39 thoughts on “Musk Versus Bezos”

  1. Well, I agree there is that space race. With China, no. With China billionaires, maybe- but would be more daring then what Musk is doing. It would like some Russian billionaire doing something to up stage, Putin.

      1. It wouldn’t be if Bezos had a rocket capable of reaching orbit, which he doesn’t.

      1. The Wikipedia photo looks like a man bun, but its old; and the Vanity Fair image is a drawing, so who knows? Either way, he looks like he needs a man bun. (Then again, if it meant I’d get my hair back, I might wear a man bun in penance.)

    1. He’s described as a “special correspondent” for Vanity Fair. More like a “special needs correspondent” based on this monumentally clueless piece.

  2. Bezos definitely sees this as a PR thing. He didn’t buy WaPo because he liked the movie reviews. He bought it to buy influence. He’s hoping to use that influence to get attention and contracts for services he may someday be able provide. It’s basically a hobby he’s hoping will pay off someday.

    Musk likes to use PR to generate attention to create paying customers. He is trying to sell services that actually exist. Those services provide revenue the next phase of the development process. For him, it’s a real business.

    1. The WAPO is his personal Sword of Damocles.

      I keep saying Musk needs one as a counter, he needs to buy CNN.

  3. I don’t know about Bezos personally but Amazon as a company is ready to roll out — and fail — fast and frequently, just as Musk is credited in doing. For example, Amazon began in-house delivery services (competing with Postal Parcel Mail, UPS, and FedEx) with not much more of a business model than Domino’s Pizza delivery. Grubby workers in their own vehicles with a pile of boxes, a list of addresses, and a ruthless management to punish mistakes. Over time the Amazon fleet has bought and rolled out branded trucks with on-board systems to help identify to customers that a delivery is not some house-breaker — put on-board systems into the vehicles to help delivery workers get it right the first time, and linked the vehicle systems back to customer interfaces so “tracking” is very near real time — in ways even UPS can’t yet match.

    Why Bezos might NOT be failing fast in space, learning, improving, and getting better — I can’t guess.

    1. “Why Bezos might NOT be failing fast in space, learning, improving, and getting better — I can’t guess.”

      Hiring decisions. How big of a role do you think Bezos has in running Amazon? I don’t think he has done much in a decade or longer. He hired better people to run Amazon than he did BO unless his goal was to have BO operate more like a traditional government contractor, in which case, he made the right choice in who to put in charge.

      IMO, Bezos positioned his companies to capture government and not produce competitive products. Musk wants to go to Mars, so he made a company that will make that a possibility. To me, it looks like whatever Bezos wants to do in space, he wants the government to do it, so he needs to capture government to make it happen.

      1. Pretty much EVERY company Musk is involved with (Space-X, Solar City / Tesla, Boring Co, Neuralink, Hyperloop, etc) has direct application to habitation on Mars…

        In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a better agglomeration of companies than these. Perhaps a hydroponics/environmental controls co?

        Musk has a goal. Bezos has a hobby.

        1. Bezos lost all “good will” with me and a hell of a lot of conservatives when he deplatformed “Parler” just after the election. He bought the Wapo and is therefore responsible into making it a far left, libelous anti-Trump, anti-conservative fishrap. His “ex”giving over 100 million to BLM during the riots didn’t help my opinion a bit either. He’s just another tech billionaire using his money and influence to change US politics.

    2. Maybe, but as an Amazon Prime member;I’m not seeing the improvement in delivery. Things that used to arrive in 2 days now take a week. Earlier this year, I had packages so late, that Amazon decided to send me another order. Two weeks after I received the new order, I received the original order. Then they wanted the original order back, but they screwed up the return. They threatened to then charge me again for not returning the order until I presented my receipt showing I returned it to one of the facilities. I can’t say anything about delivery is better.

      And then there is the quality of products and price. I’m not even enthused by the Amazon Prime Day deals. The moment the Drive Tribe guys give up on Amazon Prime Video, then I’m out too. BTW, Clarkson’s Farm deserves an Emmy.

      1. IDK. I live in a fairly isolated part of a fairly rural area and I pretty much get all my Prime stuff in three days.

        1. Same here. In fact an order I placed yesterday for delivery Wednesday just arrived a day early.

        2. I suspect the rural aspect is a benefit in this respect. I don’t know if it is a better managed workload or the type of workforce in the area. I just have seen a major decline and it is usually when is Amazon delivering directly.

          I agree with Jiminator below. There is variety amongst the performance of UPS, FedEx and USPS. However, I’d be remiss not to note that very late delivery discussed earlier involved UPS. That whole period was weird, because the UPS tracker would send me updates saying “it is out for delivery”, while I could go to the website and see the parcel was still in transit between hubs.

          In the case of Amazon direct, it is more often that I’m at the end of the delivery line. A package I’m told will arrive by 7pm to 8pm doesn’t make it. Maybe it arrives the next day and some times days later. The remedy is to default to Prime Delivery days, which perhaps was the intent, but I suspect that it is circumstance.

