I concur with N.D.T's opinion:
Neil deGrasse Tyson: Elon Musk Is The Most Important Person Alive Today
This is a surprisingly illogical and counter-factual argument from a scientist.
The counter-factual: "...not simply giving us the next app that will be awesome on our smartphone..." is downplaying/ignoring the smartphone itself.
The illogical: "thinking about...what forces need to be in play to take civilization into the next century." This is a future bias, in that essentially the future is always better. This is mostly true, but what he's ignoring is that it was as true in 1975 as it is true today. What it allows him to do is specule about a future that hasn't happened yet and judge Musk as if it has already happened. And maybe it will, but Tesla will need to become the largest car company in the world in order to justify even today's opinion of it (per its stock price as an objective measure and opinions like NDT's as a subjective measure). That will be tough since pretty much the only electric cars people are buying today are his. Overall, the market for high efficiency cars is shrinking, not growing and that's going to be tough for him to overcome. If Teslas become the next Priuses, that will be great, but it will fall way short of today's judgement.
Related: NDT also downplayed the other contenders by pointing out that Apple (Jobs) was in competition with Microsoft (Gates)...and lost! Jobs was the Digital Messiah, but he still needed Gates to bring PCs to everyone else who wasn't a believer (me, for example). That doesn't diminish Jobs's importance, it just demonstrates the importance of the computer revolution: it was far too big for one person. In order for Musk to become Jobs, he'll need his Gates to sell electric cars to the rest of us. -- Unless NDT really believes that in 20 years Tesla will be by far the largest car company on the planet, essentially a global monopoly?
One of the criticisms often said about Jobs or even Einstein is that they happened to be at the head of a wave, so if they haven't existed the wave would have moved through anyway. This is probably true, but IMO doesn't diminish their impact. For Tesla, what has enabled them to get where they are is the drop in lithium battery prices, which happened largely independent of Musk. If electric cars become mainstream, Musk will simply have been at the head of that wave, but a big wave it is.
...and the silliness of the "no need to fight a war [in space]" bit. Do I really need to address that? C'mon.
...and one more: "Elon Musk is deeply respected by everyone who works in his company..." - This just can't be true and smacks of propaganda. Sounds like something a certain head of state would say about himself (or have his spokesperson say about him).
I think that NDT believes the world needs a Digital Messiah, and that's fine for him. I'll remain agnostic for now.