Ask entrepreneurs and innovators who they most admire and one name invariably rises toward the top of the list.
Elon Reeve Musk
Elon Musk is a South African – Canadian – American billionaire technology entrepreneur. He is currently riding a wave of successes at his three main companies. If his form continues, he may well be remembered as one of the great figures of the 21st century.
- At Tesla, Musk is disrupting the motor industry by making electric cars that are actually usable and desired by consumers. He has traditional automakers playing catch up.
- SolarCity is making solar roof tiles and home battery storage solutions with the aim of eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels.
- At SpaceX, Musk has dramatically cut the cost of sending satellites, and soon humans, to space by making reusable rockets a reality. He ultimately aims to make mankind an interplanetary species and establish a colony on Mars.
Not content to simultaneously revolutionise 3 industries, he has also found time to form companies to promote various other ideas, causes and concepts.
- Supersonic intercity travel in vacuum tubes (HyperLoop)
- Saving the world from rogue Artificial Intelligences (OpenAI)
- Building a network of tunnels under Los Angeles to alleviate traffic congestion (TheBoringCompany)
- Melding the capabilities of man and computer with brain-machine interfaces (Neuralink)
And he still has had time to father 6 children and inspire Robert Downey Junior’s portrayal of Tony Stark in the recent Marvel Iron Man and Avenger films…
In fact it is difficult to write about Musk without feeling like a large man crush is being revealed to the world.
Musk also his his critics. He has been called a hyperactive, attention seeking, exaggerater. Former employees and colleagues will often describe a demanding and sometimes bullying darker side.
Such was my fascination with this figure that I recently read Ashley Vance’s biography of Musk.
I have tried to digest the information and distill some lessons relevant to my life/role as a GP interested in organisational development and technology… They may be of interest to you too…