Walter Isaacson, the biographer of an upcoming book about Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk, shed some light on the billionaire’s complex life in Twitter Spaces on Thursday.: Isaacson said the difficulty of dealing with smart, innovative people is they have a very dark streak to them. In the case of Musk, the dark streak came out of a very brutal, violent childhood, Isaacson said.
“A childhood in which he had very strong psychological difficulties with his father,” the biographer said.
Calling the dark streak “demon mode,” Isaacson said Musk, unlike his brother Kimbal, is neither endowed or burdened with empathy and, as a result, can be a much tougher leader.
Musk is like someone who does not care about anything except getting something done, he said, adding that “there are light strands and brilliant strands with Musk, but also dark strands.”
“If you pluck out that strand, you lose the whole claw and that’s what this biography is about,” Isaacson said.
Musk, The Risk Taker: Isaacson said one thing that surprised him was the way the Tesla CEO’s childhood and his father, Errol Musk, shaped the former’s personality and how both affected his understanding of risk.
Musk is almost addicted to risk, Isaacson said.
“It’s an important thing because America has lost the ability to take risks and do great manufacturing, and there’s a dark quality to his desire to take risks,” the biographer said.
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Edited by Asad Ali and Saba Fatima