穆斯克与钢铁侠

2014年,埃隆·穆斯克被《财富》杂志将评为年度商人。如今一年过去了,虽然《财富》虽然把新一年的年度商人头衔给了谷歌公司的首席执行官拉里·佩奇,但毫无疑问,穆斯克仍然是最受关注的企业家之一(他今年仍然上榜了)。

去年,穆斯克的电动汽车生产商特斯拉公司取得了重大进展。公司决定,在内华达州投资建设巨型锂电池工厂。工厂建设费用高达50亿美元,预计在2016年投产,届时将年产量将锂电组50万件,相当于目前全球的总产量。凭借庞大规模、先进的技术和超高的效率,特斯拉有望将汽车的电池成本削减30%以上。这将有助于公司推出面向大众汽车的电动汽车。(公司目前的产品主打高端市场,单车售价7万美元,公司计划在2017年推出面向大众市场的Model S汽车,价格将在3.5万美元左右。)

航天方面,太空探索技术公司(SpaceX)也有引人关注的动作。今年1月10日,公司发猎鹰9号火箭发射升高。此次发射有两个任务:第一个是将龙飞船送入太空,为国际空间站运送补给,公司以前就承担过这个任务,对它来说难度不大;第二个任务具有里程碑的意义——回收猎鹰 9号,让它平稳降落在海上平台。这是公司的首次回收尝试,但结果功亏一篑,火箭虽然准确降落在海上平台,但发生了故障,没有控制好速度,砸在了平台上并发生爆炸。

这些年,穆斯克一直外媒的宠儿,各方对他赞誉有加。他成功 ,所有人都会赞美他,没成功,所有人也不说他失败,而是寄予更大希望。这种赞誉辐射到中国,同样引起了更为强烈的反响。很多国人视他为大神,经常说他就是电影《钢铁侠》的主人公司托尼·斯塔克的原型。但这种说法令人疑惑,以旁人的眼光看,两人看上去并不相像。

首先,斯塔克创造的是一种包裹全身的高科技盔甲,属于可穿戴设备,而穆斯克的企业生产的产品与之并不相干,无论是当前的汽车还是火箭,或是未来可能的高速运输系统或卫星互联网服务。

其次,钢铁侠最初是个漫画人物,诞生于1963年,而穆斯克出生在1971年,显然,不可能是漫画人物的原型。据漫画的原作者介绍,钢铁侠是以早年的美国亿万富翁、花花公子霍华德·休斯为原型的。

最后,也是最需要探讨的问题:穆斯克是不是真人版电影《钢铁侠》的原型呢?既然电影是根据漫画改编的,那主人公的原型也只能是霍华德·休斯,不应该是穆斯克。但电影《钢铁侠》的第二集有部分情节是在SpaceX的设施里拍的,穆斯克本人也曾出镜,和斯塔克有过简短的对话。那么,穆斯克是否对钢铁侠产生过什么影响呢?

也许电影的男一号、饰演斯塔克的小罗伯特·唐尼最有资格回答这个问题。在被问答与穆斯克的关系时,唐尼先花了很长时间谈论一位搞人机界面的科学家,说他从这位科学家那里了解到了操控机器的语言和动作。然后,他提到了穆斯克,认为穆斯克对他的影响主要是精神上的。唐尼显然很会说话,他是在委婉地表示,穆斯克对他的表演影响不大。这样看来,穆斯克出现在《钢铁侠》的续集里,不过是一种宣传。他和斯塔克的经历迥然不同,不可能是钢铁侠的原型。

但如果非说他们二人有共同之处不可,当然也可以。他们最大的共同点就是:拯救。斯塔克制造高科技战甲,是为了提升自己的战斗力,消灭那些危害人类的恶棍。相比之下,穆斯克没有这样简单粗暴,但他解决的问题更为深刻:他的特斯拉汽车,要让人类摆脱对石油的依赖;他的火箭要带领人类向外星球殖民;他还提出超高速的运输系统Hyperloop,据说完爆中国的高铁;此外,他准备利用卫星提供互联网服务,如果实现,那么地球上的人类可以随时随自由上网,什么防火墙也挡不住。

钢铁侠在漫画和电影里拯救世界,让我们期待穆斯克在现实世界为人类开创一个全新的未来吧。

 

 


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