SolarCity and Tesla.


Elon Musk is a fascinating character. His bets on the future with investments in battery operated cars, solar energy and space are legendary. Where the “rust belt” businesses at? Nowhere in this portfolio.

There’s a news report that Mr. Musk might be trying to collapse Tesla and SolarCity into one company. That’s a little rust belt thinking if you ask me.  It’s corporate governance at its worst. A lawyer-focused, tax-focused parry that will, likely, diminish both businesses.

The thing about Tesla, as my friend Mike Welch points out, is that the battery charger goes into the wall and the wall is often tethered to nonrenewable energy fed power plants. SolarCity is a smart bet, albeit losing money today. Tesla is a good near term bet but more apt to innovate away from nonrenewable energy if left by itself. Too much could go wrong with a bifurcated business plan.

In 30 years, if both companies are still alive, SpaceX may be a potential partner. (Mr. Musk’s space exploration company.)  For now, it is good business to keep the companies separate.

Stop crossing the DNA.  Peace.