But at his core, Musk is not a businessman or entrepreneur.He's an engineer, inventor and, as he puts it, "technologist." And as a naturally gifted engineer, he's able to find the design inefficiencies, flaws and complete oversights in the tools that power our civilization."He's able to see things more clearly in a way that no one else I know of can understand," says his brother, Kimbal.
If we don't send our civilization into another Dark Ages before Musk or one of his dream's inheritors pull it off, then Musk will likely be remembered as one of the most seminal figures of this millennium.Over the course of nine months of reporting, watching Musk do everything from strategize Mars landings with his rocket-engineering team to plan the next breakthroughs with his artificial-intelligence experts, I learned he is someone far, far different from what his myth and reputation suggest.The New York Times has called him "arguably the most successful and important entrepreneur in the world." It's an easy case to make: He's probably the only person who has started four billion-dollar companies – Pay Pal, Tesla, Space X and Solar City.It's a really big incentive to lie and attack my integrity. It's..."He trails off, as he often does when preoccupied by a thought. ""It's..." He shakes his head and struggles for the right word, then says softly, "Hurtful."It is easy to confuse who someone is with what they do, and thus turn them into a caricature who fits neatly into a storybook view of the world.Our culture always needs villains and heroes, fools and geniuses, scapegoats and role models.