Monday, October 5, 2015

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance - Book Report #146

Subtitle Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Think what you will but you've got to agree that Elon Musk is a very interesting man.  He's often been described as a real world Tony Stark of the Iron Man comics and movies.  And in many ways he is; in at least how motivated he is to think outside the box and to see his vision come to fruition.

He is a billionaire who is unafraid to risk all of it to make things work.  To him, it seems, money is only a tool, much like a hammer, to achieve his ultimate goals for humanity.  Money is a luxury most people lack and he is using his for a greater good.

I was fascinated by this book.  I took every opportunity to read a page or two when I could not devote a nice slice of time to it. He is also sometimes compared to Steve Jobs, at least in how abrasive and quick to fire people who do not meet his expectations.  Unlike Jobs he is motivated by forcing humanity into a sustainable and space faring world of the science fiction he read in his youth.  Not by creating a gadget.  He is not content with the pace of progress we've been experiencing for the last 50 years.

I've got to say; I agree with him.  Ever since Apollo ended the promise of  a technological, space-traveling future has withered away.  The world needs risk-taking, motivated individuals like Tesla, Edison, Bell, Diamandis, Branson, Jobs, Berners-Lee and Musk.  These folks, and so many others, have transformed our world in profound ways, making the world a better place.

On the subject of Musk; only time will tell what his contributions will do to transform our live.  He certainly knows what he wants to get out of his endeavors - nothing less than Mars!  Just think about all the ancillary benefits this kind of goal would bring to people around the world.  The massive effort needed would employ so many folks that it is staggering to even contemplate.

Think about how many new jobs, jobs that did not exist 30 years ago, have been created by the adoption of the Internet. Musk will not be satisfied with anything less than a paradigm shift in humanity's direction as a single people.

In any case I found the book fascinating and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it and learn about this interesting man.

Ashlee Vance's web page is here:  http://www.ashleevance.com/

Elon Musk
Ashlee Vance



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