It would also seem likely that some time after Musk got his operation running, there would be other operators entering the game. They would be setting up alternative colonies, for their own reasons and with their own goals in mind. It occurs to me that for a competing group, the simplest, least risky and cheapest route would be to NOT start up themselves, but to infiltrate or take over Musk's operation and then gain control of the colony (either by force, commercial shenanigans on Earth or indoctrination of the colonists) once it became self-sufficient.
I loved Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. Apparently I loved it more than you, since you failed to understand it. It contained an accelerated technology timeline that made such things feasible. In the really real world, a Mars mission will need constant resupply. If someone took over a Mars base, you'd just not send them supplies, and prevent whichever nation took it over from sending them supplies, and they'd all die. Therefore, nobody would launch such a mission, because it would be expensive yet have no returns. They'd benefit more from just sitting back and watching the scientific papers roll out.