10 Game-Changing Initiatives to Learn from Elon Musk

Anh Luu
August 14, 2017

Elon Musk, donned the real-life Tony Stark, has continued to overcome seemingly unsurmountable odds to carve out space in our reality for his incredible plans. The technology mogul has dabbled in multiple industries; from sustainable automotive energy to rocket science, earning him the title of Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year, Inc’s Entrepreneur of the year, and Forbe’s top billionaires. But these titles aren’t the be-all-and-end-all for Musk. He repeatedly proves through sheer determination and pure brilliance that the bottom line matters most, not the title that comes from achieving such great things.

What’s Mr. Musk’s bottom line, one might ask? We will quickly find out through these seven brilliant-yet-brutal insights from Elon Musk himself. If there’s one thing you must know about Mr. Musk, it is that he simply never gives up.

Commit to Something You Find Important

“I just thought, These are important things. And if Tesla were to fail, it would be held up as a warning for ever, a setback for electric cars in general. Same for SpaceX and commercial rocket companies. Everyone would have said, ‘That was pretty stupid, because everyone knows that rockets are just done by huge government organizations.'”

If There is No Way, Make a Way

“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”

 Consolidating Your Tools and Assets Can Be Good

“It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.”

More People Isn’t Always the Answer

“It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.”

Never Stop A/B Testing

“There are really two things that have to occur in order for a new technology to be affordable to the mass market. One is you need economies of scale. The other is you need to iterate on the design. You need to go through a few versions.”

Have the Right Ingredients

“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”

Don’t Just Strive for Different, Strive for Better

“When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.”

 There’s Always a Better Solution

“Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s not, or you’re going to get fixated on a bad solution.”

The Brand Image Should Be the Byproduct, Not the Goal

“I always have optimism, but I’m realistic. It was not with the expectation of great success that I started Tesla or SpaceX… It’s just that I thought they were important enough to do anyway.”

Hard Work Beats Talent

“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 workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.”

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All quotes sourced from Inc.com

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