankrolling an effort to colonise other planets via SpaceX, another of his numerous enterprises. Despite all of this, Musk found time to host Saturday Night Live in May, where he put it all in perspective. “I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship,” he quipped. “Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”