My Conversations With Bill Gates Have Been Underwhelming: Elon Musk

Elon Musk is known for speaking his mind, and he doesn’t seem to shy away even when he’s talking about his fellow billionaires.

Elon Musk has said that his conversations with Microsoft co-founder and former world’s richest man were “underwhelming.” Tesletter, and unofficial Tesla newsletter, had posted on Twitter wondering why Bill Gates had bought a Porche Taycan instead of a Tesla. “I wonder why Bill Gates decided to go with the Taycan instead of a Tesla,” the account said. “I was disappointed when Bill mentioned range anxiety. 99% of the days when you do a commute that is less than 200+ miles you don’t have to spend time charging. If takes 5 min to put gas and you do it once a week you now have 260 min (or ~1,500 miles) for Supercharging. I’m disappointed because a lot of people are going to watch the interview and they are going to trust Bill’s word for it and not even consider EVs. Why? Because Bill Gates is a really smart guy,” the account continued.

elon musk bill gates

To this, Elon Musk had a typically blunt response. “My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh,” he simply said.


Musk’s statement seemed to indicate that he doesn’t think very highly of Gates’ abilities as a visionary and a thinker. It’s an unusual stand to take for someone who’s considered one of the the most successful businessmen of all time, and also helped usher in the age of personal computing. Bill Gates didn’t only help pioneer the entire software industry, but also became enormously wealthy doing so — for more than a decade, Gates  was the wealthiest man on the planet. And since retiring from Microsoft, Gates has created the world’s largest charitable organization, and is helping fight malaria and polio in third-world countries.

All this doesn’t seem to impress Musk, who dismissed his conversations with him as “underwhelming.” Whether it was because Musk had unrealistically high expectations from Gates, or whether he really thought that Gates had nothing interesting to say, is anyone’s guess. But Gates isn’t the only business tycoon seem to think particularly highly of. Musk has previously feuded with Mark Zuckerberg over the risks of Artificial Intelligence, and had gone on to say that Zuckerberg’s understanding of the field was “limited.” Musk’s businesses, of course, operate on a whole different level — with Tesla, he aims to help fight climate change by reducing vehicular emissions, and with SpaceX, he plans to make humanity a multi-planetary species. And people who dabble in mere earthly matters — like software or social networking — doesn’t seem to particularly catch his fancy.