Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed: Elon Musk

by Scott Edward Walker on January 20th, 2012

To Our Clients & Friends: Welcome to our weekly series “Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed.”  Each week, we share a favorite video of a successful entrepreneur, investor or business leader on a variety of topics.  This week, we present Elon Musk, a brilliant entrepreneur and the co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies.

In this interesting, 15-minute clip (courtesy of the 2011 Clean Tech Investor Summit), Elon discusses his rationale for founding Tesla and then provides solid advice to entrepreneurs (starting at the 5:33 mark), including the importance of:

  • critical thinking  (i.e., the “fundamentals of logic”) and avoiding “wishful thinking”;
  • not following the trends and looking at things from a “first-principles standpoint”;
  • trying to get to a useful prototype as soon as possible with the least amount of money – i.e., showing investors the actual working hardware (as opposed to a powerpoint presentation);
  • allowing for a certain amount of chaos in an organization, including encouraging failure;
  • persistence (you should not give up if you’re convinced what you’re doing is “correct”); and
  • understanding how tough it is to start a company (“starting companies is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death”).

Elon then provides some fascinating predictions about the future (starting at the 10:21 mark).  I hope you enjoy it.  Many thanks, Scott

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.