Why, Precisely, Is Elon Musk Promoting Flamethrowers? (or: An Investigation In Sizzling Theories)

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In simply 4 days, The Boring Firm was capable of promote 20,000 flamethrowers at $500 apiece. Past the pure revenue being made on the , this hearth sale is bound to lift the profile of Elon Musk’s tunneling agency.

It began out as a joke, or at the least one thing within the neighborhood of a joke, however shortly was one more scheme to make a really wealthy individual even richer. The Boring Firm, Elon Musk’s enterprise enterprise (ostensibly) created to dig tunnels for future modes of transportation, now sells flamethrowers.

Sure: Flamethrowers. Simply weapons so damaging that the one army to ever drop a nuclear bomb on one other nation voluntarily banned itself from utilizing them in 1978.

Lots of people are asking, fairly moderately: Why’s Elon Musk hawking flamethrowers anyway? Doesn’t he have something higher to do?

A number of theories:

  • To make some huge cash shortly, or at the least present that he can. Within the span of 4 days, pre-orders of the $500 flamethrower have been utterly bought out. That’s $10 million proper off the bat. Most of that can go proper into the corporate’s pocket — the devices most likely don’t price a lot to make (they’re “fairly actually roof torches strapped to Airsoft rifles,” in line with The Verge) and the one advertising to talk of was just a few Tweets and Instagram posts. And when you suspect that you just won’t be the most secure flamethrower person on the market, The Boring Firm sells fireplace extinguishers individually, after all. A lot of the skepticism round Musk is that Tesla is an organization with a whole lot of concepts and never practically sufficient product to indicate for it. With the flamethrower, Musk is demonstrating to the world that he can promote one thing barely seen, that no one within the public has ever really used, and do it in fashion. Loudly.
  • As a result of he can. Musk has spent years increase his popularity as a madman-cum-genius, taking up audacious tasks others have tried and failed, from self-driving electrical automobiles to sending people to Mars. And he is aware of how you can get some good press, just like the time he used Tesla batteries to revive energy to hospitals in hurricane-struck Puerto Rico. Whereas the flamethrower undertaking isn’t fairly so altruistic, Musk once more reveals he is aware of how you can get folks going.
  • To arrange for the zombie apocalypse. Or some type of doomsday. “When the zombie apocalypse occurs, you’ll be glad you got a flamethrower,” Musk tweeted shortly earlier than The Boring Firm opened up pre-orders. That’s one in every of a number of feedback he’s made concerning the merchandise’s capability to destroy zombies. Even when your bunker isn’t precisely prepared for the rebellion of the flesh-eating undead, you’ll be able to admit that Musk is tapping into a way of want achievement (or paranoia) for these of us raised on movies like Aliens and The Factor. A few of us have whiled away our free moments fantasizing about how cool it might be to personal a flamethrower of our personal. In his replies to the sooner tweet, Musk responded to recommendations that The Boring Firm may also provide a jetpack or a portal gun. No phrase but on whether or not these kind-of jokes may also flip into actual merchandise (or actual gross sales pitches for products-to-maybe-be).
  • Musk isn’t like your traditional billionaire — he’s FUN. You understand how you recognize Elon Musk is enjoyable? He informed you so. On Twitter, Musk warned potential prospects to not purchase the product except they “like enjoyable” (seems, not everybody does). By emphasizing FUN, Musk is making an attempt to distance himself from different risk-taking entrepreneur-geniuses — it’s troublesome to think about Jeff Bezos posting an Instagram video of himself wielding a flamethrower, for instance. It’s price noting, nevertheless, that when Musk does one thing “enjoyable,” he finally ends up tens of thousands and thousands of richer in consequence.

Which, let’s be actual, most likely makes it fairly enjoyable to be Elon Musk.

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