Why is Elon Musk Called Iron Man?

Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, two of the most successful and influential companies on earth. Because of these companies’ technological progress under his leadership, Elon Musk sometimes is called the real-life Iron Man.

However, there’s some confusion that the Iron Man movie is inspired by Elon Musk, which isn’t true. The Iron Man movie is inspired by the Stan Lee comics, which were first published in 1963, and Elon Musk was born in 1971. Therefore, the claim that Elon inspired the Iron Man movie is inaccurate.

In 1963 Stan Lee made Iron Man based on Howard Hughes. Howard Hughes was an engineer, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and one of the most influential people of that time. He was also controversial for eccentric behavior. 

In 1932, he established the Hughes Aircraft Company and made numerous airplanes that set multiple records. During the 1960s and 1970s period, he entered the real estate business in Las Vegas and transformed it into a modern metropolis.

Throughout his lifetime, Howard Hughes was a controversial and influential figure in Hollywood, Media, and the business world. 

In an interview, Stan Lee said, “Howard Hughes was one of the most colorful men of our time. He was an inventor, an adventurer, a ladies’ man and finally a nutcase. Without being crazy.”

Stan Lee continued, “Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it.”

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The screenwriters for Marvel’s Iron Man wanted to write a movie based on comics, but they wanted to give a modern touch to it. Thus, they replaced Howard Hughes with Elon Musk during the writing process. 

They even used SpaceX facilities to film a portion of the movie. The Hammer Industries that we see in the Iron Man movie was actually filmed in SpaceX headquarters. Moreover, a Tesla roadster is shown in the background in several scenes.

Even though Elon Musk didn’t inspire the real Iron Man movie, the leading actor — Robert Downey Jr. — visited SpaceX and met him for inspiration. Elon also appeared as a cameo in Iron Man 2 movie. 

Elon Musk is frequently compared to the comic character Iron Man because Elon tries to achieve technological things that many experts believe are impossible.

When Elon Musk started the SpaceX company, his primary goal was to make a reusable rocket to lower launch costs. No other company has done it before. It was a laughable idea for many industry experts that a newly established company with no prior space experience would build a reusable rocket. However, Elon Musk proved that reusable rockets are possible.

Still today, except for SpaceX, no other company has a reusable rocket. Except for Blue Origin, no other company is even experimenting with a reusable space vehicle.

Elon Musk’s other company Tesla is also pushing the boundary of engineering with its car. The motor, battery, electronics, and software are far more advanced than the competitors. 

Iron Man pushes the boundary of physics and engineering and achieves success. When no one could think of something, Iron Man builds the product. Similarly, Elon Musk and his companies are pushing the boundaries of physics. They are making products that no other company even thought to make. Because of this achievement, Elon Musk is compared to modern-day, real-life Iron Man.

Related: How to become like Elon Musk?

Elon Musk Is An Inspiration:

Elon Musk is not only famous but also controversial. However, most of his controversies arise from his political views. No human is perfect. Most founders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs keep their political opinions private and don’t express any political bias openly. However, Elon is different.

Even though he is controversial for his political views, his achievement with Tesla and SpaceX is undeniable. 

SpaceX has a long list of achievements that many established companies failed to accomplish. Starlink, Starship, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Crew Dragon, and Cargo Dragon are the products that SpaceX made in two decades. On top of that, all the rockets that SpaceX launches are reusable.

Tesla and SpaceX are the two most coveted companies new engineers want to work for. 

Elon Musk creates excellent products, and all of his products are successful and profitable. From Zip2 to Tesla, he has no failure.

Related: Can SpaceX Claim Mars?

Some companies make excellent products but are not profitable, or the products are not marketable. For example, Boston Dynamics makes impressive robots. But these robots are not consumer-friendly, and their use case is very limited. It’s why Boston Dynamics as a company is not profitable, and the ownership has changed several times.

Similarly, the self-driving car Waymo is an excellent demonstration. However, they have been working on their product for the last decade and have shown minimal progress. In contrast, in the previous five years, Tesla has shown more progress with its FSD (Full Self Driving) software.

Therefore, for new entrepreneurs who want success, Elon Musk is their inspiration. He follows some basic rules, and he repeatedly says to follow them if anyone wants to succeed. These are:

  • If something is important, do it. Even if the odds of success are against you.
  • Always apply the first principle thinking approach to problem-solving. 
  • If someone works 40 hours, you should work 80 hours. With hard work, you can overcome others.
  • Never give up. Keep doing or die trying.

Why Elon Musk is Rude to Its Employees:

Many former Tesla and SpaceX employees say that the working condition at Tesla and SpaceX is grueling. Elon is a genius. He wants his employees to work as hard as he does. It’s why Tesla and SpaceX hire slow but fire fast. 

If employees fail to please Elon with their work, he fires them, sometimes on the spot. This attitude is good for companies but creates employee dissatisfaction. It’s why many think that Elon Musk is rude to his employees.

Related: Why is Elon Musk Intelligent?