With its surprisingly strong production numbers, Tesla (Tesla News, Stock Quote, Chart NASDAQ:TSLA) critics may have been silenced for the time being, but the company and its mercurial CEO Elon Musk might need a few more solid quarters before the tides turn and Tesla’s share price climbs back to its previous highs.
Yet to focus on such details as units sold or Musk’s infamous tweets is to miss the point, says venture capitalist Bruce Croxon, who claims that as far as trailblazing entrepreneurs go, Elon Musk is the greatest of all time.
“I think he’s the GOAT when it comes to entrepreneurs. He’s pushing the envelope,” says Croxon, co-founder of Round 13 Capital, to BNN Bloomberg on Thursday. “I’m coming with a biased view on Elon, I think the guy does no wrong, he walks on water.”
“He’s had a couple of missteps, he loses track of things at the board, he smokes a joint on air and the market gets all upset, but by and large, he has created multi-billions of dollars worth of value and he’s been first out of the gate on what is going to be something that we take for granted in the future, which is that everyone is going to be driving electric,” he says.
“And just when the skeptics start to pile on the most he pulls a rabbit out of the hat and delivers,” says Croxon.
Tesla’s share price jumped almost five per cent on Wednesday in response to the company’s production numbers which included a 51-per-cent increase in cars delivered over the three months ending June 30. At 95,200 vehicle, Tesla’s quarter beat analysts’ forecast of 91,000 and amounted to the best quarter ever for the company.
The results were a shot in the arm for a company that seemed to be losing investor confidence, not only in Musk’s ability to stay out of trouble but in the long-term likelihood that Tesla could become profitable.
Croxon argues that a shift in focus to selling the more affordable Model 3 has caused a drop in profit margin and that the push will now be to chase the breakeven point. Ultimately, though, Croxon says Musk should be judged less on the ultimate success or failure of Tesla but on his worth as a innovator and trendsetter.
“There’s going to be all kinds of rollercoasters and hiccups — he’s blazing new ground and sometimes it doesn’t pay to be first,” says Croxon. “Everybody else is going to come in behind and hopefully not make the same mistakes that he did. But somebody’s got to go first and this guy is it.”