Book of the Week: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
This week’s selection is “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance.
This is, of course, not a book about 3D printing at all, but is instead a book about hope, vision and striving to achieve the impossible. I believe those are dimensions of great interest to Fabbaloo readers like you.
Musk, if by some factor you have not heard in the past few years, is one of the foremost entrepreneurs making revolutionary change — and in more than one industry.
His best known ventures are, certainly, Tesla, the electric vehicle company, and SpaceX, the space transportation company that has made so much news recently. Both companies have somehow turned their respective industries upside down by basically reinventing the products and technologies that have been traditionally used.
While I haven’t (yet) had a ride on a Falcon 9, I do happen to own a Tesla vehicle for about a year now. While many people may think “it’s a car with an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine”, there is so much more than that. Essentially they have re-invented the concept of a car from ground up. It’s more like using an app than driving a car.
Similarly, their radical concepts of re-usability have revolutionized the rocket industry. The re-usability features have allowed SpaceX to dramatically lower the cost of access to outer space, and caused all of their competitors to begin significant development of new approaches.
This book tells Musk’s story, from his origin in South Africa, through his Canadian experience, and finally as a tech startup entrepreneur with PayPal. By the way, his take from the sale of PayPal was the funding that launched both Tesla and SpaceX.
Vance reviews the early days of SpaceX and Tesla, which turn out to have been spectacularly risky for Musk and his investments.
Finally, Vance ends the book with a chapter entitled, “The Unified Field Theory of Elon Musk”, a play on the long-sought quest for a unified field theory of physics. The idea is that all of Musk’s ventures are actually related in different ways.
Solar power provides energy for Tesla vehicles; Tesla vehicles operate in tunnels created by Musk’s new Boring Company; Mars colonies would be created by SpaceX vehicles and powered by solar power. You get the idea: synergy.
By reading this book I hope you get inspired in a similar manner. Musk’s success has largely been through his approach to projects, and those techniques could be very applicable to your own activities.
Even if they aren’t going to Mars.