Musk's 'Not-A-Flamethrower' Creates Problems for Police

Musk's 'Not-A-Flamethrower' Creates Problems for Police

The Boring Company's 'Not-A-Flamethrower' (Creative Commons License).

Elon Musk often concocts brilliant ideas, which he masterfully executes. Thanks to his spark of brilliance, the world has electric cars in abundance and he is also making great exploits with rockets. Musk is also taking humanity underground to solve the persistent problem of road traffic with tunnels.

However, there is another product of his ingenuity that gave law enforcement sleepless nights globally, i.e., the Flamethrower, or more formally known as the 'Not-A-Flamethrower'. Why did Musk push this product, despite its controversial nature? Read the rest of this article to find out.

The Birth of the Flamethrower

Musk was sitting in what he described as soul-crushing traffic in Los Angeles when he thought of making cars travel under the ground instead of overland. Armed with his rising profile as an inventor, Musk soon formed a company named The Boring Company to dig tunnels.

However, building roads underneath our feet is an expensive proposition, so Musk needed to create awareness to attract investment. He needed something that would make a splash, and what could make a splash and be more controversial than a flamethrower?

That was the origin of the flamethrower by The Boring Company. Before that, the company had raised funds by selling less controversial hats at $20 a pop, raising $1 million.

The flamethrower uses a propane gas canister, which is no different from other propane torches that people use to melt snow or kill weeds. However, The Boring Company used a rifle styling that grabbed attention.

The device went for $500, and only 20,000 units were ever made, bringing in $10 million in revenue for the young company.

Though, Musk did not rely on the attention-grabbing styling alone to sell the flamethrower as he pushed it on his Twitter account, which at the time already had a considerable following. He marketed it as the best method of firing up the fireplace and BBQ grill. YouTube creators seized on the idea and filmed themselves messing around with the device that could throw fire.

The device went for $500, and only 20,000 units were ever made, bringing in $10 million in revenue for the young company.

The company, however, got more notoriety than any advert budget could fetch. Country after country fought against its importation, forcing Musk to put 'Not-a' before the name. While Musk treated it as a harmless toy for adults, the police in different countries classified it as a weapon, with at least one bearer spending time in an Italian jail.

While the world has since moved on, and The Boring Company is now standing on its feet, we await the next police-scaring product Musk will dream up to promote his ventures.

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