Why do you read biographies?
Usually to get some insight on why these colorful and successful individuals became successful.
I bough the book “Elon Musk” just for this reason. Right from the beginning I could understand that the biographer Ashlee Vance had him work cut out for him. It requires a fair amount of courage to write the biography of one of the most colorful entrepreneurs of our society, a modern day hero – or at times, anti-hero.
After Steve Jobs, there hasn’t been another person comparable to him, another person who has raised the bar on technological advancement and changed to world for the better. But Elon Musk has his eyes set for Mars. He believes that in order to preserve the human race mankind has to colonise Mars and he means it.
Elon Musks’s next ventures after selling PayPal were Space X, Tesla, and Solar City. Each and every one is capable of changing the world. Space X carries rocket science, which hasn’t advanced much since the 70s for both America and Russia, into the future, all the while reducing the required government budget for the space program. These advancements not only make new R&D work possible but make space technology more accessible and feasible. Now with him and his client NASA America is able to advance their space research without relying on any other country.
In order to understand even a little bit how he is making all of this possible, and to understand that anything is indeed possible, you really do need to read this biography. Speaking for myself what affected me the most was his work and success on climate change.
Unfortunately, the status quo is that governments don’t present sustainable solutions and investments against climate change. In non-democratic countries, it is of course not even conceivable that small groups thinking only of their own interest would present any long-term plans. However parliamentary democracy does not really focus on long-term goals either, since their focus is mostly on getting re-elected. Such is the order of things in our world, and I have always had little hope our world could avoid its eminent the destruction. This is exactly why Elon Musk has affected me deeply; he strives to change our way of looking at the problem. Thousands of people protest their governments to create awareness about climate change. Then there comes along one person and he single handedly takes a big step towards sustainability, a step that could change the fate of mankind, a step that neither governments nor the masses were able to take.
First he takes electric cars to the next level with Tesla. In terms of speed and performance Tesla cars are way ahead of conventional cars. Although the company was only founded on 2003 it has already become the 4th largest company in the market. Drivers of Model S, Model X and Model 3 can change their cars in no time in special charging stations with no carbon emissions at all. What is more is that this service is always free for Tesla customers.
After his success with Tesla Motors, instead of trying to dominate the market Musk announces that he will make all his patents open source. At first most people were skeptical about this announcement, but Musk truly believes that other companies should build electric cars as well, and that the future and sustainability of mankind relies on it.
So how does the produce the electricity?
In order to produce his electricity cleanly and to set an example to the whole world he has funded SolarCity.
To do him any justice I’d need a lot more than this single article, but if I were to mention all interesting points about this multidimensional person it’d probably take pages… So I’d like to conclude this article with what I believe is the most vital detail about Elon Musk:
He is not doing any of this because he wants to be the richest person in the world, he wants to get rich in order to achieve the goals which he believes are for the good of mankind.
Local Car Manufacture
As you all know Elon Mush has visited Turkey recently for the Global SatShow. He also had a talk with our president, and I truly hope that this will inspire our government to begin electric car manufacture locally.
The books which have effected Elon Musk the most are J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, Isaac Asmov’s “Foundation” series, and of course Douglas Adams’s “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. The book that had the most effect on his life was the 80s best-seller “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, a book which still has a large fan base today. One of the main themes in this book is to know which questions to ask.
Elon Musk’s take on asking the right question is as such:
“The really tough things is figuring out what questions to ask,” Musk said. “Once you figure out the question, then the answer is relatively easy. I came to the conclusion that really we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask.” The teenage Musk then arrived at his ultralogical mission statement. “The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment,”
― Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: Inventing the Future
Intelligent people should have more kids
Elon Musk has 5 children and he still considers having more. He believes that a succession of intelligent generations would be for the good of the whole world, and the fact that intelligent people are having less children is dangerous. He says:
“I’m not saying like only smart people should have kids. I’m just saying that smart people should have kids as well. They should at least maintain – at least be a replacement rate. And the fact of the matter is that I notice a lot of smart women have zero or one kid. You’re like “Wow, that is probably not good”.”
― Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: Inventing the Future
This article was published on Dunya newspaper on 10th November 2017