Elon Musk revealed a missed opportunity, said he hated firing people and revealed his desire to meet Warren Buffett in a resurfaced 2008 profile

Elon Musk

Elon Musk brought up a missed opportunity, Warren Buffett, and fired people in a 2008 profile.Reuters

  • Elon Musk lamented a missed opportunity and said he wanted to meet Warren Buffett in a 2008 profile.

  • The CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter said he hated laying people off and found it difficult to move to Los Angeles.

  • Musk also highlighted his deep passion for his work and showed off his sense of humor.

Elon Musk revealed his biggest missed opportunity, expressed his desire to meet two legendary investors and announced some of his recent moves in a 2008 San Francisco Business Times profile, which the newspaper republished this week.

The CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter could have invested in SunPower at a $15 million valuation, but didn’t, he said.

The valuation of the solar energy company has since increased more than 120 times to a market capitalization of $1.9 billion. However, its stock price has been virtually flat for the past 15 years, meaning Musk hasn’t missed much since his interview.

The pioneer of electric vehicles and space transportation also revealed the people he most wanted to meet at the time: Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO and his business partner recently praised Musk for dreaming big and taking on impossible challenges, and Musk thanked them for their kind words.

The tech billionaire made several other notable comments. “I hate firing people,” he said, striking considering he acquired Twitter last year and quickly cut thousands of roles.

Musk said the most important lesson he learned was that he should fire people sooner, and he interviewed everyone at SpaceX to make sure he didn’t want to fire them later. He’s still heavily involved in personnel decisions today — he recently told Tesla staff that he must personally approve all Tesla hires, including contractors.

He also said in 2008 that moving to Los Angeles was the most difficult business decision he had made so far. This may have made it easier for him to migrate to Texas in 2020.

Musk also showcased his sense of humor in the profile. Asked about his mentors, he replied, “Who are these mentors people are talking about and how do I get one?”

Finally, Musk highlighted his deep passion for what he does. “I really love design and I love engineering,” he said. “I don’t see anything that would be a second choice for designing rockets and electric cars.”

The world’s richest man struck a similar note in October, when he described himself as an engineer, manufacturer and technologist who designs and develops products — not an investor like Buffett who manages a portfolio.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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