The first long weekend of the summer has hit and our favorite billionaires are likely gearing up for a summer filled with parties on super yachts, getaways to fabulous locales, and island hopping. While the rest of us can only dream of private islands and super yachts, this is the reality for our favorite billionaires. In this edition of the Billionaire Roundup, Elon Musk is sick of Los Angeles traffic AND he is an Internet troll, while Oprah is making the rounds at college graduation ceremonies.
Get Ready To Travel At 125 MPH, Don't Forget Barf Bag
Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk has had it with the traffic in Los Angeles. He has escalated the timeline for his hyper speed tunnel transportation system. His overall plan is for cars to park on an electric sled, which then will speed through underground tunnels at speeds of up to about 125 MPH. Musk built a prototype of the tunnel at Space X's California headquarters. He recently shared a video of a test of the hyper speed system. Before it began, he warned that seizures and motion sickness might result from viewing what it is like to travel in his hyper speed tunnel system. The phrase "I feel the need for speed comes to mind." Musk thinks it is completely doable to build a network of underground tunnels in Los Angeles. It's a good idea, but I can't help but think the construction of Musk's system will create an even worse traffic problem for L.A.
Elon Musk, Billionaire Internet Troll
When Elon Musk isn't building electric cars, sending rockets into orbit, and devising a 125 mph hyper speed tunnel system to save Los Angeles from its traffic, he likes to spend time on Twitter. In fact, he likes to troll people on Twitter. And if you think the billionaire doesn't read his own mail, you'd be wrong.
First, Musk took to Twitter to try to uncover the identity of a person named Shepard Stewart. Stewart had been publishing fake news articles about Musk and his companies. Musk even included a South Park reference, writing:
"Can anyone uncover who is really writing these fake pieces? Can't be skankhunt42. His work is better than this."
But that's not all. A blogger and venture capitalist named Stewart Alsop published an open letter to Musk criticizing the billionaire's handling of the launch of the Tesla Model X. The letter said in part:
"Dear @ElonMusk: you should be ashamed of yourself. It's bad enough that your event producers couldn't actually produce an event — the so-called Model X Launch Event. Starting a 7:00pm event at 8:50pm is simply unacceptable, particularly when the invited guests are actually your customers! But for you to stand up at 8:52pm and not even acknowledge that you have wasted your own customers' time was insensitive and poor judgment."
Alsop went on to criticize Musk for focusing on the Tesla's safety features and for over packing the event to such a degree that Alsop never got to test drive the car. Alsop goes on for six whiny, entitled paragraphs and wraps up the letter saying:
"…it would still be nice if you showed some class and apologized to the people who believe in this product."
Musk cancelled Alsop's Tesla order, personally responded to him, and then took to Twitter to say:
"Must be a slow news day if denying service to a super rude customer gets this much attention."
Oprah Goes Back To College
Billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey went back to college in May, giving three commencement addresses. She spoke at Skidmore, Smith, and Agnes Scott colleges and focused her speech on living a fulfilling life, giving back through community service, and following your "inner truth."
In her speech at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, Oprah challenged the graduates to take a bet on themselves, saying: "There is nothing more powerful than you using your personality to serve the calling of yourself."
At Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, Oprah told graduates to seek a career in service, saying: "What I've learned is when you create your work and your life based on an intention to serve with purpose, you will have a blessed life. Shift the paradigm to service and the rewards will come."
At Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia Oprah told the graduates that money is not the key to a happy or successful life. "The biggest reward is not financial benefits – though it's really good, you can get a lot of great shoes! Those of you who have a lot of shoes know having a closet full of shoes doesn't fill up your life. Living a life of substance can. Substance through your service."
Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of $3.2 billion and is one of only 17 self-made female billionaires in the United States.
In addition to the three commencement speeches, Winfrey is attending six more college graduations this spring in support of young women who attended the South African Leadership Academy that Oprah founded in 2007.