          To give good credit; I do think Amazon did an amazing job with Prime Air. Although, I’m not sure how much was on them or in partnering with Atlas Air.

        3. I’ve had packages show up early and late over the last year but all either early or on time in 2021. We do have a distribution hub in town though.

      2. I am consistently finding that Amazon shipments handled by UPS and FedEx always arrive on time and the packaging is intact, while Amazon shipments handled by USPS almost always arrive at least one day late, and the packaging is beat up pretty badly. Sadly, more often than not the shipments are being handled by USPS

        1. Probably because USPS sends out packages in the morning, so if your item arrives in town later in the day, it wont go out until the next day but UPS and FedEx send out trucks all day.

  4. “Musk, always the pessimist, thinks the earth is well and truly fucked from climate change and that the only way to save us humans is to escape to another planet, preferably Mars, and get a sort-of do-over. ”

    Pretty sure Musk doesn’t think that. His last XPrize interview showed he wasn’t worried about climate change.

    ” If the flight is successful—which everyone hopes it will be—Bezos will be able to walk into the next open contract with NASA and tout just how much he believes in his rocket company, and how it’s better than Musk’s”

    Huh, what? BO has real challenges. PR doesn’t matter if BO can’t produce a product. Their prime customer, ULA, had to push back the maiden launch of their new rocket. How is the BE4 and New Glenn coming along? And they want billions to make a lunar lander?

    1. Another example of why Musk needs his own media outlet too. Idiots would be more reluctant to put words in his mouth when he can release his hounds.

        1. The point of having a media outlet is you have a weapon to use to control public opinion and punish/reward politicians.

  5. Wow. That was really really bad. A gossipy trash read for rich people?

    For a reporter who focuses(?) on technology, that article reeked of snark and of envy, and displayed shocking levels of ignorance about the history of space technology and the most important conflicts of the current conditions of space technology.

    But perhaps Bilton just knows his audience well? And if his article was accurately aimed to please the Vanity Fair audience, that speaks volumes about that audience. Self-important yet status conscious, prideful yet ignorant, spiteful yet costumed with social-justice pretenses.

  6. In a world inundated with poor journalism this is an outstanding example of poor journalism. Truly plumbs the depths of stupidity.

    1. this is an outstanding example of poor journalism.

      Those who work at Vanity Fair work hard for low wages! Just like employees at a county fair or a state fair…

      Be sure to tip the clowns….

  7. Pretty much EVERY company Musk is involved with (Space-X, Solar City / Tesla, Boring Co, Neuralink, Hyperloop, etc) has direct application to habitation on Mars…

    In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a better agglomeration of companies than these. Perhaps a hydroponics/environmental controls co?

    Musk has a goal. Bezos has a hobby.

    1. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a better agglomeration of companies than these. Perhaps a hydroponics/environmental controls co?

      Maybe if Musk bought out Johnson Controls, and opened up a new hydroponics facility near Solar Farmer City?

    2. Fully agree. I often explain this to people, who may not fully understand the space industry or mega projects. Musk vision is clear, so clear that you can see the interrelation of his various enterprises to achieve his vision.

      Bezos is a good businessman and deserves credit for creating his empire. However, Bezos vision seems to evolving to markets. His original vision for Amazon may have been revolutionary, but afterwards, it seems things are just derivatives there of. Blue Origin just seems a hobby. A hobby that I too would take up if I had his money. I say that not to disparage his workforce that doesn’t see it as just a hobby but as their own dream.

  8. So I tried to send a letter to the editors of VF to explain why Nick was wrong in his article. Tried it twice and both times the result was the same:

    “Address not found
    Your message wasn’t delivered to letters@vf.com because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail.”


  9. As someone who has been watching aviation and space from a distance all of my life, (Mercury, Apollo, STS, etc.), I have been exposed to a lot of reporting by people who do not speak the language of aviation and space. This article is no different.
    Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are both billionaires by their own successes. Billionaires. If you are 57 years old and are worth over 100 billion dollars, you made at least 1 billion dollars a year for your entire life. Or you made more than that per year over a shorter interval. That’s over 30 dollars for every second they have been alive. Again, on average. Jeff Bezos says, with current technology, the solar system can support a trillion people. We currently have about 8 billion. He wasted a lot of money to research this number if he is not serious. I believe him.
    Both Spacex and B.O. are going to open up deep space. We (and the press), have been conditioned to give up after a crash or two. Thank NASA for that.
    It will take several successes in space for the press to learn the language of space. I am still waiting for them to learn the language of air travel. But hey, it’s only been 117-and-a-half years, so I am patient.

    1. To learn the language of space, you have to actually be interested in the subject. The author of the article is only interested in his own agenda, of which the rivalry between Bezos and Musk is a part. An interest in space would have led him to the facts of what each company is really doing, not what their press releases say. That would have invalidated pretty much everything he wrote.

Comments are closed.