An anecdote about Elon Musk and Tesla's big-rig reveals why people are obsessed with his company

An anecdote about Elon Musk and Tesla's big-rig reveals why people are obsessed with his company

Elon Musk

Ben Macmahon/AAP Image

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • In a big Rolling Stone profile, Musk talks about why Tesla products must be beautiful.
  • Tesla will reveal an electric big-rig this week in Los Angeles.
  • Tesla is following Apple's model here.

Neil Strauss has a great big chewy profile of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at Rolling Stone. It's full of all the stuff that has traditionally made Rolling Stone profiles of actors and rock stars worth the price of admission, including Musk weeping, drinking whiskey, and asking Strauss, author of a book about the subculture of pickup artists, for dating tips.

But it also contains thoughts on beauty - particularly Musk's belief that the things Tesla makes have to look good.

"[I]f you're going to make a product, make it beautiful," Musk told Strauss, while checking out the big-rig semi-truck that Tesla will reveal this Thursday in Los Angeles. "Even if it doesn't affect sales, I want it to be beautiful."

No one has ever really tried to make a big-rig beautiful. Massive, yet. Slightly scary, sure. Imposing, definitely.


So Tesla will be - yet again - trying something new with the big-rig.

However, the embrace of beauty is nothing new for the company or Musk. Tesla's vehicle are all pretty stunning, which is an impressive feat given that Tesla isn't currently selling exotic supercars. Rather, its lineup consists of a luxury sedan and SUV and a mid-market four-door.

With the Model 3 especially, Tesla has a car that doesn't need to be beautiful but still is. So much so that once it starts to show up on the road in greater numbers, I think everyone is going to want it.

There's really only one other company that's as obsessed with aesthetics as Tesla. Yep, Apple. Steve Jobs' embrace of making things look cool has certainly paid off.

Musk and Tesla are following that lead.

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.