How Elon Musk replied to Bengaluru man who tweeted he’s ‘not the founder of Tesla’

According to Moneycontrol, Elon Musk is keen to set the record straight on who actually founded Tesla. Musk has responded to a Bengaluru-based man who yesterday tweeted that “Elon Musk was not the founder of Tesla. He acquired it.”

“Elon Musk was not the founder of Tesla. He acquired it,” tweeted Vaibhav Sisinty, founder and CEO of GrowthSchool.

In response, Elon Musk wrote: “Not even close to that. It was a shell corp with no employees, no IP, no designs, no prototype, literally nothing but a (business) plan to commercialize AC Propulsion’s T-Zero car, which was introduced to me by JB Straubel, not Eberhard. Even the name ‘Tesla Motors’ was owned by others!”

According to Teslarati, Musk had made the same points during a TED appearance earlier this month.

Tesla was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning as Tesla Motors. Elon Musk coming and JB Straubel joined the company months later.

During his TED 2022 appearance, Musk said he regretted not starting Tesla with JB Straubel. He “stated that he didn’t invest in a company. He, Straubel, and the other individuals listed as Tesla’s founders created a company.”

In a follow-up tweet to his response to Sisinty yesterday, the world’s richest man implied that if one followed the logic of Eberhard and Tarpenning being Tesla founders, then he’d be the only “founder” of PayPal.

“If filing a shell corp constitutes “founding a company”, then I’d be the only founder of PayPal, since I filed the original incorporation docs for http://X.com (later renamed PayPal), but that’s not what founding means,” he wrote.

He concluded with a dig at Eberhard: “When Eberhard was fired unanimously by the board in July 2007 (for damn good reasons), no one left with him. That says it all.”

Vaibhav Sisinty, meanwhile, was also keen to set the record straight on how his tweet on Musk was perceived. He said his tweet on Musk not being the founder of Tesla was prompted by his belief that the tech billionaire could tap into Twitter’s true potential if he acquired it.

“I believe that Elon can actually “tap into twitter’s true potential” if he acquires it. Hence the tweet!” he wrote.

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