His projects were so reliant on public money for survival that in the days before he discovered the necessity of voting Republican to provide “balance” to American politics, conservatives derided the degree of state support for his ventures.
Trussonomics trashed within eight weeks. Donald Trump’s anointed candidates cut down in the US midterms. Sam Bankman-Fried, the poster boy of the crypto world, collapsing into bankruptcy. Elon Musk throwing Twitter into turmoil. The bursting of myths and the shredding of reputations seem to be the themes of the day.
Each of these cases is, of course, distinct and the root causes of each disaster different. There is a danger, too, in discussing these developments, of seeming to revel in failure. Too much of the debate about Musk and Twitter, especially, has mixed despair with schadenfreude. Yet, viewed collectively, these cases also tell us something deeper about our age and in particular about the ways in which we think about innovation and change.
Since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, Musk has emerged as the leading virtuoso of technological innovation. “His brilliance, his vision and the breadth of his ambition make him the one-man embodiment of the future,” fawned Fortune mwagazine in 2014….