Tim Urban di Wait But Why ha ricevuto un giorno, all’improvviso, una chiamata da Elon Musk. Elon — che probabilmente legge il suo ottimo blog — voleva incontrarlo, per parlare e discutere dei progetti in cui è coinvolto. Sarebbe a dire: trasporto ad alta velocità, pannelli solari, automobili, energia rinnovabile e, uhm, mandare razzi nello spazio. Elon Musk, come racconta Tim, dopo essersi staccato da PayPal ha iniziato nell’arco di pochi anni Tesla, SpaceX e SolarCity:
In 2002, before the sale of PayPal even went through, Musk starting voraciously reading about rocket technology, and later that year, with $100 million, he started one of the most unthinkable and ill-advised ventures of all time: a rocket company called SpaceX, whose stated purpose was to revolutionize the cost of space travel in order to make humans a multi-planetary species by colonizing Mars with at least a million people over the next century.
Then, in 2004, as that “project” was just getting going, Musk decided to multi-task by launching the second-most unthinkable and ill-advised venture of all time: an electric car company called Tesla, whose stated purpose was to revolutionize the worldwide car industry by significantly accelerating the advent of a mostly-electric-car world—in order to bring humanity on a huge leap toward a sustainable energy future. Musk funded this one personally as well, pouring in $70 million, despite the tiny fact that the last time a US car startup succeeded was Chrysler in 1925, and the last time someone started a successful electric car startup was never.
And since why the fuck not, a couple years later, in 2006, he threw in $10 million to found, with his cousins, another company, called SolarCity, whose goal was to revolutionize energy production by creating a large, distributed utility that would install solar panel systems on millions of people’s homes, dramatically reducing their consumption of fossil fuel-generated electricity and ultimately “accelerating mass adoption of sustainable energy.”
L’articolo nato dall’incontro, e quelli che seguiranno, sui vari argomenti affrontati, sono da leggere. Il primo è dedicato più a Musk stesso che ai progetti in cui è coinvolto. Ne viene fuori che è — ma già lo sapevate se avevate guardato la presentazione del Powerwall, capace di stupire seppur priva del teatrino, enfasi e esagerazioni a cui Apple sta un po’ eccedendo — una persona meravigliosa.