Jeff Bezos’s Sneaky Plan To Destroy Tesla
The world’s two richest men have been at each other necks for over 15 years now. A feud that has been both in and out of this world, quite literally too, starting with Blue Origin vs SpaceX and now with Bezos coming for Tesla. What’s Bezos’s sneaky plan and why does he want to destroy Tesla?
Join us as we explore Bezos’ sneaky plan to destroy Tesla.
Back in the early 2000s, Jeff Bezos wasn’t yet the mogul he is today. Bezos had launched Amazon five years prior, and the company had gone public in 1997. But Amazon wasn’t yet the powerhouse it would become — it was years before the company would launch Prime, start its streaming service, or create its cloud infrastructure service, Amazon Web Services.
But Bezos had always been interested in space. He told the Miami Herald in 1982, after he graduated high school as valedictorian, that he wanted to create outer space colonies for millions of people. As a result of that long-held interest in leaving Earth, Bezos launched Blue Origin in 2000, a new startup focused on human spaceflight.
Musk on the other hand was already a millionaire several times over, but he had become neither the CEO of Tesla nor started SpaceX just yet.
By 2004, both Blue Origin and SpaceX were still in their infancy — neither company had completed any launches yet. But that didn’t stop a rivalry from heating up: When the two met to discuss their respective reusable rocket ambitions it apparently did not go well.
“I actually did my best to give good advice, which he largely ignored,” Musk said after the meeting, according to Christian Davenport’s book, “The Space Barons.”
Earlier last year, Trung Phan, a writer for the business newsletter The Hustle, tweeted a photo of Musk and Bezos smiling and sitting in a restaurant. Phan said the photo was from 2004, meaning it may have been taken at that fateful dinner. To which Musk responded, tweeting, “Wow, hard to believe that was 17 years ago!”
But in recent years, Musk and Bezos have been more public about their feud, taking their rivalry to Twitter. Both execs have seized on opportunities to take shots at each other, most often sniping at each other over reusable rockets. After Blue Origin successfully landed its New Shepard rocket in 2015, Bezos tweeted a video calling it “the rarest of beasts — a used rocket.”
Musk responded, saying SpaceX had performed the feat three years prior. When SpaceX landed its Falcon 9 spacecraft, Bezos took the opportunity to needle Musk on Twitter.
One of Bezos’ shots at Musk involves giving Amazon access to the technology the future rivals of Tesla are working on.
Sometime in 2020, Musk called for the breaking up of Amazon. Tesla’s CEO argued that the online retail giant had become monopolistic, if not a full-blown monopoly. His comments came after Amazon blocked (before later rescinding the decision) the publication of an e-book on its platform.
In a tweet directed at Bezos, Musk wrote: “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”
Although the issue that motivated the tweet was not on Musk’s turf (e-book publishing), Amazon’s tentacles are reaching areas that are now too close for Tesla’s comfort.
In an attempt at taking a shot at Tesla, Amazon launched a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, which will invest in startups and established firms, “creating products, services, and technologies to protect the planet.”
Some of the industries the fund will be investing in are clearly in the same domain as Tesla’s business. Specifically, the Climate Pledge Fund says it will invest in “transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage, and utilization…”
But as we all know, Tesla is not just a maker of battery-electric vehicles but also manufactures solar panels and power backup solutions. It also offers solar energy installation services. The Climate Pledge Fund may indeed be good for the planet, but it’s even better for Amazon.
With the climate fund, Amazon is on a mission to help the world and itself. The online retail giant has committed to running on 100% renewable energy by 2025.
With that in mind, there is nothing to stop Amazon from acquiring some of the startups or companies it funds for its benefit. History shows nothing is preventing Amazon from growing its corporate empire through strategic acquisitions.
As of January 2021, Amazon had acquired 86 organizations in its 26 years of existence. That’s nearly four acquisitions every year. That pace is likely to accelerate the bigger Amazon grows, and the more resources it accumulates.