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.
Musk is not your average billionaire.
By using his wealth to build companies that are working to change the world, Musk has become one of the most influential businessmen alive today.
Naturally, he has dropped some gems of wisdom over the years.
We collected a few of the best ones.
On determination: 'Optimism, pessimism, f*** that; we're going to make it happen. As God as my bloody witness, I'm hell-bent on making it work.'
On perseverance: 'If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.'
On ideas: '(Physics is) a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.'
On college: 'One particular thing that I learned at Queen's -- both from faculty and students -- was how to work collaboratively with smart people and make use of the Socratic method to achieve commonality of purpose.'
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 purpose: 'The thing that's worth doing is trying to improve our understanding of the world and gain a better appreciation of the universe and not to worry too much about there being no meaning. And, you know, try and enjoy yourself. Because, actually, life's pretty good. It really is.'
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 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 ambition: 'The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.'
On raising kids: 'I'm hopeful they will do things like engineering, or write books, or just, in some way, add more than they take from the world.'
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?''
On moving fast: 'Given that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where it's been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth, it seems like we'd be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time.'
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