Talking about inspirational entrepreneurs, many come to mind, but one is literally flying a lot higher than the others. Elon Musk, who even the Iron Man movie makers used as a role model for Tony Stark, is one of the most inspirational entrepreneurs out there today. Within a short period of time he has become successful in four different industries. And not just any industries, but some of the most competitive ones there exist. Starting from PayPal, which revolutionized the way we handle money online, he has moved to new ventures in power industry with SolarCity, automobile with Tesla and space travel and exploration with SpaceX. Considered crazy by his friends at the time he decided to focus on electric car that would survive in the tough car market – something that the car giants had not been able to accomplish, he has risen in the media spotlight with total three successful businesses today.
I have been familiar with the name Elon Musk for a long time, but only recently started to study more the way he works and his ideology towards creating successful businesses. He is quite a fascinating character who apparently clocks in 80-100 hour workweeks, sometimes even more. According to him it’s just simple math: if someone puts in 40 hours a week, another one working 80 hours a week can accomplish the same thing in half the time. I’m not sure, if that’s the case in real life and would work for everyone, as not everyone’s brain is in it’s full capacity 16h a day. But heck, it definitely seems to be working for him.
One thing that probably separates him from most of the entrepreneurs is the way he approaches things through laws of physics and existence. Well, to be fair, most of the entrepreneurs are probably not physicists, and vice versa. Sounds like you need to be a rocket scientist to be able to understand? Not really, his approach to business is actually very straight-forward and simple. He looks into areas that he is interested in and have high impact on most of the world’s population, then looks into if a success is one of the possible outcomes. The last is something that most entrepreneurs probably take for granted, but when you goal is to bring people to Mars and back, suddenly it doesn’t sound that strange anymore. He has a way of making things sound so simple, when reflecting problems through the paradigms he uses. It’s really inspiring to see his ability to break huge problems into solvable units.
He has had some serious set backs though. When you are challenging the largest automobile manufacturers along the energy giants, and not to even mention NASA(!) at the same time, you naturally run into some bumps on the road. Elon Musk took some high level risks and injected large amounts of his own money into the companies, when things were difficult. Obviously looking back now it has paid well off. The man’s net-worth according to Bloomberg is close to $12 million today.
Here’s my rank of top 3 interviews with Elon Musk:
In the first video Elon Musk is being interviewed by Steve Jurvetson, one the VC’s in Silicon Valley, who also sits in the board of Tesla.
The second is a TED conference interview:
The last one is a conversation with Elon Musk at KhanAcademy from 2013.