Elon Musk (born 28 June 1971) is an American entrepreneur, originally from South Africa. He is best known for founding SpaceX and for co-founding Tesla Motors and PayPal (originally X.com). At SpaceX he is the CEO and Chief Designer and at Tesla Motors he is Product Architect, CEO, and Technoking.
- History is written by the victors … except on Wikipedia haha. 
- We must pass the great filter! June 21, 2020
- "People tend to think like, 'Why should electric vehicles have a subsidy,' but they're not taking into account that all fossil fuel-burning vehicles fundamentally are subsidised by the cost—the environmental cost—to Earth, but nobody's paying for it... We are going to pay for it, obviously—in the future we'll pay for it. It's just not paid for now."—Elon Musk (interview with Joe Rogan, published 2018-09-06)
- "Holy flying fuck, that thing took off!"
- Reaction to Falcon Heavy LaunchVideo: Behind-the-Scenes: See How Elon Musk Celebrated the Falcon Heavy Launch.
- I think there is a strong humanitarian argument for making life multi-planetary in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen.
- DK Smithsonian, Journey: An Illustrated History of Travel, ISBN 978-1-4654-6414-9 (Page 343).
- "I don’t get the little ship thing. You can’t show up at Mars in something the size of a rowboat. What if there are Martians? It would be so embarrassing."
- Musk, Elon. "I don't get the little ship thing".
- "It would be an incredible adventure. And life needs to be more than just solving every day problems. You need to wake up and be excited about the future"
- On "eyeing" for Mars, IAC 2016 meeting, presentation on sustainable Mars colonization.
- One thing that is important is that, if you have a choice between a lower valuation with someone you really like, or higher valuation with someone you have a question mark about, take the lower valuation.
- During an interview with PandoDaily - Fireside Chat With Elon Musk - Jul, 17th 2012
- "I'd rather be optimistic and wrong; than pessimistic and right."
- We have planes, trains, automobiles and boats, ... What if there was a fifth mode?
- on the Hyperloop.
- Garber, Megan (13 July 2012). "The Real iPod: Elon Musk's Wild Idea for a 'Jetson Tunnel' from S.F. to L.A.". The Atlantic. Retrieved on 21 July 2012.
- "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
- Fast Company, article "Hondas in Space" (1 February 2005)
- In terms of the Internet, it's like humanity acquiring a collective nervous system. Whereas previously we were more like a... collection of cells that communicated by diffusion. With the advent of the Internet, it was suddenly like we got a nervous system. It's a hugely impactful thing.
- Mann, Adam (26 April 2012). "Video: Wired’s Interview with SpaceX’s Elon Musk". Wired. Retrieved on 18 August 2012.
- I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness to make sure it continues into the future.
- Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond our little blue mud ball--or go extinct.
- Elon Musk. Esquire (1 October 2008). Retrieved on 29 November 2012.
- I would like to die on Mars; just not on impact.
- Vance, Ashley (13 September 2012). "Elon Musk, the 21st Century Industrialist". Bloomberg. Retrieved on 14 September 2012.
- When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.
- 60 Minutes, season 44, episode 26 (18 March 2012)
- We need to figure out how to have the things we love, and not destroy the world.
- Driving With Elon Musk (26 March 2012).
- Since our primary competitors [in space launch] are national governments, the enforceability of patents is questionable.
- Elon Musk: The mind behind Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity ... (19 March 2013).
- Even if there's a zombie apocalypse, you'll still be able to travel using the Tesla Supercharging system.
- Tesla speeds up free nationwide charging network, 20-minute quick repower. Yahoo! (30 May 2013).
- Everything works in PowerPoint; but if you have the physical item or some demonstration software, that's much more convincing to people than a PowerPoint presentation or a business plan.
- Colonizing Mars The Future Belongs to SpaceX and Elon Musk (Jan 23, 2015)
- The heroes of the books I read, The Lord of the Rings and the Foundation series, always felt a duty to save the world.
- Plugged In: Can Elon Musk lead the way to an electric-car future?. New Yorker (24 August 2009). Retrieved on 7 February 2015.
- They [Apple] have hired people we've fired. We always jokingly call Apple the "Tesla Graveyard." If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding. ... cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can't just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car. But for Apple, the car is the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation. A new pencil or a bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough.
