This post is a collection of various interviews and speeches given by Elon Musk regarding his ideologies for success and more importantly, to create an impact in this world via the entrepreneurship lifestyle.
For those of you who don’t know who Elon Musk is, here is a link to his Wikipedia page – Elon Reeve Musk.
In a gist, Elon founded SolarCity, Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX. All of which were no ordinary companies, but were tools to bring about a revolution.
Tesla is an electric sports car which can yield upto 300 miles for one single charge (for a very limited amount of time). SpaceX is a private space exploration technologies company, which also functions as a space transportation company. Elon started this with one vision – To move mankind to a different planet !
After you’ve read a little about him, you’ll know that whatever he has achieved till now was with more than just hard work. It tested him in various aspects, and I know I would’ve given up if I were him.
Learning from Elon –
1. “I don’t ever give up. I’d have to be dead, or incapacitated for that.”
After the 3rd failure of SpaceX’s rocket, Elon was asked this question. The success of that spacecraft was crucial, for it affected all the faith the employees had, and his own will. But, as of now, SpaceX released their new Dragon spacecraft only 12 hours ago, and it has won the hearts of millions with its success after a series of failures.
2. Risk –
“Now is the time to take risk. You don’t have kids; and as you get older, your obligations increase. And once you have a family, you start taking risk not just for yourself, but your family as well. It gets much harder to do things and that might not work out. I would encourage you to take risk, and do something bold. You won’t regret it. “
This was addressed to a bunch of college students, so heed the call appropriately 🙂
3. Signal over Noise –
“A lot of companies get confused. They spend money on things that don’t actually make the product better. For example, at Tesla, we haven’t spent any money on advertising; we’ve put all the money into R & D, and manufacturing & design, and try to make the car as good as possible. For any given company, just keep thinking about – ‘Are these efforts that people are spending; are they resulting in a better product or service ?’ If they’re not, then stop those efforts.”
4. Impact that matters –
Elon – I didn’t really think Tesla would be successful; I thought we’d most likely fail. But I thought that we could at least address the false perceptions that people had; that electric cars were ugly, slow and boring, like a golf car.
Interviewer – But you say you didn’t expect the company to be successful; then why try ?
Elon – If something’s important enough, you should try it even if the probable outcome is failure.
5. Gathering great people –
“If you’re starting a company or joining a company, the most important thing to do is to attract great people. All that a company is, is a group of people gathered to create a great product or service. So, depending upon how talented and hard working that group prepares to be, and the degree to which they’re focused cohesively in a good direction, that will determine the success of the company.”
6. Great products are a necessity –
“Whatever you’re doing, make sure you have a great product or service. If you’re a new company in an untapped market place, you have this ability to you. The standard is lower. But if you’re entering anything where there’s an existing market place, against large entrenched competitors, then your product needs to be much better. It can’t be a little bit better. It can’t just be slightly better; it has to be great ! “.
7. There’s always potential in emerging fields –
If you haven’t noticed, Elon Musk’s companies are all based on emerging fields. Back in the day, Internet was an emerging field, now renewable energy is. And he pioneers products and services in those fields and hence glory follows.
8. Hard Work –
“When my brother and I were starting our first company, instead of getting an apartment, we rented a small office. There was only one computer. So, the website was up during the day, and I was coding at night; 7 days a week. Work hard every waking hour if you’re starting a company.”
9. Hire carefully –
“I think you definitely don’t want to grow too fast. Make sure that every person you hire you really need to hire that person.
I have an exceptionally high standard for people that get hired, and especially for SpaceX. We really aspire to hire quite literally the best people in the world at their job. Finding such people is so hard. When we find them, we are generally able to attract them to the company, but the number one issue for me is finding superlatively talented people. I think we’ve been fortunate to find some very, very talented people at SpaceX, but that is always the governor on growth. “
10. Do you love your product ?
Musk loves the Tesla Model 6 so much, hedrove it across USA with his five young sons. On September 5th, 2013, Musk announced via his Twitter account: “Just finalized the LA to NY family road trip route in Model S. 6 day, 3200 mile journey with only 9 hrs spent charging.”
Special thanks to Evan Carmichael and incomediary for this post.
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