Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO and SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) Chairman Elon Musk has received plenty of compliments, including several comparisons with Tony Stark of the Iron Man film franchise and a comparison with Henry Ford. The most recent compliment comes from his cousin, Lyndon Rive, who is CEO of SolarCity.
Musk is like Neo
The Washington Post reports that Rive made the comments on Friday at Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead: 2015 conference. Apparently Rive has often drawn comparisons between his cousin Elon Musk and Neo, the main character of The Matrix.
In the dystopian film, the reality most people are aware of is actually simulated by machines to keep the human race in check and use their bodies as a source of energy. Neo is a computer programmer who figures this out and ends up becoming an important part of the rebellion against the machine. The rebels unplug him from the machine, and he learns what reality is really like.
The rebels watch what happens in the real world through a series of falling numbers, and Rive said Musk “sees these zeroes and ones” that he has a different way of looking at the world.
Why Rive thinks Musk is like Neo
“He has this rare gift where he’s super intelligent when it comes to engineering and to learning complexity and challenges but he also understands business and consumer need,” Rive said. “And that’s very rare.”
He added that usually people tend to be at one extreme or the other, ranging from a “crazy scientist who doesn’t understand business” to a business person who doesn’t understand consumer need and how important customer service is.
However, he said Musk has it all and that he thinks he will colonize Mars in the current generation. Musk is also CEO of commercial space company SpaceX. Rive also said that Musk is “working to make humanity a better place” and that he works 90 hours per week—a huge personal sacrifice. In addition, he said Musk is willing to sacrifice all of his time “because he’s so smart that no one else can do it.”
“So he has to do it,” added Rive.