Genius? Freak? Opinions on Elon Musk Vary Widely

Pop a Regretamine and read on to see how the US population interprets the options, thoughts, and antics of the (sometimes) world’s richest man.

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March 15, 2021 3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Things seem more divided than ever in the , but one thing we can all agree on is that we’re all a little tired of the ubiquity of Elon Reeve Musk, right? Wrong.

The researchers at Piplsay (powered by owner Market Cube) did a survey of 30,400 people over two days in February: They asked people’s opinions of the very rich man who is CEO of SpaceX (and thus Starlink) and Tesla, founder of (for digging holes for super trains), and cofounder of both Neuralink and . (All this after he got modestly rich from being part of the sale of to eBay, way back in 2002.)

To start, a majority of people don’t really register much Musk in their lives. When asked their feelings, a full 43% were neutral, and 18% didn’t know who he is. But on the extremes, 33% love him, and 6% despise him. That’s the trend: The 50-year-old Musk is still more loved than despised.

Related: Elon Musk’s Latest Twitter Question Is Baffling Social Media Users

Maybe it’s because (or despite the fact that) Musk recently spent a short time in January as the world’s richest man. As of this writing, he’s back in second place with a net worth of $170.5 billion, behind ‘s $181.3 billion, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List. Incidentally, has fallen to number four, poor guy (well, not exactly poor).

The full infographic below goes into the ways people in the survey would describe Musk, from calling him a jerk (7%) to thinking he’s a genius (48%).

Piplsay Survey

The greatest compliment Musk receives is that 45% admire his passion and commitment to things like and the environment.

On the other end, 19% simply “hate his guts.”

Perhaps most interesting is the exploration of how people feel about Musk’s use of Twitter, a platform he—like many powerful people—can’t seem to stop using, even after he was sued for defamation because of comments made there. (It helps that he won the suit, of course.) Musk may even be under investigation by regulators for talking too much about the dogecoin cryptocurrency.

Take his most recent example, a bit of nonsense that set the meme-verse afire.

While most people don’t follow his tweets closely or at all, 43% do follow closely or very closely. The latter numbers are higher for and Gen X, which explains why things blow up when he mentions them—stocks in particular. He was one of the direct causes for the Gamestonk fiasco, after all; 37% said they had personally made investments based on his tweets. That number goes up to 50% for millennials and to 40% for Gen Xers.

Also, 48% of those surveyed found his creation of Wall Street fluctuations to be “quite amusing.” Take from that what you will.

Read the full report over at

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