Elon Musk is arguably the most innovative man in technology, or even the world. He’s the founder of electric car company Tesla Motors, he’s chairman of Solar City, and he created NASA rival SpaceX.Who inspires the man who inspires everyone else?
Today at a big tech conference, South by Southwest, Elon Musk told thousands of listeners that he has great admiration for Benjamin Franklin, Winston Churchill, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos.
“I’ve been inspired by a lot of historical figures,” Musk said. “One of my favourite guys is Ben Franklin. He just thought about what are the problems that need to get solved and worked on those. He seemed like a good guy all around. I like historical figures in science and literature.”
Next, Musk was asked for the best advice he’s ever received.
Musk says it didn’t come from a person. It came from studying physics.
“The physics training is very good training,” he said. “It’s a good framework for reasoning. You break things down to the most fundamental truths, and break them down to try and figure out what reality is. You have got have a framework for getting there. Quantum Mechanics is incredibly counter-intuitive, but it’s true. It’s a lot of advice, and it’s the right framework.”
Overall, Musk is a fan of critical thinking.
“Just in general, critical thinking is good,” he said. “Does the logic connect? What are the range of probably outcomes? You want to figure out what those probabilities are and ideally be the House. It’s fine to gamble, as long as you’re the House. Also, listen to critical feedback, particularly from friends. Generally they will be thinking it but they won’t tell you.”
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