The image being drawn is of a man on the edge of a digital nervous breakdown, and the theory is that the once unstoppable Mr. Musk is now untethered and unhinged. So let me answer that question: Is he crazy?
No, he’s not. Not, at least, in my various encounters with him over nearly two decades — including recently — in which he has been alternately funny, rude, compelling, obnoxious, accessible, easy to deal with, hard to deal with, always on, outspoken to a fault even when he might be at fault, angry, charming, intense and also strikingly confident. Which is a long way of saying deeply human, with all the positive and negative characteristics that suggests...
...This week I have talked to a lot of people who know Mr. Musk, including those who adore him and those who have had it with his brusque intensity. And what I found among his current and former colleagues is that they really have the exact same story about an impulsive and driven boss who runs a very hot and messy kitchen and does not spend a lot of time apologizing for it. Some grew weary of this and left, while others thrive under the withering lights. Still others left and then came back, drawn in by the glow.It's this phrase of "a very hot and messy kitchen" that I find most compelling in her column. I've worked for such people as these, and the thrall of being able to do big things can be really exciting, even as one does grow weary of both the heat and the messiness. You think to yourself, "Does the crazy train really need to be this crazy?"
(There often seem to be a lot of PIs whose labs seem to run 'hot and messy' - I wonder how their cooler and neater colleagues see them?)