Tesla & Elon Musk

Last week Stanford GSB Alumni Association awarded Elon Musk, on behalf Tesla Motors Inc, the ENCORE Award for Entrepreneurial Company of the Year. I’ve come across a copy of the event here: http://www.techtaffy.com/elon-musk-wins-stanfords-encore-award/.

Elon is commonly referred to as a real life version of Tony Stark. Not only has he led Tesla to become the first US car manufacture to publicly list since 1956 (when Ford did it) but he has done so while proving that electric vehicles are viable (range, performance), that they will sell …… and that they are sexy.  Just look at it!

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stark

More so, he got into the space business with the venture, Space X. Yes that means he is the CEO of two companies. Impressively, Space X became the first commercial company to successful recover a space craft from orbit and return from a docking mission to the international space station. More recently, Elon featured in the media sphere for his Hyperloop concept. But he doesn’t have time to work on this one. Whilst he has become well known for these more recent ventures he first jumped onto the scene when he co-founded Paypal.

Elon isn’t a great speaker and he doesn’t have amazing presence, but what makes Elon, Elon is his complete disregard for barriers and his ambitious vision to make things happen in spite of a great probability of failure. He knows the barriers exist, he just doesn’t care.

I noted down a couple of quotes and takeaways from the event below.

  • Elon commits to something even though he might not know how to get there
  • Early in his life he pondered what things would most effect the future in a positive away. He highlighted 5 areas  – sustainable energy, the internet, making life multi-planetary, artificial intelligence and rewriting genetics. He came up with these in the shower.
  • These were things that needed to be done
  • Didn’t get into anything with the expectation of success.
  • Tesla is more the the cars. It is about the acceleration towards the inevitable – electric/sustainable transportation. It is more about what it induces other car companies to now do.
  • Q: When did you first know all vehicles will be electric? A: 22 years ago. Way before Tesla. Sophomore year in college. It was super obvious.
  • Elon has so much confidence in predictions and has incredible scope in his own ambitions.
  • Q: What don’t incumbents see his re-engineering approach? A:They don’t approach it from a blank sheet of paper, how would you do this if you didn’t have barriers, polices, other motives etc that have to align with the solution
  • A recent Tesla shareholder letter started off stating that the primary goal of the company is not profit. It’s not that it isn’t important. It’s just not the main goal.The stock went up after that announcement.

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