Books Reviews

Book Review: Elon Musk, How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance

Blurb

South African born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things, and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey Junior.

The Review

“Part of it stems from SpaceX being the apotheosis of the Cult of Musk. Employees fear Musk. They adore Musk. They give up their lives for Musk, and they usually do all of this simultaneously.”

If you follow me on Instagram, then you would know that I have been raving about Elon Musk for about a month. I honestly went into this book with low expectations considering that I didn’t know much about him. He first came across my radar when I saw a video on YouTube marketing a spaceship that his company Space X is making which would allow people to travel anywhere in the world within an hour. I remember thinking to myself ‘Wow, this is adventurous and crazy!’. A few days later, one of his tweets criticising the rush to invest in artificial intelligence surfaced on my timeline. I found his criticisms interesting and embarked on a few minutes of tweeter stalking, after which I decided I wanted to learn more about him.

“Zip2, PayPal, Tesla, SolarCity – they are all expressions of Musk. SpaceX is Musk.”

Just a brief background about Elon Musk before I get to the review. Musk is the CEO of SpaceX a company that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. In addition, he is also the CEO of Tesla, an American automaker company that designs and manufactures fully electric cars. Alongside this, he is also the co-founder of SolarCity, a company that specialises in solar services. Musk is also one of the early founders of PayPal, an online payment system that we are all accustomed to.

“Each one of his businesses is interconnected in the short term and the long term.”

At this point, you’re probably wondering how one man is able to build multiple large-scale companies and you would be on the right track. The strength of this book lies in answering this question. It takes you into the world of Elon Musk and the processes behind every single one of his businesses. You get an insight into his management style, the influence of his upbringing on who he is today, as well as the highs and lows of his career so far. There were many moments where I was on the edge of my seat reading this book. It reads like a thriller. Full of suspense and dramatic moments, the book makes you feel connected to Musk’s journey.

It seems like one should try to make the world a better place because the inverse makes no sense.

Elon Musk is an extremely complex individual and despite his flaws- which the book presents honestly – he is a man with a lot of resolve. There is a lot to admire about him as a visionary who genuinely wants to make the world a better place. This is the thread that connects all of his businesses.

Top Three Quotes

Musk also began to hone his trademark style of entering an ultra-complex business and not letting the fact that he knew very little about the industry’s nuances bother him in the slightest.

He’s willing to take an insane amount of personal risk. When you do a deal like that, it either pays off or you end up in a bus shelter somewhere.

“His biggest enemy will be himself and the way he treats people.”

Rating 

✯✯✯✯✯- Life Companion. Thank me later!

Guide to Book Review Rating
✯ – Meh
✯✯ – Read at your own risk
✯✯✯ – Hit and Miss
✯✯✯✯- Hooked
✯✯✯✯✯- Life Companion. Thank me later!

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