If there is every a person who can be defined as the master at building companies, the first name will be Elon Musk. Starting from Zip2, moving over to PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla (who finally own tesla.com domain) and SolarCity, Elon Musk has shown how to build companies. If you ever go through his biography, you will know how both SpaceX and tesla were on verge of going bankrupt and how he brought them back to make them profitable. His ability to infuse passion among his employees, set impossible deadlines and sometimes even achieve them make him an absolute legend for the startup community.
Over the course of time, Elon Musk has said some wonderful things, some that sound too farfetched to be true and some absolutely enthralling revelations. There is good reason why he is called the Iron Man in the startup community and one of them is certainly his ability to say unusual and intriguing things.
Here are some of the best quotes by Elon Musk that we have come across:
- “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,’ which is okay, but, it was really ‘what do I think is going to most affect the future of humanity.'”
- “Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell.”
- “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you’re putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing you know that… you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.”
- “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.”
- “I did reasonably well from PayPal. I was the largest shareholder in the company and we were acquired for about a billion and a half in stock and then the stock doubled. So yeah, I did reasonably well, but the idea of lying on a beach as my main thing, just sounds like the worst — it sounds horrible to me. I would go bonkers. I would have to be on serious drugs. I’d be super-duper bored. I like high intensity.”
- “Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.”
- “I don’t believe in process. In fact, when I interview a potential employee and he or she says that ‘it’s all about the process,’ I see that as a bad sign. The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.”
- Elon Musk about open sourcing Tesla patents – “If we’re all in a ship together,” Musk said, “and the ship has some holes in it, and we’re sort of bailing water out of it, and we have a great design for a bucket, then even if we’re bailing out way better than everyone else, we should probably still share the bucket design.”
- “Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.”
- “Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sports team, the team that has the best individual player will often win, but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ.”
- “(Physics is) a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.”
- “Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.”
The above quotes by Elon Musk are just a figment of what amazing things he has said ever since bursting onto the scene. He is the man who has been able to make electric cars cool and desirable.
Elon Musk’s concept of hyperloop has also gained steam ever since he came up with it. It won’t be a surprise if it becomes a reality in the years to come. Just like everybody else he too has a lot of people who like him and a lot of people who don’t, some even calling him a fraud. Irrespective of all, like him or hate him, you will hear a lot about him and any news is good news when it comes to startup marketing.
What do you think of Elon Musk? Is he someone who inspires you? Let us know in the comments below.