In an interview airing Sunday (12/9) on 60 Minutes, Elon Musk explained why he acts the way he does. Musk has made headlines in very unconventional ways recently, calling a diver involved in the Thai cave rescue operations a ‘pedo’ and smoking pot during a podcast. He’s also come under fire for S.E.C. financial violations.
Ultimately, Musk says he’s just being true to himself. And the success of Tesla, he says, is a testament to his ultimate stability.
Lesley Stahl: You are notorious for setting, you know, these deadlines for yourself that no one thinks you can meet, and you often don’t meet. And I’m just wondering why you do that?.
Elon Musk: Well, I mean punctuality’s not my strong suit. I think, uh well, why would people think that if I’ve been late on all the other models, that’d I’d be suddenly on time with this one.
Lesley Stahl: Your naysayers say that you lie. That’s the way they interpret it.
Elon Musk: “People should not ascribe to malice that which can easily be explained by stupidity.” (LAUGHTER) So– so it’s, like, just because I’m, like, dumb at– at predicting dates does not mean I am untruthful. I don’t know– I– we’ve– I never made a mass-produced car. How am I supposed to know with precision when it’s gonna get done?
Lesley Stahl: Would you want to buy some of those plants, those factories that they’re closing down? You’re shaking your head yes?
Elon Musk: It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over.
Lesley Stahl: Why do you want the competition?
Elon Musk: The whole point of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of electric vehicles. And sustainable transport and trying to help the environment. We think it’s the most serious problem that humanity faces. I’m not sure if you know it, but we open sourced our patents, so anyone who wants to use our patents can use ’em for free.
Lesley Stahl: Your patents are open-sourced?
Elon Musk: Yeah. If somebody comes and makes a better electric car than Tesla and it’s so much better than ours that we can’t sell our cars, and we go bankrupt, I still think that’s a good thing for the world.