In the book: ROCKET MAN: Elon Musk In His Own Words (Agate B2, February 14, 2017, 978-1-57284-214-4), edited by Jessica Easto. It collects more than 200 of entrepreneur Elon Musk’s most insightful (and occasionally eccentric) quotes. They are covering topics ranging from leadership, business, and education to innovation, artificial intelligence, and space.
Musk has been called the “real life Tony Stark” for his ability to capture the public’s imagination. That’s with almost inconceivable feats of engineering and technological advancement. Furthermore, the South African–born entrepreneur who made his first fortune with internet companies such as PayPal. Without question, Elon has risen to global prominence as the visionary CEO of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX. These are two companies with self-proclaimed missions to improve life as we know it. Thereby better secure the future of humanity.
No matter the topic, Musk always brings a unique eye to the subject at hand. Making his quotes both entertaining and insightful.
Very noteworthy and in the words of Richard Branson, “Whatever skeptics have said can’t be done, Elon has gone out and made real.”
Although he may be inimitable, there is no better way to learn from Rocket Man Elon Musk than through his own words.
Consequently, here are some of his statements:
1. I do think it’s worth thinking about whether what you’re doing is going to result in disruptive change or not. Then if it’s just incremental, it’s unlikely to be something major. It’s got to be something that’s substantially better than what’s gone on before.—Quote from SXSW Conference, March 9, 2013
2. don’t think everything needs to change the world, you know. Just say: ‘Is what I’m doing as useful as it could be?’ —Quote from STVP Future Fest, October 7, 2015
3. Certainly, in the beginning, when I told people I was trying to create a rocket company, they thought I was crazy. That seemed like a very improbable thing. And I agreed with them. As well, I think it was improbable. But sometimes the improbable happens. Quote in Living Legends of Aviation awards dinner, January 22, 2010
4. technology does not automatically improve. Because It only improves if a lot of really strong engineering talent is applied to the problem. There are many examples in history where civilizations have reached a certain technology level and then have fallen. Fallen well below that and then recovered only millennia later.
Quote from International Astronautical Congress, September 27, 2016
5. We’re already a cyborg. You have a digital version of yourself or partial version of yourself online in the form of your e-mails and your social media and all the things that you do. And you have, basically, superpowers with your computer and your phone and the applications that are there. You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago. Plus, You can answer any question. Furthermore, you can videoconference with anyone anywhere. Also, you can send a message to millions of people instantly. Bottom line, you just do incredible things. Quote from Code Conference, June 1, 2016
6. Our goal when we created Tesla a decade ago was the same as it is today: to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible. Likewise and if we could have done that with our first product, we would have, but that was simply impossible to achieve for a startup company that had never built a car and that had one technology iteration and no economies of scale. Our first product was going to be expensive no matter what it looked like, so we decided to build a sports car, as that seemed like it had the best chance of being competitive with its gasoline alternatives.” —“The Mission of Tesla,” November 18, 2013
7.“I’m not saying we’ll do it [become multiplanetary], to be sure. The odds are we won’t succeed. But if something is important enough, then you should do it anyway.” —Smithsonian magazine, December 2012
Finally and Reprinted with permission from Rocket Man edited by Jessica Easto, Agate B2, 2017.