Elon Musk wants to get into the candy industry
If you follow Elon Musk on Twitter, you’ll already know that he’s somewhat different to your average company CEO, and occasionally uses it to announce oddball spinoff projects, safe in the knowledge that a Retweet can get halfway around the world before a press release even has its shoes on.
You may remember, for example, the time he announced he was selling Boring Company-branded flamethrowers in a tweet. Or that time he deleted SpaceX and Tesla’s Facebook pages on a whim after someone challenged him to on Twitter. Or when he revealed that Boring Company debris would be sold in little kits, like Lego.
So what to make of Elon Musk’s latest whimsical Twitter-based business plan?
Perhaps predicting the first question to that would be “are you serious?”, Musk was quite to cover off that particular base:
Okay, right. So what has triggered this then? To follow the genesis of the joke/business idea/joke-business idea, you have to revisit to Tesla’s slightly odd Q1 2018 earnings call. At one point Musk shot down the idea of moats – a way for companies to protect themselves from same-sector competition. “I think moats are lame,” he said. “They are like nice in a sort of quaint, vestigial way. If your only defense against invading armies is a moat, you will not last long. What matters is the pace of innovation, that is the fundamental determinant of competitiveness.”
Still with me? Good. We’re now moving to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting, where CEO Warren Buffet (just behind Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos in the rich stakes) commented on Musk’s dismissal of the moat: “Certainly you should be working on improving your own moat and defending your own moat all the time. And Elon may turn things upside down in some areas. I don’t think he’d want to take us on in candy.”
Apparently, Musk’s response to this was “challenge accepted.”
How seriously should we take this? Well given the series of tweets started with Musk linking to a song from the Trolls movie and the tone of the follow-up tweets, in which Musk called the plot of Willy Wonka “messed up,” probably not very.