To me, his most impressive skill is his ability to truly Go Long, like Jeff Bezos and other masters here. 99% of entrepreneurs don’t really go this long, not really.
He has a 20+ year master plan, the second chunk of which he’s just published here: Master Plan, Part Deux
Everything he has done at Tesla-SpaceX-SolarCity etc. is way too hard if viewed in the short term. Electric cars did not make sense in the short or medium term. Solar overall, even just leasing solar, did and does not make sense if you believed anyone’s predictions on the cost model. And we didn’t really need another hyper capital-intensive rocket company.
And putting your entire fortune from PayPal into funding it all? Certainly doesn’t make sense.
But going to and living on Mars, and electrifying the world and removing dependency on fossil fuels on the way … that’s Going Long.