Elon Musk Thought Tesla (TSLA) Would Most Likely Fail

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors (TSLA) and Space Exploration Technologies [SpaceX], was on “60 Minutes” tonight, talking about his two radically inventive companies.

In the segment, when asked by CBS’ Scott Pelley how he could start two impossible businesses — SpaceX, a builder of advanced rocket ships and Tesla which could be the most important car of the 21-st century and the first successful car company startup in America in 90 years — Musk said he expected Tesla to fail:

Scott Pelley: How did you figure you were going to start a car company and be successful at it?

Elon Musk: Well, I didn’t really think Tesla would be successful. I thought we would most likely fail. But I thought that we at least could address the false perception that people have that an electric car had to be ugly and slow and boring like a golf cart.

Scott Pelley: But you say you didn’t expect the company to be successful? Then why try?

Elon Musk: If something’s important enough you should try. Even if you — the probable outcome is failure.”

Full Musk segment:

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