Musk’s heavy handed tactics and attitude have received criticisms over the years. Corporate governance and conflicts of interest are two issues that Musk walks a tightrope on. The track record and respect that Musk holds offers him an element of deference from shareholders. In April 2017, public investors in Tesla wrote to Musk raising their concerns about corporate governance at Tesla. Directors in Tesla were only being elected every three years, were largely unchanged from pre IPO days and had a number of links to Musk’s other companies. There have also been arguments that his transactions with SolarCity bonds for himself and SpaceX smacks of double dealing.

“There was the advent of single-celled life, multicelled life, the development of plants, then animals,” Elon “On this time scale, I’d put the extension of life to another planet slightly above the transition from life in the oceans to life on land.”

Below is a breakdown of Elons strategy at winning in business .

  1. Go all-in

Zip2 and PayPal were vital lessons in Musk’s approach to management and control, he learned from and applied to his future ventures. The introduction of external venture capital and dilution of his own shares meant that Musk was powerless to resist being ousted as CEO of Zip2. Despite becoming a rich man from the successful sale, its outcome disappointed Musk, as he was unable to carve the company into his vision. Likewise at PayPal, he had significant largesse from his shares and status of founder of, but again he was ousted as CEO. This happened while he was on holiday in Australia, over a dispute over whether to use Microsoft or Unix technology for the platform.

Musk once stated that: “What they should have done is put me in charge,” he says. “That’s OK, but great things will never happen with VCs or professional managers. They have high drive, but they don’t have the creativity or the insight. Some do, but most don’t.”

In the next phases of his career, Musk took an iron grip over his investments and influence. He followed-on in Tesla’s funding rounds to maintain his percentage ownership. 


It’s as if he takes the view that any net worth generated from startup sales is apportioned out from his other assets and reallocated into venture/startup investing. Immediately after Zip2 and PayPal, he was already founding and funding his next ventures.

This is a sign of a confident investor and one that gives rise to a view that Musk believes that he has an advantage investing in himself, or others as an angel.

2: Create ecosystems around ourself

Looking at Musk’s angel investing portfolio is again interesting, for his success rate, entrance patterns and sectoral strategies. He appears to be stage (and at one time sectorally) agnostic in his angel investing, ranging from deep Series D entrances, to seed round punts. Although Series A investing does seem to be his favored round.

Map of Personal Connections between Musk's Companies

Musk invests in what he knows and with people that he knows and trusts. The effect of this has been that, through this natural rapport, he can have more influence on his investments beyond the traditional board and control mechanisms offered to investors.

3: Use creative financing methods

As of the Summer of 2015, the LA Times calculated that Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity had received $4.9 billion in government support. With the largest contributions arriving that same year. In 2015 alone, the Nevada government pledged support via tax breaks of $1.3 billion for a Tesla Gigafactory in its state. The New York government engaged in similar support of $750 million for a SolarCity factory in Buffalo.

That’s it for now I’m Cole stay tuned for more on educational topics on money moves and business !

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