Is Elon Musk the Next Steve Jobs?

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By J Maslow

elon muskThe funny thing about Silicon Valley is that it is always looking for some sort of technological Messiah. There seems to be some sort of a cult-like allure to visionary voices that would pave the way into the future. This is, of course, the niche that Steve Jobs was painted into. I am not sure whether or not he voluntarily wanted to fit this role, but this is how the media painted him. Now that he is gone, the media is, of course, looking for another visionary to fit that niche.

A lot of influential people are pointing to Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk as the most likely successor to Steve Jobs. The problem with this is that it really does a big disservice to both men. First, they are in two totally different industries. And second, let’s face it, Tesla Motors hasn’t really completely revolutionized the automotive industry.

Sure, it has given people choice in that Tesla Motors has made electric cars sexy. But besides from that, if you look at all the press releases of Elon Musk and all this hype surrounding him, it is really not much different in terms of substance compared to other less known visionaries in the tech space. In fact, for all the bluster and bravado of Tesla Motors, there is still a big question mark hanging over the company. It is still a long way between the golden future it envisions for electric car owners and the reality that we see everytime we hit the road.

I am not saying that the electric vehicle future propounded by Tesla Motors will never come to pass. What I am saying is that there is so much hype laid on the company that it really distorts the substantive value the company brings to the table. As a result, it kind of casts doubt to Elon Musk. Is he just a hyped up pitchman or is he a real visionary? Only time will tell.

You have to understand that, for the most part, Steve Jobs really reached mythic levels after he came back to Apple. That is right. During his second coming where he rolled out the iPod, the iPad, and the iPhone did he take things to a whole new other level. That is what separates him apart from most entrepreneurs because, let’s face it, most entrepreneurs don’t get that second chance. Trying to prop up Mr. Musk as Steve Jobs’ so-called successor is fair to neither man.

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