Silicon Valley

One Man’s Quest to Get Elon Musk to Change His Mind

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk listens to US President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 23, 2017. (Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Unusual full-page ads in Sunday editions of the New York Times and the Washington Post called on the iconic entrepreneur Elon Musk to “dump Trump.” The ads were taken out by a Silicon Valley startup investor Doug Derwin, who told CNN he paid $400,000 for 4 ads (which also ran in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News).

What motivated Derwin to make such an extravagant expenditure? He believes Elon Musk has too close a relationship with Donald Trump, serving on his advisory council. Derwin maintains a site for this campaign called “Elon Dump Trump” where he calls Musk a “an important propaganda symbol for Donald Trump”. More specifically, the site says Musk’s relationship with Trump legitimizes the President’s “disastrous” policies on climate change.

The newspaper ads are actually just part of a larger $1 million campaign by Derwin which already included ad vehicles and a billboard close to Tesla HQ in Palo Alto. The effort also has an additional $1 million dollars to be donated to charity if Musk denounces Trump’s environmental policies and changes to the EPA.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Neuralink, is a man of many ideas. What makes him a modern-age Edison (with a touch of Tesla) is that he finds a way to put his ideas into action. Which is why it is not surprising he would be looking to work with President Trump. Especially if you consider Trump’s stated goal of investing into large infrastructure projects.

Musk has…

Snapchat Went Public, and This Silicon Valley School Made a Cool $24 Million

When I was in high school, we held bake sales, car washes, and carnivals to raise money for things like shiny new uniforms and ski trips. Now – at least if you go to school in Silicon Valley – investment opportunities have gotten quite a bit more sophisticated.

And, if I remember the $200 we made after an entire day washing cars in the heat correctly, quite a bit more successful, too.

It all started back in 2012, when venture capitalist Barry Eggers came home to find his children at the kitchen table playing with a new app – Snapchat. In a world bogged down with social media, Snapchat offered something new and just different enough, with its filters and the disappearing content element.

At least that’s what Eggers thought, and he subsequently negotiated a $500,000 investment in the company.

That’s where St. Francis High School (where Eggers’ children go to school) came into play. The school set up a fund in 1990 that aims to…