Elon Musk

I've read a number of very interesting pieces about Elon Musk recently. Taken together, they try to explain who's Musk, why he's doing what he's doing and how he is able to accomplish everything he has. If you have a some (actually, a lot of) time during the week-end, I encourage you to go ahead and read them all!

First is this article by Nathan Kontny, aptly titled "The Scientist":

In 2004 at Burning Man, a yearly gathering in the Nevada desert, someone erected a 30 foot wooden pole with a dancing platform on top. Dozens of people failed to climb the pole. And then there's another who gives it his try. He doesn't look like someone who could climb it. And as he's trying, suspicions are confirmed. He's terrible and looks like he's about to fail. He hugs the pole the whole time as he squirms and inches his way up. With sheer determination he reaches the top of that platform. Who was he? Elon Musk.

Beyond the anecdote, there is a relentlessness to that man which can't help but impress. It is more fully explored in the 4-part articles on Wait But Why? (highly recommended read by the way), that review pretty much all of Elon's projects and how he's able to get them done:

  1. Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man
  2. How Tesla Will Change The World
  3. How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars
  4. The Cook and the Chef: Musk’s Secret Sauce

For context, here's the introduction of Tim's first post:

Elon Musk, for those unfamiliar, is the world’s raddest man.

I’ll use this post to explore how he became a self-made billionaire and the real-life inspiration for Iron Man’s Tony Stark, but for the moment, I’ll let Richard Branson explain things briefly:

"Whatever skeptics have said can’t be done, Elon has gone out and made real. Remember in the 1990s, when we would call strangers and give them our credit-card numbers? Elon dreamed up a little thing called PayPal. His Tesla Motors and SolarCity companies are making a clean, renewable-energy future a reality…his SpaceX [is] reopening space for exploration…it’s a paradox that Elon is working to improve our planet at the same time he’s building spacecraft to help us leave it."

So no, that was not a phone call I had been expecting.

This guy is inspiring... and probably a bit frightening too :-)