Contrast that with the fact that Musk's current situation may be a little similar to Jia's. What's similar? It's that a lot of people are questioning the state of the company and bearish institutions have been trying to short Tesla.
Tesla was built in 2003 and after all these years, it has only ever been profitable in the first quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2016, the rest of the time it has been in the red and is now expected to lose around $1 billion per quarter, burning through money at a rate that dazzles everyone.
The electric car maker has been burning through money at a rate of about $8,000 per minute (or $480,000 per hour) over the past 12 months, data aggregated by Bloomberg shows. Also in the third quarter, Tesla consumed $1.42 billion, $260 million more than in the second quarter, the equivalent of burning $16 million a day.
Bob Lutz, a former VP of GM, also recently went on record saying that a business that always burns money like this won't last, and estimates that Tesla may just about go out of business in 2019.
Musk said the company previously fired 700 employees after evaluating its third-quarter results, and this is the first time Tesla has officially acknowledged publicly the number of layoffs. The layoffs have caused a series of ripple effects, with workers at Tesla's Fremont, California, plant getting union support and holding protest rallies.
Yet such record-breaking money has failed to bring the long-awaited mass production to the market. Tesla delivered just 222 Model 3s in the third quarter, well below its initial promise, and as many as 40,000 customers paid a $1,000 deposit. Musk had projected that Tesla could produce 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of this year. But the company pushed that target back to March 2018 in a letter sent to investors this week.
Musk has been an internet sensation for two months now, debating with Zuckerberg in a paranoid attempt to prove the threat of artificial intelligence, while busy with his Mars migration project to send humans to Mars within a decade. And this series of events certainly feels like a pot of cold water on Musk's head.