I was thrilled after reading this book, didn't know much about Elon Musk before. He is such a insanely passionate figure, but sometimes cruel, and has no-empathy kind of man.
Through out this book, you'll see how Musk greatness mind, passion, suffer and struggle from him for making the Musk.co (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity) and his early startup life including Zip2 and his adventure in PayPal.
Learn a lot, it's really worth to read!
I thought i might have this reaction... Keep em coming, Ashlee!
Восхитительная книга для неравнодушных к техническому прогрессу людей
# Elon Musk
* “We’re thinking, Yeah, you and whose fucking army,” Cantrell said. “But, Elon says, ‘No, I’m serious. I have this spreadsheet.’” Musk passed his laptop over to Griffin and Cantrell, and they were dumbfounded. The document detailed the costs of the materials needed to build, assemble, and launch a rocket. According to Musk’s calculations, he could undercut existing launch companies by building a modest-sized rocket that would cater to a part of the market that specialized in carrying smaller satellites and research payloads to space. The spreadsheet also laid out the hypothetical performance characteristics of the rocket in fairly impressive detail.
* While others tried to wrap their heads around the Internet’s implications, Musk had already set off on a purposeful plan of attack. He envisioned many of the early pieces of technology—directories, maps, sites that focused on vertical markets—that would become mainstays on the Web. Then, just as people became comfortable with buying things from Amazon.com and eBay, Musk made the great leap forward to full-fledged Internet banking. He would bring standard financial instruments online and then modernize the industry with a host of new concepts. He exhibited a deep insight into human nature that helped his companies pull off exceptional marketing, technology, and financial feats. Musk was already playing the entrepreneur game at the highest level and working the press and investors like few others could. Did he hype things up and rub people the wrong way? Absolutely—and with spectacular results.
Based in large part on Musk’s guidance, PayPal survived the bursting of the dot-com bubble, became the first blockbuster IPO after the 9/11 attacks, and then sold to eBay for an astronomical sum while the rest of the technology industry was mired in a dramatic downturn. It was nearly impossible to survive let alone emerge as a winner in the midst of such a mess.
PayPal also came to represent one of the greatest assemblages of business and engineering talent in Silicon Valley history. Both Musk and Thiel had a keen eye for young, brilliant engineers.
* Musk was always looking for brainy engineers who had not just done well at school but had done something exceptional with their talents. When he found someone good, Musk was relentless in courting him or her to come to SpaceX. Bryan Gardner, for example, first met Musk at a space rave in the hangars at the Mojave airport and a short while later started talking about a job. Gardner was having some of his academic work sponsored by Northrop Grumman. “Elon said, ‘We’ll buy them out,’” Gardner said. “So, I e-mailed him my resume at two thirty A.M., and he replied back in thirty minutes addressing everything I put in there point by point. He said, ‘When you interview make sure you can talk concretely about what you do rather than use buzzwords.’ It floored me that he would take the time to do this.” After being hired, Gardner was tasked with improving the system for testing the valves on the Merlin engine. There were dozens of valves, and it took three to five hours to manually test each one. Six months later, Gardner had built an automated system for testing the valves in minutes. The testing machine tracked the valves individually, so that an engineer in Texas could request what the metrics had been on a specific part. “I had been handed this redheaded stepchild that no one else wanted to deal with and established my engineering credibility,” Gardner said.
* And, in a nod to Musk’s obsession with safety, the rocket was said to be able to complete its missions even if three of the five engines failed, which was a level of added reliability that had not been seen in the market in decades.
* “Elon can be very demanding, but he’ll make sure the obstacles in your way are removed,” Hollman said.
* Musk never relented in asking his employees to do more and be better, whether it was at the office or during extracurricular activities.
* ‘Don’t ever fucking let that happen again,’” Spikes said. “He had a way of looking at you—a glare—and would keep looking at you until you understood him.”
