Wrong mission. SpaceX launches satellites and serves as Space Station courier merely to pay the bills. It re-invests everything in the real mission, which is habitating that orangey dot up there. If SpaceX were public, the board of directors and shareholders wouldn’t abide a Mars master plan. That’s pie-in-the-sky stuff.
Wrong pace. If a fast-growing, media-heavy company like Tesla can still go through news lulls (like now) that send us into withdrawal, imagine the news flow from a space exploration company with Mars on the brain. We’d get long periods of absolutely nothing, punctuated with dramatic rocket blastoffs that happen once in a blue moon (gag). No steady fix for shareholders, ever. The highs would make us feel like Richard Dreyfuss boarding the mothership in Close Encounters. The lows would make us feel like Richard Dreyfuss losing his shark cage in Jaws. You think TSLA is volatile? How about a SpaceX launch scheduled after the closing bell? Over the course of five years, SpaceX’s stock chart would show as much vertical movement as a reusable rocket, lending a new meaning to “vertical integration.”
Wrong legal system. Every SpaceX stock freefall would trip the Boo Hoo Alert System, so we’d see constant litigation.
Wrong subject matter: Accurate SpaceX news would come to us via, um, nobody except SpaceX. Journalists can barely grasp the Model S. They talk of the Model S “engine fires,” speculate that Tesla batteries hurt tulips in China, and dub engine noises into Model S footage. You think they can cover rocket science? No, they would consult rocket experts from the 1950s, or NASA or Air Force sources who know just enough about reusable rocketry to pollute the story with dipshittery. Rocketry is over our heads. Mars is way over our heads. That’s not an attractive investment. We should stick with cars and leave Mars for Musk.
Wrong CEO. Musk wants to personally visit Mars*, a place where iPhones can muster only one or two bars and AAA roadside assistance is patchy at best. When the day comes that Musk announces plans to go, it would likely cause a selloff that would only get steeper if he succeeded. SpaceX stock would explode for the better only when Musk lands back on Earth unharmed.
* This would oust Felix Baumgartner from the top of the Iron Balls rankings. One hopes Musk would shun any marketing attempt by Red Bull to associate itself with the red planet.