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- A rare photo surfaced of a meeting between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in 2004.
- The meal happened before the onset of a rivalry between the moguls.
- Musk responded to the photo by tweeting, 'Wow, hard to believe that was 17 years ago!'
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
A rare photo has surfaced of a fateful meeting between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk 17 years ago.
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The photo, tweeted earlier this month by Trung Phan, a writer for the business newsletter The Hustle, shows Musk and Bezos smiling and sitting in a restaurant. Phan said it was taken in 2004, just as Musk's and Bezos' space ambitions were heating up.
-Trung Phan 🇨🇦 (@TrungTPhan) March 1, 2021
Musk responded to the photo on Saturday by tweeting, 'Wow, hard to believe that was 17 years ago!'
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The 2004 meeting is widely believed to be the beginning of a long-standing rivalry between the moguls and their space companies, SpaceX and Blue Origin.
While Bezos hasn't publicly discussed the meal, Musk described their meeting to Christian Davenport for his book 'The Space Barons.' Musk said that Bezos was 'barking up the wrong tree' about rockets and that SpaceX had already tried several of the ideas Bezos was proposing, calling them 'dumb.'
'I actually did my best to give good advice, which he largely ignored,' Musk said.
Bezos has made veiled critiques of Musk's goal of sending humans to Mars, while Musk has taken jabs at some of Amazon's business ventures, calling Bezos a 'copycat' on more than one occasion. SpaceX and Blue Origin have also competed over talent, patents, NASA contracts, and access to launchpads.
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For the past several months, Bezos and Musk have also been jockeying for the title of the richest person in the world. Bezos is in the No. 1 spot with a fortune of $181 billion, while Musk, with a net worth of about $170 billion, is No. 2.