Ever increasing valuations of loss making businesses are nothing new. The dotcom boom in the 90s and 2000s generated incredible rewards for those who backed the futuristic thoughts of the likes of Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Many were also left with their head in their hands after backing the “next big thing”.
Elon Musk has a very clear understanding of the technical game involved with risk and reward. After founding and selling the software company Zip2 for $305m to Compaq, he also established PayPal, which was sold to eBay for $1.5bn.
Now he moves onto Tesla, a company that has paved the way for the electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. Critics believe that Tesla’s current valuation of $60bn (which is very similar to General Motors) is a figure that Elon Musk has just plucked out of the sky, as Tesla is a luxury car manufacturer that struggles to break even. Maybe Elon Musk still has his head in the clouds with his rock and space exploration venture, SpaceX.
Even compared to these incredible figures, the new exec pay targets seem to be something from another galaxy. According to the package Elon Musk will not take a standard salary home, but could earn an eye watering $55bn in stock option payments if Tesla can achieve its market valuation of $650bn in the next 10 years.
Musk is certainly asking a lot from Tesla, with a loss of $619m in the last quarter and push back in production of the new Model 3 for a second time. With huge concerns also coming from the likes of automotive giants such as VW, Ford and GM who are ready to burn some rubber on the Electric Vehicle market, which could see them pour billions into developing these new cars.
Tesla supporters believe that anyone that sees tesla as just another car manufacturer is not seeing the real picture.
If Elon Musk’s master plan works Tesla may drive him into a goldmine.