In my book Openness to Creative Destruction, I describe and praise those who I call “project entrepreneurs.” These are innovative entrepreneurs, like Walt Disney and Cyrus Field, who are motivated primarily by a desire to bring their project into the world, rather than a desire for conspicuous personal consumption. I have been unsure whether to count Elon Musk as a project entrepreneur. The evidence quoted below suggests the answer is “no.”
(p. M1) Over the last seven years, Mr. Musk and limited-liability companies tied to him have amassed a cluster of six houses on two streets in the “lower” and “mid” areas of the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, a celebrity-filled, leafy enclave near the Hotel Bel-Air.
Those buys—plus a grand, 100-year-old estate in Northern California near the headquarters of Tesla, the electric car concern he heads—means Mr. Musk or LLCs with ties to him have spent around $100 million on seven properties.
For the full story, see:
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Dec. 5, 2019, and has the title “Elon Musk Buys Out the Neighbors.”)
My book, mentioned at the top, is:
Diamond, Arthur M., Jr. Openness to Creative Destruction: Sustaining Innovative Dynamism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.