Elon Musk

Excerpts from Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk. Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, 2015, Harper Collins.


When Elon gets into something, he develops just this different level of interest in it than other people. That is what differentiates Elon from the rest of humanity.”


second paper talked about taking research documents and books and electronically scanning them, performing optical character recognition, and putting all of the information in a single database—much like a mix between today’s Google Books and Google Scholar.


In interviews, Musk often makes sure that people know he had some truly big ideas on his mind during this period of his life. As he tells it, he would daydream at Queen’s and Penn and usually end up with the same conclusion: he viewed the Internet, renewable energy, and space as the three areas that would undergo significant change in the years to come and as the markets where he could make a big impact.


Elon is not someone who would say, ‘I feel you. I see your point of view,’” said Justine. “Because he doesn’t have that ‘I feel you’ dimension there were things that seemed obvious to other people that weren’t that obvious to him. He had to learn that a twenty-something-year-old shouldn’t really shoot down the plans of older, senior people and point out everything wrong with them. He learned to modify his behavior in certain ways. I just think he comes at the world through strategy and intellect.”


If you’ve got other kids and obligations, then wallowing in sadness does no good for anyone around you. I’m not sure what should be done in such situations.”


Anyone who tries to build a car company in the United States is quickly reminded that the last successful start-up in the industry was Chrysler, founded in 1925. Designing and building a car from the ground up comes with plenty of challenges, but it’s really getting the money and know-how to build lots of cars that has thwarted past efforts to get a new company going.


The interview, he or she is told, could last anywhere from thirty seconds to fifteen minutes. Elon will likely keep on writing e-mails and working during the initial part of the interview and not speak much. Don’t panic. That’s normal. Eventually, he will turn around in his chair to face you. Even then, though, he might not make actual eye contact with you or fully acknowledge your presence. Don’t panic. That’


The relationship between Musk and Bezos has soured, and they no longer chat about their shared ambition of getting to Mars. “I do think Bezos has an insatiable desire to be King Bezos,” Musk said. “He has a relentless work ethic and wants to kill everything in e-commerce. But he’s not the most fun guy, honestly.”


There is a fundamental problem with regulators. If a regulator agrees to change a rule and something bad happens, they could easily lose their career. Whereas if they change a rule and something good happens, they don’t even get a reward. So, it’s very asymmetric. It’s then very easy to understand why regulators resist changing the rules.


As Craig Venter, one of the earliest Model S owners and the famed scientist who first decoded man’s DNA, put it, “It changes everything about transportation. It’s a computer on wheels.”


Musk wanted to make another statement with a huge touchscreen. This was years before the iPad would be released


The media reports from the day described the car as the love child of an Aston Martin and a Maserati. In reality, the sedan barely held together. It still had the base structure of a Mercedes CLS, although no one in the press knew that, and some of the body panels and the hood were stuck to the frame with magnets.


kept thinking, This is insane. Why are we in this place? It was not just Iraq but the whole picture. Why were we so invested in that part of the world?” The unsurprising answer that O’Connell came up with was oil.


Connell decided that the rational thing to do for his country and for his newborn son was to alter this equation. He looked at the wind industry and the solar industry and the traditional automakers but came away unconvinced that what they were doing could have a radical enough impact on the status quo.


He’s very visual and can store things that others have deemed to look good away in his brain for recall at any time. This process has helped Musk develop a good eye, which he’s combined with his own sensibilities, while also refining his ability to put what he wants into words. The result is a confident, assertive perspective that does


This is the first place I have worked that is going to change the world,” Blankenship said, taking a jab at the sometimes


Suffering, though, has always been Musk’s thing. The kids at school tortured him. His father played brutal mind games. Musk then abused himself by working inhumane hours and forever pushing his businesses to the edge