You may not be into nerdy tech podcasts (although if you’re a reader of this blog it’s probably a higher than average probability), but the first main segment of the latest episode of John Gruber’s The Talk Show, dealing with everyone’s favorite billionaire Elon Musk, is really excellent, for a couple of key points:
1. Musk bought Tesla and SpaceX. He didn’t found them. And both of them seem to be succeeding at their missions largely because they have developed a corporate culture that placates Musk’s whims while largely shielding the companies’ primary objectives from the damage those whims may cause.
2. The Boring Company, however, is not a success, and increasingly seems like it may be intended not to be. It’s easy to see Musk as a “world saving visionary,” if that’s what you want to do. But TBC’s main accomplishment, to date, seems to be squashing large public transportation infrastructure projects. And remember that Musk owns Tesla, too. It’s well established by now that mid-20th century automakers exerted their influence to kill public transportation. (Streetcars used to be everywhere!) And it seems quite plausible that TBC is little more than a front for the same activities on behalf of Tesla in this century.