Innovator-entrepreneur Elon Musk raked in $3.5 million in several hours selling flamethrowers produced by his tunneling company Boring. Musk had pledged that he would start selling flamethrowers if Boring sold 50,000 baseball caps, and the company’s baseball caps sold out, prompting Musk to announce the flamethrower sale Sunday on his social-media channels.
“Guarantee to liven up any party,” he tweeted. Then he posted a video to Instagram of himself running toward the camera with a lit flamethrower in hand.
“I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun!” he said in the video.
Musk’s company had 20,000 flamethrowers in stock and started selling them for $500 apiece. Within hours, customers had placed orders for 7,000 of them, adding up to around $3.5 million in profit.
Fire extinguishers are “sold separately (for exorbitant amounts of money),” Boring said. Musk followed with a tweet in which he said that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms states that “any flamethrower with a flame shorter than 10 feet is a-okay,” adding that “our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife.”
Musk runs several companies, including the electric-car company Tesla and commercial space-flight corporation SpaceX. He launched Boring a year ago with a long-range mission to connect cities via underground tunnels that will transport cars and people along high-speed “skates.”
The company is currently planning a tunnel that will run parallel to Los Angeles’ high-traffic I-405 highway. Musk said he came up with the idea for Boring while stuck in traffic.