Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk took part in a Q&A session at the annual South by Southwest this week.

A wide range of topics were discussed including Mars colonisation, artificial intelligence, and even Kanye West.

But it was what Musk called the "biggest mistake" of his career that stood out during the Q&A.

According to Business Insider, Musk said he regretted not devoting enough time to Tesla during its early days, instead focusing more on running his space exploration company, SpaceX.


"I think that was probably the biggest mistake of my career," he said. "Whenever you think you can have your cake and eat it too, you're probably wrong."

"I thought, 'I can keep running SpaceX. I'll dedicate 20 per cent of my time to Tesla, and that will be fine,'" Musk said during the panel. "But actually … things really melted down."

Musk became CEO of Tesla in October 2008 after the company came close to financial ruin during the 2008 financial crisis.

Since then, Tesla has released three more vehicles (the Model S luxury sedan, Model X luxury SUV, and the Model 3 mass-market sedan) and amassed a market capitalisation greater than Ford's and comparable to General Motors'.