Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

☰ Sections

Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

 I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.” Elon Musk

Out of this world thinking

Elon Musk is a self-made multi billionaire and is still only 45 years old. His astounding vision is to solve sustainable energy and help humanity become a multi-planetary species with a self-sustaining civilization on another planet, namely Mars.

While many people may scoff at this idea, Musk has been confounding his critics by using his phenomenal energy and money from the buy outs of his first internet start up Zip2 (an early version of Google maps crossed with the yellow pages) and then X.com which became PayPal, to transform energy use in the home and on the road, and run commercial space flights.

Author Ashlee Vance, a fellow South African by birth, carried out over 200 interviews with friends and colleagues of Musk, and Musk himself, to try and uncover more about the man who has been touted as the next Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison.

Musk doesn’t look for business opportunities but for opportunities to help the world. He is known for being a profoundly gifted engineer and difficult to work with, but has learnt many useful lessons along the way:

All these experiences have shaped Musk into a confident CEO, able to command the respect of thousands. He is talented at finding bright, ambitious staff – looking for people who have built things since they were young and luring them to his companies where twenty hour days are not uncommon. Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX are thriving businesses, despite setbacks like exploding rockets. Whatever people’s personal experience of Musk, there is no denying he is a true inventor and celebrity industrialist who is able to take big ideas and turn them into products that sell. A lesson for us all in thinking big, remaining focused and getting the right people in place.

Musk’s achievements

About the author

Ashlee Vance is an award winning feature writer for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. He previously worked for The New York Times and The Economist.

Vance was born in South Africa, like Musk, and grew up in Texas and attended Pomona College. He has spent more than a decade covering the technology industry and is a noted Silicon Valley historian.


“An essential read….a riveting portrait of Silicon Valley’s most driven entrepreneur since Steve Jobs” Financial Times

“Exhaustively reported . . . this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we’ve seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him” New York Times

Book Details

Author: Ashlee Vance

ISBN: 978-0753555620