SpaceX today released video of Elon Musk’s infamous 2017 all-hands meeting, prompting amusement that some thought he was on drugs during the talk. Reviewing the full video in context shows Musk sounded as eccentric as he usually does when speaking off-the-cuff. Claims he was on drugs seem unfounded.
SpaceX posted the talk on X/Twitter, highlighting their record 2017 with 18 successful missions using flight-proven rockets. Musk’s discussion does ramble at times, but he is clearly not impaired. Rather, it provides an inside look at SpaceX during a transitional period.
Musk acknowledges he was operating on little sleep, tweeting that Tesla was near bankruptcy in 2017, placing huge demands on him. His exhaustion likely contributed to the unconventional nature of the talk. However, he speaks cogently throughout while educating employees on SpaceX’s status and vision.
Watching the video, one gains appreciation for how much SpaceX has progressed. In 2017, re-flying rockets still seemed incredible and Mars plans far-fetched. Today, rocket re-use is routine and Starship’s orbital test flight is upcoming. Musk’s talk illustrates the origins of SpaceX’s current success.
He covers a wide range of topics, from sharing interesting emails to imagining city-building on Mars. His passion for SpaceX’s goals is evident. There are certainly some odd moments, but nothing indicating intoxication.
The release of this infamous talk is a smart PR move, poking fun at the “Elon was on drugs” narrative. Showing the full event in context demonstrates it was an authentic, unfiltered look at SpaceX in its early days on the path to revolutionizing space access.
While eccentric, Musk’s unconventional touch has made SpaceX what it is today – an innovative leader. This video provides valuable insights into Elon Musk’s engineering-driven leadership style during a pivotal year.