TIL Tesla wasn’t founded by Elon. It was around for 5 years before he became CEO.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-tesla/

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  1. > Ian Wright was the third employee, joining a few months later.[1] The three went looking for venture capital (VC) funding in January 2004[1] and connected with Elon Musk, who contributed US$6.5 million of the initial (Series A) US$7.5 million[8] round of investment in February 2004 and became chairman of the board of directors.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Tesla,_Inc.

    (Later)

    > Tesla Motors and co-founder Martin Eberhard announced an agreement over who can claim to be a founder of the company on Monday.

    > Eberhard filed suit against the luxury electric vehicle maker in June, alleging that current CEO Elon Musk sought to “rewrite history” about Eberhard’s role after Eberhard was ousted from the CEO position. Eberhard was seeking damages because comments from Tesla executives had harmed his reputation.

    > On Monday, a Tesla representative said that Eberhard and other principals in the dispute have come to an agreement. The company did not reveal any details of the resolution, except to say that there are now five, rather than two, agreed-upon “founders” of Tesla.

    > In addition to Eberhard, other founders include current CEO and chief product architect Elon Musk, current chief technology JB Straubel, Marc Tarpenning, and Ian Wright.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/tesla-motors-founders-now-there-are-five/

  2. elon musk is legally allowed to call himself a founder because of a 2009 suit involving him and the founding team that was there from the beginning.

    the “founders” are:

    martin eberhard: 2003, since incorporation

    marc tarpenning: 2003, since incorporation

    ian wright: 2003, joined the company a few months after incorporation

    elon musk: 2004, provided series A funding and was the principal investor (provided $6.5m out of $7.5m series A round)

    j.b. straubel: 2004, was tesla’s first CTO

    all 5 are legally allowed to call themselves founders. so next time someone asks who founded tesla, you can now rattle off each of these names.

  3. Elon Musk doesn’t actually create anything. He invests and drums up support. And he is very good at picking smart investments and attracting support for worthwhile projects. But he’s hardly an innovator or visionary.

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