* Musk had tried to find contractors that could keep up with SpaceX’s creativity and pace. Instead of always hitting up aerospace guys, for example, he located suppliers with similar experience from different fields. Early on, SpaceX needed someone to build the fuel tanks, essentially the main body of the rocket, and Musk ended up in the Midwest talking to companies that had made large, metal agricultural tanks used in the dairy and food processing businesses. These suppliers also struggled to keep up with SpaceX’s schedule, and Musk found himself flying across the country to pay visits—sometimes surprise ones—on the contractors to check on their progress. One such inspection took place at a company in Wisconsin called Spincraft. Musk and a couple of SpaceX employees flew his jet across the country and arrived late at night expecting to see a shift of workers doing extra duty to get the fuel tanks completed. When Musk discovered that Spincraft was well behind schedule, he turned to a Spincraft employee and informed him, “You’re fucking us up the ass, and it doesn’t feel good.” David Schmitz was a general manager at Spincraft and said Musk earned a reputation as a fearsome negotiator who did indeed follow up on things personally. “If Elon was not happy, you knew it,” Schmitz said. “Things could get nasty.” In the months that followed that meeting, SpaceX increased its internal welding capabilities so that it could make the fuel tanks in El Segundo and ditch Spincraft.
* “The guy comes in, and Elon asks him why they’re meeting,” Spikes said. “He said, ‘To develop a relationship.’ Elon replied, ‘Okay. Nice to meet you,’ which basically meant, ‘Get the fuck out of my office.’ This guy had spent four hours traveling for what ended up as a two-minute meeting. Elon just has no tolerance for that kind of stuff.” Musk could be equally brisk with employees who were not hitting his standards. “He would often say, ‘The longer you wait to fire someone the longer it has been since you should have fired them,’” Spikes said.
1. During the initial test, one of the pricey chambers cracked. Then the second one broke in the same place. Musk ordered a third test, as the engineers looked on in horror. They thought the test might be putting the chamber under undue stress and that Musk was burning through essential equipment. When the third chamber cracked, Musk flew the hardware back to California, took it to the factory floor, and, with the help of some engineers, started to fill the chambers with an epoxy to see if it would seal them. “He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty,” Mueller said. “He’s out there with his nice Italian shoes and clothes and has epoxy all over him. They were there all night and tested it again and it broke anyway.” Musk, clothes ruined, had decided the hardware was flawed, tested his hypothesis, and moved on quickly, asking the engineers to come up with a new solution
* “Something had gone wrong, and Elon asked me how long it would take to be operational again, and I didn’t have an immediate answer. He said, ‘You need to. This is important to the company. Everything is riding on this. Why don’t you have an answer?’ He kept hitting me with pointed, direct questions. I thought it was more important to let him know quickly what happened, but I learned it was more important to have all the information.”
* people inside and outside the company were doing back-of-the-envelope math and could tell that SpaceX likely could only afford one more attempt—maybe two. To the extent that the financial situation unnerved Musk, he rarely if ever let it show to employees. “Elon did a great job of not burdening people with those worries,” said Spikes. “He always communicated the importance of being lean and of success, but it was never ‘if we fail, we’re done for.’ He was very optimistic.”
* Together, Hollman and Mueller figured out which parts of the engines SpaceX would build at the factory and which parts it would try to buy. For the purchased parts, Hollman had to head out to various machine shops and get quotes and delivery dates for the hardware. Quite often, the machinists told Hollman that SpaceX’s timelines were nuts. Others were more accommodating and would try to bend an existing product to SpaceX’s needs instead of building something from scratch.
2. Musk did open up to a couple of close friends and expressed the depth of his misery. But for the most part, Justine read her husband right. He didn’t qsee the value in grieving publicly. “It made me extremely sad to talk about it,” Musk said. “I’m not sure why I’d want to talk about extremely sad events. It does no good for the future. If you’ve got other kids and obligations, then wallowing in sadness does no good for anyone around you. I’m not sure what should be done in such situations.”
* “He doesn’t do well in dark places,” she told Esquire magazine. “He’s forward-moving, and I think it’s a survival thing with him.”
Great book about the great man.
Really great book!
Muy recomendable. La determinación y la constante capacidad de innovación de este personaje no tienen límites !!
The book gives you an inspiration to DO. No matter how difficult, even impossible is the idea, put the hard work - you'll get what you deserve.
Quite interesting biography. If you like IT/Techologies/Cosmos - I will like this book.
Enjoyed reading about the next most inspiring person in the technology industry
Very Inspiring biography