The 44-year-old CEO of Tesla and SpaceX may be worth $13 billion, but he’s not too big to ban you from his products if you criticize him or his company.
That’s what happened to Stewart Alsop, a venture capitalist and sometimes tech blogger, who wrote a post on Medium expressing dismay that Musk’s tardiness to a Tesla event required him to leave before he had a chance to test drive one of the new Model X vehicles.
Alsop had placed a $5,000 deposit down of Model X, and the event was designed to give these early adopters a consolation prize for the slow delivery of the new model.
Alsop’s original post, “Dear @elonmusk: You should be ashamed of yourself,” was fiery by the often reverential standard Silicon Valley insiders display for alpha-CEOs.
I never did see the Model X. I still really want one. Its doors open like this! It’s a computer, disguised as a beautiful car, just like I want. It probably won’t matter that you screwed up this event completely. It would still be nice if you showed some class and apologized to the people who believe in this product.
After his original post went viral, Alsop received a call from Musk himself explaining why he would no longer be receiving the car he had committed to purchasing months before. In a follow-up post on Medium, called “Banned by Tesla!” Alsop describes his disappointment and seems to repent for offending the high-king.
I am mostly sorry not to be able to participate in the automobile revolution that Tesla started. You have created a car company when everybody decided decades ago that it was not possible. You have challenged the hateful and intimidating distribution system that forces people to be subjected to the hard sell even if they just want to buy a car they know they want.
Musk’s heart was unmoved. His Twitter says so.
Ouch! That burn would definitely singe Alsop, if he could see it. Apparently, Musk also blocked Alsop from viewing or retweeting anything he posts on Twitter.
Remember, kids: When you’re taking humanity to Mars, you don’t have to worry about being the bigger man.