Elon Musk: Inventing the future by Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk is as distinctielmve as his name. To concurrently invest in three different disparate industries and be successful is unheard of. Even Steve Jobs could not do that!

The Musks were rather well off in South Africa but Elon had a very distressed childhood especially when his parents divorced. He was tormented and browbeaten. He has vivid memories of being trampled upon by some of his classmates for no apparent reason. He found consolation in reading about solar energy and rockets – the gear with which he will eventually build his future. Fast forward ten years and Musk is ready to board a flight to Canada without a clear idea what exactly is going to do there!

Elon does some odd jobs at 18 before he started an internet company with his brother in garage which happens to be picked up by investors for mind-boggling sum. This company was zip2 and it made Musk a superstar in the Silicon Valley parlance. His next venture x.com was closely related to PayPal. He also wanted to kick off a parallel banking industry because he thought the current transaction system has a lot of inefficiencies. With increasing office politics and control waning, he was removed from his post as CEO and Peter Thiel – billionaire investor in Facebook – took over. When PayPal was sold to EBay, Musk netted $ 200 million with which he began SpaceX and Tesla cars

SpaceX commenced operations with one vision in mind – to make a trip to Mars. With this forethought, they set off getting together a team of exceptional scientists from all around US. To construct and put to the test a rocket from a scratch (Musk figured out!) demands a lot of energy and money. It took 4 years to get it off the ground and just before the money ran out, rocket rose into space in its fourth attempt. This is no mean feat when measured up to Lockheed Martin and Boeing – his competitors with deep pockets. SpaceX now has regular contracts with NASA.

Electric Cars is his passion and he designed the super roadster and model S and model X. With the latest show of his Model 3 he has surpassed all records for a new car launch when you compare Tesla to giants like GM and Chrysler. Not only electric cars prevent environment from deteriorating further but also saves you money in the long run. To support his growth in sales of his cars, he has built charging stations all around US. Furthering his ambitions on making it easy for customers to charge their cars he is planning to come up with a robotic arm of charging station to plug in directly into the car. Every time a new model is launched, Tesla’s public image and share prices reach the moon

His third venture of using solar energy to power homes in US is the best investment he has made and always had the minimal challenges he had to encounter. Not only more and more homes in US are buying solar panels but finding it easy to use them thanks to solar city’s easy solutions. Recently, I read an article in the paper that mentioned about how first time in decades electricity companies in US have lost money and have shelled their plans for expansion because of tremendous growth in demand of solar panels and their eventual usage.

Elon Musk is the real superhero of our times! Mankind pin their hopes on him and his three fantastic companies to advance all of us into a new scientific frontier. Read this book and know all about there is to know about this man and his three awe-inspiring companies. I give it a 5/5. Happy reading!

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