Q – The movies provide us with two space future models: “Star Trek,” where a government agency governs space, versus “Alien,” where a private space mining company makes its own rules.
A – We need a new archetype. I’ve talked to James Cameron about this. He’s got a script for a realistic Mars mission because there’s not been a good Mars movie. That’s another thing that bugs me: The Mars movies have been so bad. I mean, honestly! And it’s going to be tricky getting funding for another Mars movie after”John Carter.” It was a good comic book, and they totally screwed up the movie.
Q – Speaking of finance, you must make Wall Street nervous with your companies’ roller-coaster fortunes.
A – SpaceX has been profitable for four years and probably this will make it a fifth, and Tesla should be profitable next year and for the foreseeable future.
Profit is simply more money coming in than going out, and for a company where that’s not true, it will cease to exist at some point, and it should.
Q – Commercializing space, electric cars — aren’t you spread a little thin?
A – I’ve been going past the red line on the gauge for a while now. It’s honestly not been fun, but I have to continue for a bit longer, because for Tesla in particular, we’re at the stage where the company’s survival is in question. The market has given us a good evaluation. We have great supporters and great detractors. The detractors have a point, that the last successful car company started in America 90 years ago. DeLorean and Tucker brought cars to market, but they were unable to scale up their production and reach profitability. The next six months will decide whether Tesla will be the first new [successful] car company in a century.