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Home » Clash of the Tech Titans: How Elon Musk and Bill Gates’ Visions Diverge

Clash of the Tech Titans: How Elon Musk and Bill Gates’ Visions Diverge

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A glimpse into the complicated relationship between Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is provided in Walter Isaacson’s biography “Elon Musk.” offers a fascinating insight into the contrasting views of these two technology titans.

During a tour of Tesla’s Gigafactory, Gates argued with Musk about the viability of batteries for long-haul trucking and the role of solar power. “I showed him the numbers,” Gates said. “It’s an area where I clearly knew something that he didn’t.”

Gates also expressed skepticism of Musk’s Mars ambitions, calling it “kind of bizarre thinking.” He told Isaacson, “I’m not a Mars person. He’s overboard on Mars.”

The two billionaires clashed again during Gates’ visit to Tesla’s Austin factory. Gates had shorted TSLA stock, losing $1.5 billion when the bet backfired. Musk was reportedly livid about the short position.

Gates admitted he apologized to Musk but said the Tesla CEO is “super mean to so many people, so you can’t take it too personally.” When pressed on his motivation for shorting Tesla, Gates implied it was simply to make money.

The anecdotes illustrate the stark contrasts between Gates and Musk. While both are tech visionaries, their philosophies diverge on topics like sustainable energy, space exploration, and public markets.

Gates takes a measured approach grounded in technical analysis. Musk is inclined toward ambitious moonshots fueled by first principles thinking. The colorful feud provides a microcosm of their distinctly different leadership styles.