Frank Thelen Shares His Thoughts On Meeting Elon Musk At The Axel Springer Awards

Frank Thelen, who attended the Axel Springer Award ceremony honoring Elon Musk last week, shared his thoughts about Elon Musk in a heartfelt LinkedIn post.

“He’s incredibly authentic, real, human, and kind. He is not ‘selling’ Tesla, SpaceX, or any other company or product he is involved with. He has no standard statements/answers and truly thinks about each individual question. His answers are spontaneous, sometimes a bit long and unstructured, but very insightful and authentic. He said that his biggest mistake was ‘not spending at least 15 minutes with friends on the beach while working tirelessly on the falcon rocket.’

“What also astonished me was that he chose to sleep in the Berlin Factory in a meeting room, because he wanted to be close to the production and team. After a busy day, I need my personal space and privacy to recharge.”

“My personal highlight though was to see and feel that he truly loves life. He wants to create new experiences, make Science-fiction a reality, but he got equally excited about French cheese and talked about enjoying and cherishing the moment. After spending a couple of hours with him, my respect & gratitude grew even more. He is the real deal 🚀.”

Elon Musk received the Axel Springer Award last week and the ceremony creatively simulated what one may experience as the journey toward Mars. The Ernst Cramer conference room inside the Axel Springer House became a Mars spacecraft. The captain of the ship and presenter of the evening, Barbara Schöneberger, wore a SpaceX suit.

In an interview with Mathias Döpfner, Axel Springer’s CEO, Elon shared a timeframe of when he thinks he can send people to Mars. “In six years, maybe in four,” he said. He was also asked about when he would like to go into orbit for the first time. “Next year? I want a city on Mars where people can live, a Plan B. Everyone wants a future that is inspiring. Every child is fascinated by space. When I wake up, I don’t want to just think about problems. I want to think about the future. It sounds cool: born on earth, died on Mars.”

Elon also shared why he chose Germany as a site for a Tesla Gigafactory and spoke about his fears. Elon said that he was a big fan of Germany, had a lot of friends there, and that he liked Berlin. “It is a good location for singles as well as families. Berlin is not that poor, but definitely sexy.”

His big fear is something that he speaks of often — artificial intelligence. “Artificial intelligence has to be regulated. Machines already dominate us today. Think of us and the behavior with smartphones. Digital superintelligence is powerful. It has the potential to be more dangerous than an atomic bomb.”

Elon’s Dedication Of His Award

When receiving his award, Elon dedicated it to all of his employees in all of his companies. “I really appreciate this award. From here I would like to thank all of my employees in all companies. I dedicate the award to all of you!” This isn’t the first time Elon has given credit to his employees. He’s often taking to Twitter to thank his employees and his teams, whether they are SpaceX engineers, Tesla employees, or other notable groups of people he has worked with.

Related: Tesla Autopilot Innovation Comes From Team Of ~300 Jedi Engineers — Interview With Elon Musk

Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

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