Extreme entrepreneurialism is what the digital age enables — and no one does it better than Elon Musk. He will be talking talent, design, management and more with Henry Blodget and the audience at IGNITION: Future Of Digital. Ticket prices go up this week so reserve your seat now »
He specialises in creating things that seem straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Musk, who a past coworker described as “an exceptional freak of nature,” has also uttered some gems of wisdom from that magical mind of his over the years.
We collected a few of the best ones.
On the future: 'There's a fundamental difference, if you look into the future, between a humanity that is a space-faring civilisation, that's out there exploring the stars … compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event.'
On government licensing: 'We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China. If we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.'
On ideas: '(Physics is) a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.'
On hiring: '(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.'
On perseverance: 'If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.'
On ambition: 'The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.'
On progress: 'I came to the conclusion that we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.'
On his childhood experiments: 'It is remarkable how many things you can explode. I'm lucky I have all my fingers.'
On iteration: '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.'
On motive: 'Going from PayPal, I thought: 'Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?' Not from the perspective, 'What's the best way to make money?''
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