A rare picture of billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk having dinner in the year 2004 has surfaced. It is said that this meet took place before the onset of rivalry between them. The picture shows both of them smiling and sitting in a restaurant. They reportedly met to discuss space and was one of their few in-person interactions regarding the different approaches they were taking regarding space exploration. This meeting is believed to be the beginning of a long standing rivalry between the two tech giants and their space companies SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Musk has called out Bezos for running what he deemed a monopoly, and called him a copycat for his self-driving car interests. Both Musk and Bezos are the most powerful CEOs in the world. Bezos is currently the wealthiest man and besides running Amazon’s sprawling empire, he is also involved in Blue Origin’s quest to send people to the moon.
In 2013, when SpaceX tried to get exclusive use of a NASA launchpad, Blue Origin along with another SpaceX rival filed a formal protest with the government to prevent SpaceX from using the pad. Bezos suggested that the launchpad be converted to a commercial spaceport available to all launch companies. This move irritated Musk and he called it “a phony blocking tactic”. Blue Origin has not yet come up with a reliable suborbital spacecraft in spite of spending over 10 years on its development. SpaceX eventually won the right to take over the pad.
Both Bezos and Musk have recently become more public about their rivalry and have even taken it to Twitter. They have seized opportunities to take shots at each other.