HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (2015)

by Ashlee Vance

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,405479,708 (4.18)10
Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, sold one of his internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius's life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits. Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk is an amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (45)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Now that Musk is the wealthiest person in the world, I'm sure many people are reading this book. That said, I picked it up for a different reason—that I'm President of the Board of a visionary startup.

Last year I read Isaacson's biography of Jobs, and learned a lot about the business culture of Apple. This book does the same for Zip2, X.com, SpaceX, and Tesla. It also was published at an ideal time in Musk's trajectory; after he'd established all of his major enterprises, but before he's come into quite the limelight he's in now. So although Tesla and SpaceX have come a long ways since this book was published, Vance accurately predicted this course.

Like Jobs, Musk is not a caring person. Some say that the media was unduly harsh to Musk's enterprises in their early days, and yet I think this is a direct result of Musk's personal characteristics. He isn't the kind of person that you wish well for; he has bad karma. His relentlessness and rationalism detract from his ability to be a humanist. Musk has accomplished a lot, and it has come with massive interpersonal and cultural debts. To use the language of Tyson Yunkaporta, Musk is a narcissist, in that he believes that his conviction and vision for the future is more important than those around him. This ties in perfectly with the superhero inventor ethos of the USA—an ethos I have by no means entirely escaped—and, we should have the cultural humility to recognize that it is because of this narcissism that we have condemned the earth.

To take this from another perspective, Musk's vision of Mars as a "backup plan" for humanities belies his subconscious understanding that humanity is failing to live up to its responsibility to be a steward of planet earth. As the carbon market Nori has spoken to, this creates massive moral hazard. The big banks took so many risks in the 2000s in part because they knew that the federal government would bail them out if they failed. Mars creates the same risk here. Sometimes it is better to "burn the ships" as Cortez is lored to have done, as it creates a commitment that is impossible when we have the option to eject.

In the language of Greg Grandin, Musk is the epitome of the colonial frontiersman, the contemporary poster boy of Manifest Destiny. Musk's vision to colonize Mars is no different than the European vision of colonizing the America's; and history will someday see Musk as just as much a villain as Columbus. In the ebullience of the moment, in the midst of all this shiny technology, it is easy to dismiss Musk's compromised ethos, and I'll step into some of that attitude for the remainder of this post.

The engineer in me has an admiration for Musk's inventiveness and aesthetic. After exiting Zip2, Musk bought a McLaren F1—one of the most iconic supercars of all time, and a decade ahead of everything else of its era.

What are the management pointers can we learn from Musk?
- Speed creates exponential advantage
- Dominance in a resegmented market is based upon low prices
- Vertical and horizontal integration support with both of these factors ( )
  willszal | Mar 28, 2021 |
A good biography of one of the few visionary doers of this century. Well researched, a good insight to the man who has made some great advances in recent history.
  David-Block | Mar 17, 2021 |
Makes you feel silly about not being an engineer. ( )
  allkindsofbooks | Feb 17, 2021 |
Mr Vance does a great job telling us about Musk in a balanced way, so that he neither comes across as superhero or villain. He's a complicated guy. In addition to this, he covers the technology and industry aspects of his life with such a good hand that I'm now wanting to learn more about solar energy, the automobile industry, and aerospace. Well done! ( )
  mullinstreetzoo | Feb 12, 2021 |
I am not a fan of biographies however having heard of Elon Musk so much in the recent news made me pick up this book.

I had this image of Elon as an eccentric billionaire CEO and reading how he had tried to upend banking, automobile, space industries had captured my imagination.

SpaceX's breakthrough elevated him to an icon status in my mind and reading this well researched and well written book has made me upgrade his status to a legend!

I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the slightest love for cars, space or technology. My only regret is that the book didnt have more chapters :) ( )
  pramodghuge | Feb 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ashlee Vanceprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sanders, FredNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Séac'h, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
/
Dedication
For Mum and Dad. Thanks for Everything.
First words
"Do you think I'm insane?"
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, sold one of his internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius's life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits. Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk is an amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.18)
0.5
1 4
1.5
2 7
2.5 2
3 37
3.5 13
4 138
4.5 21
5 124

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 157,330,738 books! | Top bar: Always visible