Elon Musk is known for doing things differently – indeed, it’s been a major reason why both he and his companies have been so successful. But fingers crossed this method of thinking outside the square doesn’t succeed: Musk has allegedly banned a blogger from buying one of his cars for criticising the South African billionaire.
It wasn’t a personal attack, or some anonymous keyboard warrior making ‘Yo Mama’ jokes at Musk’s expense. Venture capital investor Stewart Alsop merely wrote a post on Medium having a go at Musk over tardiness at a Tesla event.
Admittedly, the post had the inflammatory title ‘Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself’, but its content was all legitimate.
Alsop’s anger stemmed from Musk pulling an Axl Rose on a crowd of people who had been invited to a Tesla Model X event, advertising a 7pm starting time, but not actually bothering to kick proceedings off until 8:52pm.
The kicker? These weren’t salivating fanboys, squealing for a glimpse at the latest Tesla invention. No, these were people who had actually put a $5000 deposit down on the Model X.
After waiting two hours, Alsop left the event, feeling hungry, angry, mistreated, misled, and without having even seen the actual car.
I had been handed a badge that would let me test drive the model, but my badge number was 1344. If you started the event one hour and 22 minutes late, I could only imagine that having 1343 people in front of me to test drive a Model X would have kept me there until, I don’t know, 2am. I made a tactical decision to give up early without ever actually seeing a Model X.
Yet, despite his displeasure with Musk’s lateness and then lack of acknowledging said lateness or apologising, Alsop concluded, “I still really want [a Model X].”
Unfortunately for Alsop, that’s not going to happen. According to his most recent blog post, ‘Banned By Tesla!’, Musk himself took umbrage with the original post, feeling it was a personal attack, and after a phonecall to Alsop, the Tesla chief cancelled his order for a Model X.
But rather than get on the front foot and attack Musk, Alsop’s reaction is to simply express disappointment. Not at Musk’s behaviour, but at the fact he will not be allowed to own a car he really wanted, from a company he describes as having “innovated on user experience, battery technology, autonomous operation, and virtually every other aspect of the automobile experience today”.
Update: Musk was pretty coy in an update on Twitter:
Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2016
Update 2: It turns out Alsop isn’t just a ‘random’ blogger, deeply involved with Musk during Paypal funding discussions back in 1999. Alsop walked away from a deal.
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