You are not better than Elon Musk.

It may be hard to come to terms with..

This guy is a rockstar.  Let’s run down his accomplishment, just real quick.

  • Becomes overnight millionaire in sale of Zip2 Cloud Platform to Compaq (early 20′s).
  • Founds Paypal in 2000, Sells to Ebay 2002, personally earns 11% of $1.5 Billion exchange for equity.
  • Founds Space X 2002, grinds it out absorbing engineers, wins NASA contract in 2008, re-stocks ISS (2012)
  • Founds Tesla Motors 2003, partners with two major auto makers, delivers on a reliable electric car.
  • Guides founding of Solar City 2006, sits on board.

Typically rating people based on how much they make is a bad way to estimate their worth, but you may see a correlation with this list.

Smart people paid Elon, in truck loads of money, for overcoming technical hurdles they could not otherwise overcome for a lesser price.

That means ebay’s board and shareholders, bean counters and lawyers laid out a case for making a competing paypal.  They estimated it would cost more than $1.5 Billion dollars.

NASA considered the cost of getting equipment to the space station, they realized Elon could break major technical cost hurdles, and deliver goods at a better rate.  He’s now successfully done both.

It’s safe to say, if Elon Musk is sizing up a technical challenge, he knows how to do it better, and cheaper than some of the smartest and largest firms on earth.  That is what a good entrepreneur / inventor does, thats why they make that kind of money.

So how does this circle back to vaping? 

Tesla Motors, in their endeavor to out engineer GM’s EV1 benchmark, and stay cost efficient had to attack the biggest problem in any portable power device (car included), fuel storage and transportation.  Gasoline is fantastic at this, as relatively little, can actually produce quite a bit of KW power out.  Large scale battery packs for the most part sucked, and leaked (prius), so this was a major hurdle in Tesla’s goal to “affordable electric vehicle”.

What they came upon has been benefiting the large majority of you, while also alienating some others of you, especially with trending for 2014.

Tesla discovered the 18650 cell.  This mass produced, widely available, fairly standard size cell had been made for laptops for years, and when combined into a large enclosure impregnated with a flame retardant chemical, made for a low cost, easy to produce battery cell.

There is only a few electronic component companies with the R/D budgets to push these cells, and they took notice immediately.  As word got out that tesla would be buying 7000 cells for each vehicle, LG, Sony, Samsung and Panasonic all simultaneously dropped R/D for the 26650 packages, and started developing out 18650 packaged technology.

You dear vaper, have benefited greatly from this.

You, dear vaper, are not the center of the battery universe.  You are still a speck.  We’ve put together buys for 7,000 18650 cells. It took us a month to get the buyers, another month to get the inventory, hazmat cargo transport, customs documents, freight pickup, and large customs bill.  Elon musk does this, times 6, every day.

So Tesla picked a partner, Panasonic, not the first choice in vaping, and where the future of the 18650 goes, no one is for sure.

Gearing up to produce more vehicles, Elon saw that his ONLY bottle neck was enough 18650′s, putting out enough energy, at a high enough quality. Panasonic’s factories would not be enough.

To follow through with this, he has partnered with Panasonic to build his own factories. Not one, but three. These are not small R/D sheds your big time vape company is renting out. (Warning PDF ahead)

So just take this in for a moment. The man who could out develop compaq. Could out finance Ebay, and out fly NASA, has to partner with a major electronic manufacture, and sink billions into factories, just to get a quality 18650 cell.

Let that fucking sink in.

That off brand, rewrapped, or newest hottest 18650 cell, not from a major electronic manufacture is quite frankly, my dear vaper, Bullshit.

You may have large ambitions, an Engineering degree, a sense of taste for what is cool, or a slick market package but,

You are not better than Elon Musk.