Ukraine Update: This is why Musk owns us all

Ukraine Update: This is why Musk owns us all

Editor’s note: While this isn’t specifically Ukraine-focused, it provides the necessary background to understand why Elon Musk’s power extends to controlling key decisions in Ukraine—decisions that have gotten people, including children, killed.

You can read more great Ukraine coverage by both staff and community members here.

Elon Musk is neither an engineering nor business genius. He didn’t found Tesla. He didn’t design the motors, or the batteries, or the cars. He did found Space Exploration, more familiarly known as SpaceX, but again, he never set his hand to an engineering design, much less a wrench.

What Musk did do was recognize that both the automotive and space launch industries were hugely stale, completely populated by people whose policies and technology were relics of glory days long past, and that a determined—and lucky—run at these targets just might kick their asses.

No matter what people think of Musk’s failures at self-driving, or the post-apocalyptic design of the extremely late-to-the-party Cybertruck, the truth is that Tesla now holds a position in the automotive industry that its century-plus-old competitors can only envy.

Over at SpaceX, Musk has a near monopoly in an industry that others are only starting to understand. This week we got a glimpse of what that means. And that glimpse looked like Musk being able to single-handedly determine who lives and who dies.

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