1) Doesn't want to speculate on Hyperloop before he's sure it can exist
2) Freely admits he was too shy to talk to anyone in the Netscape lobby when he went there fresh out of college looking for a job
3) Doesn't read a lot of general business books. Instead reads auto-/biographies of scientists and entrepreneurs.
Plus, he likes Burning Man (I love it but it's not for everyone) and casually mentions he had the idea for a "super-sonic vertical takeoff and landing plane" there. In comparison, I just got back from BM and my only work-related idea was that I should really put some more effort into my work.
So far I haven't heard any stories about him being an ass either, which is very reassuring for those of us who don't want to be like Steve Jobs. Even in this interview he seems reluctant to reveal too much information about people he didn't like working with.
I just wish people like him were more attracted to politics. I wonder if it's because nobody would elect people like Elon Musk or because those people avoid politics.
He ended up being replaced as CEO after a vote because of this whole debacle.
It's the only description of Musk that I've read in which he is painted in a negative way. Keep in mind the author might be biased against Elon because Elon was CEO of X.com which was "the enemy" of Paypal.
The only negativity in recent years was due to a book called The PayPal Wars, written by a sycophantic jackass called Eric Jackson. This guy was one notch above an intern at PayPal in the first few years of the company, but gives the impression he was a key player and privy to all the high level discussions. Eric couldn't find a real publisher, so Peter funded Eric to self-publish the book. Since Eric worships Peter, the outcome was obvious - Peter sounds like Mel Gibson in Braveheart and my role is somewhere between negligible and a bad seed. However, to his credit, Peter didn't realize the book would be as bad as it was and apologized to me personally at a Room 9 board meeting at David Sacks's home in LA.
"The Truth Lies Somewhere in the Middle": Does It?
As far the stories there's the one about how badly one of the original Tesla founders was fucked over. I don't have time to look it up but it is ugly. He also insulted some blogger who asked critical questions, replying with "your mom" and stuff like that.
I have no idea one way or the other but be critical of how things are portrayed, particularly if they seem a little too good.
(EDIT: Here's a link about the story mentioned: http://green.autoblog.com/2007/12/02/martin-eberhard-comment...
There's a more detailed account somewhere which includes some very petty maneuvering by Tesla, like removing Martin Eberhard's name from the list of founders and badly damaging his founder's edition Roadster before delivery, but I didn't find it on a quick search)
I'm starting to think that I'm OK with the great scientists and entrepreneurs not dabbling in politics. I'd rather have a world where politicians keep doing what they're doing, so long as they don't ruin everything, and entrepreneurs keep doing the same. But maybe this is just a phase in my own thinking.
More succinctly, Mr. Musk would have a much lesser impact as POTUS than as himself in his current role.
There's no way to know for sure, but I'm curious about your reasoning. I'm not sure if I'd even agree with you. A technology and science focused president could do a lot of good, not least of all changing the mindset of people. Of course it'll be hard to get anything done with all the bipartisanism and opposition but that's a separate issue.
That's actually my point though, which is purely pragmatic. In a world where we don't have to account for politics, sure, I'd love to see what would happen if scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs were to govern. In a world where most of the time in government seems, to this observer, to be spent politicking, I'd rather see people like Mr. Musk doing his own thing.
After stating that, I still would like to see more engineering types in leadership positions because engineers are more data driven. However, most engineers are too busy building things to run for office.
Woodrow Wilson was an intellectual (though not a scientist) and he was president.
Keep in mind the president's cabinet members probably consist of many scientists and this is probably sufficient for advising and keeping the president knowledgeable on issues.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Chu - Nobel prize in physics - Secretary of Energy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Blank - PhD in Econ - Secretary of Commerce
Probably more scientists on board.
EDIT: After brushing up on a little ww2 history, it seems as though I've attributed too much blame to Wilson. He pushed a liberal approach towards Germany, the French delegation pushed for harsh reparations, and he lost out.
I see it in the people that do the real work, and what's sad in a way is that the people that are the most giving, hardworking, and capable of making this world better, usually don't have the ego and ambition to be a leader.
I know he's still young, but given his influence and intrigue, I would buy a solid biography of his in a second.
But that's the cynic in me.
Jeez can't someone ask him something new and different.
One I want to know is why he created Zip2 when he has always wanted to make an impact on the world? What was his thought process at the time? Did he think he'd make some quick money and move on or did he really think zip2 would change the world?
That is pretty world changing.
And his core operational and strategic steps in starting a startup.
Edit: source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk#Interests
Liquid accelerates until the solar input meets equilibrium with the (extremely low) energy loss through friction with the surface.
Ride the flow dude!
I've always been most fascinated with people who start car companies. It's always been something that I would love to do as an entrepreneur and auto enthusiast but creating a car company has it's obvious barriers to entry.
I've always wondered about this and it's interesting that Elon states that most body styles cost (relatively) the same. Anyone have a further explanation for this?
1) These concept designs don't work that well in real conditions, are hard to manufacture or don't have a support network
2) People actually expect and want "regular" looking cars. The speaker made a example of hospital equipment which has to look fancy and complicated, because otherwise people won't trust it (and therefore, buy it).
I guess Tesla can work around the first point since, they're a new maker and don't have any previous investments, which allows them to try new ways of doing things.
They're pretty good at the second point as well, since don't make or sell "regular cars" anyway. Tesla Roadster is not an average car, it's a high-end sports car for techfreaks and I think the prospects for the sedan is also pretty much in early adopter audience.
Musk then elaborated nicely, saying that people use the assumption that batteries have always been expensive so they always will be expensive. A better way to look at the problem is to check the London spot price for the individual battery components; cobalt, aluminium etc and deriving a price from that.
Are there books or resources where I can train this 'mental muscle' of looking at the world through first principals?
I should mention that don't have a physics or engineering background myself.
Any ideas what he may be describing?
So maybe it is a kind of bullet train riding on the shockwave. But he must confine this shockwave somehow(if he want´s supersonic at ground level with out neighbors burning it down) , maybe with a tube?. Maybe this tube could provide the support for the solar panels, stabilize the flight of the "train"(using the shockwave to steer it?) and storage the energy as a kind of capacitor... This way you don´t need an actual very expensive sealed tube with vacuum in it , just some metal plates with enough form to deflect(and mute) the waves once the "plane" passes...(and serve as capacitors too).
I am guessing all this with just one sentence so it must be way off :).
Thanks to spaceX and Tesla he has more knowledge now of electrical engines, electricity storage and transport, high energy aerodynamics, etc... it must be something that combines all that somehow..
You'd still need a safe way to stop the vehicle in the event of an earthquake and rupturing of the path down which the vehicle flies.
Franklin Biography by Isaacson
either point to the YouTube video itself
or to the show page at http://foundation.kr
Don't give News Corp the traffic it doesn't deserve.
Here's a Charlie Rose interview: http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10550