Science & Technology



Welcome to Musklandia: Austin adjusts to life with Tesla and its eccentric billionaire boss Elon Musk

Kara Carlson, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in Science & Technology News

Welcome to life in Musklandia.

As Elon Musk's sphere of influence in Austin and across Texas seems to expand by the day, the eccentric Texas-based billionaire is taking the region and the state along on the wild and often weird roller-coaster ride that is his life.

It's been a little more than a month since Musk announced Oct. 7 that Tesla is moving its headquarters to Austin, but even before that, Musk was already spending an increasing amount of time in Austin. He has been moving more of his companies into the region since at least 2020, most notably with Tesla's $1.1 billion manufacturing facility currently being built in southeastern Travis County.

As Austin becomes ground zero for all things Musk, that leaves the rest of us figuring out how to navigate the new landscape — good, bad and odd.

"Musk is a modern-day Albert Einstein in the eyes of many, and the richest person in the world by a wide margin. He's going to bring a lot more limelight and focus on Austin," said Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities.

Musk and Austin are likely to become inextricably linked in the coming years, Ives said.


"When the average person in the world thinks Austin, Texas, they're not going to the music festival or Dell or for the great city it is. Tesla and Elon Musk are going to become synonymous with Austin," Ives said.

Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies, said Musk's status and personality are sure to have an impact on Central Texas.

"He's the richest guy in the world, which is interesting. So what he'll do immediately is upstage (Dell Technologies founder and CEO) Michael Dell, at least on that," Kay said. "Michael has been the kind of king of Austin, I would say, all up until this point."

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