Surely Elon Musk needs no introduction by now. The South African serial entrepreneur has a string of successful ventures under his belt: he co-founded software start-up Zip2 and online bank X.com, which would go on to become Paypal. He then went on to found spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX in 2002, followed by electric vehicle company Tesla in 2003, SolarCity in 2006, OpenAI in 2015 and most recently Neuralink in 2017, among others.
This generation’s real-life Tony Stark – engineer, inventor, and business magnate – is out to change the world, and the following quotes give a glimpse into the inner workings of his brilliant mind.
01 ON FINE-TUNING
You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback, particularly from friends.
02 ON HIRING EMPLOYEES
[My biggest mistake is probably] weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.
03 ON HEDGING BETS
It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.
04 ON PROBABILITY
The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.
05 ON FEAR
I feel fear quite strongly, it’s not as though I just have an absence of fear. But there are times when something is important enough and you believe in it enough, that you do it in spite of fear.
06 ON FOUNDING A COMPANY
If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.
07 ON PARTNERSHIPS
The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.
08 ON GRUDGES
Life is too short for long-term grudges.
09 ON DEATH
I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.