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Elon Musk wants to start a candy company just because somebody told him he couldn’t

On top of reusable rockets, electric cars and flamethrowers, Elon Musk is now going to sell candy.

“I’m starting a candy company and it’s going to be amazing,” he tweeted out of the blue on Saturday.

At first, his followers thought it was late April Fools’ joke, but he doubled down on his claim in a follow-up post, assuring everyone that he was “super super serious.”

The sweet initiative was born out of a feud with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company that owns See’s Candies.

A “moat” is a term often used in economic jargon to refer to the competitive advantage that one company has over other companies in the same industry.

Buffet is attributed to have coined the word in a Fortune article from 1999.

Having an established brand name, a large market share or exclusive technology are all moats. The wider the “moat”, the bigger the competitive advantage.

“I think moats are lame,” Musk told analysts last Wednesday on Tesla’s first-quarter earnings call.

“They are like nice in a sort of quaint, vestigial way. If your only defence against invading armies is a moat, you will not last long.

“What matters is the pace of innovation, that is the fundamental determinant of competitiveness.”

Warren Buffett – who has been sort of a “moat” evangelist for decades now – was asked by a shareholder about whether he agreed with Musk’s views.

Although Buffett acknowledged that accelerated technological advancement has made moats vulnerable and “susceptible to invasion”, he says he still believes the concept is crucial in business.

“Certainly you should be working on improving your own moat and defending your own moat all the time. And Elon may turn things upside down in some areas,” the billionaire investor said during a Berkshire meeting in Omaha.

“I don’t think he’d want to take us on in candy.”

And it looks like Musk interpreted the comments as a dare. A quite delicious one if you think about it, taking into account that Buffett thinks of See’s Candies as a company with a wide moat in the confiture industry.

Musk responded on Twitter to the Berkshire Hathaway executives, first with a YouTube clip from the movie Trolls. Shortly afterwards, with his bomb “candyman” announcement.

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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