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Elon Musk selling $4 million of flamethrowers fits a pattern of eccentricity

Elon Musk’s latest product is the next in a long line of PR stunts for companies like Tesla, The Boring Company and more.
Elon musk's $500 flamethrower

In just 48 hours, billionaire entrepreneur and past Big Think Expert Elon Musk has sold over 4 million dollars worth of his brand new The Boring Company-branded flamethrowers.

As documented by The Verge, Musk has been keeping us all posted on his latest stunt via Twitter, and is currently on pace to sell through the limited stock of 20,000 flamethrowers later this week.

1,000 ordered already, only 19,000 left!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018

The flamethrowers are sold at a perfectly affordable $500 apiece. Video of a gleeful Musk using his latest device was posted to his Instagram account over the weekend.

Musk’s latest stunt is itself built on a previous promise that if he sold 50,000 The Boring Company-branded hats, he would put his brand new flamethrowers on sale for a limited run. The milestone for the hats was easily reached at the beginning of December last year.

He has assured us he’s not selling the flamethrower for nefarious means:

The rumor that I’m secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers is completely false

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2018

This endeavor should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the flashy tech billionaire over the last several years. Musk is no stranger to showmanship, having previously brought attention to his many companies through a variety of outlandish PR stunts. Here are just a few:

  • Musk offered to jump in the factory line and work alongside those in harm's way amid reporting of ongoing workplace safety concerns at the Tesla factory last year. It would later come out that he had resorted to sleeping on the factory floor in order to get production back on track after production slowed down to sub-par levels.

  • Musk offered to help restore power to the Puerto Rico using Tesla's solar powered technology in the wake of the disastrous effects Hurricane Maria had on the island. Hundreds of powerwalls and charging stations have been sent to the island since then, which is significant as the United States government's lack of significant response has taken its toll.

  • Musk has recently announced that he is gambling his own paycheck on the successful valuation of Tesla over the next 10 years. If the company can't reach $650 billion, he won't see a single cent for the next decade. If it does, he walks away with a cool $70 billion. High stakes, high reward.

  • And of course, who could forget Musk's wingwalking adventure in 2015? Was there even a point to this? We're not sure. It does get your attention though.

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    So what can we expect next for Musk’s next public display? Launching his personal Tesla Roadster into space on the Falcon Heavy and setting a course for Mars, all the while blasting David Bowie’s Space Oddity on a loop.

    You know, just normal tech billionaire things.

    via GIPHY



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