- All Charged Up in Berlin in Handelsblatt (25 September 2015)
- AI is much more advanced than people realize. ... Humanity's position on this planet depends on its intelligence so if our intelligence is exceeded, it's unlikely that we will remain in charge of the planet.
- Artificial intelligence: Should we be as terrified as Elon Musk and Bill Gates? in ZDNet (20 October 2015)
- SpaceX's got 5,000 people. I get a lot of attention, but they are really doing the work.
- SpaceX Dragon Headed to the ISS at NASA Post-Launch News Conference (April 8, 2016)
- The probability of death is quite high on the first [human] mission [to Mars].
- "Elon Musk's Plan To Colonize Mars Gives Us The Sci-Fi Future We Crave: Now let's see if he can make it reality." Popular Science magazine. (September 27, 2016)
- "Guardian is the most insufferable newspaper on planet Earth."
- "People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very hard to make it better, and actually it will, I think, by itself degrade, actually. You look at great civilizations like Ancient Egypt, and they were able to make the pyramids, and they forgot how to do that. And then the Romans, they built these incredible aqueducts. They forgot how to do it."
- Career advice from Elon Musk's latest TED interview, in one sentence at 2017 TED conference (May 9, 2017)
- Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.
- Every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors.
- What Elon Musk Taught Me About Growing A Business (16 October 2017)
- Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. Thai navy seals escorted us in — total opposite of wanting us to leave. Water level was actually very low & still (not flowing) — you could literally have swum to Cave 5 with no gear, which is obv how the kids got in. If not true, then I challenge this dude to show final rescue video. You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.
- Refering to British diver Vern Unsworth, who participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue. As quoted in Elon Musk calls British diver who helped rescue Thai schoolboys 'pedo guy' in Twitter outburst (15 July 2018) by Eleanor Busby, The Independent.
- I don't think most people, even in the aerospace industry, like, know what question to ask. Like it took us a long time to even frame the question correctly. But once we could frame the question correctly, the answer was, I wouldn't say easy, but, the answer flowed once the question could be framed with precision. Framing that question with precision was very difficult.
- Regarding the BFR, during announcement of first private passenger on lunar mission, 17 September 2018
- im actually cat girl here’s selfie rn
- [Artificial intelligence] is just digital intelligence. And as the algorithms and the hardware improve, that digital intelligence will exceed biological intelligence by a substantial margin. It's obvious. Ensuring that the advent of AI is good, or at least we try to make it good, seems like a smart move. We're not paying attention. We worry more about what name somebody called someone else, than whether AI will destroy humanity. That's insane. We're like children in a playground. ... The way in which a regulation is put in place is slow and linear. If you have a linear response to an exponential threat, it's quite likely the exponential threat will win. That, in a nutshell, is the issue.
- Axios, season 1, episode 4 (25 November 2018)
- Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than earth. Really, the ad for going to Mars would be like Shackleton’s ad for going to the Antarctic: "It’s gonna be hard. There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space. You might land successfully. Once you land successfully, you’ll be working nonstop to build the base. So, you know, not much time for leisure. And even after doing all this, it’s a very harsh environment, so there’s a good chance you die there. We think you can come back, but we’re not sure." Now, does that sound like an escape hatch for rich people?
- Axios, season 1, episode 4 (25 November 2018)
- No one should put this many hours into work. This is not good. People should not work this hard. They should not do this. This is very painful. ...it hurts my brain and my heart. ... This is not recommended for anyone. ... I just did it because if I didn't do it, then there was a good chance Tesla would die.
- Axios, season 1, episode 4 (25 November 2018)
- I believe there’s some explanation for this universe, which you might call God.
- Axios, season 1, episode 4 (25 November 2018)
- The fundamental message that consumers should be taking today is that it's financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla. It would be like owning a horse in three years. I mean, fine if you want to own a horse. But you should go into it with that expectation. If you buy a car that does not have the hardware for full self-driving, it is like buying a horse. And the only car that has the hardware for full self-driving is a Tesla.
- Said during the Tesla Autonomy Investor Day, at Tesla Headquarters in Palo Alto, CA, on 22 April 2019.
- It’s so insane the way rockets work today. It would be like if you got a plane and the way you get to your destination is you bail out with a parachute over the city in question and your plane crash lands somewhere. That’s how rockets work today—with the exception of Falcon 9. This is completely bonkers.
- TIME Magazine, 12 July 2019, https://time.com/5628572/elon-musk-moon-landing/
- If it were to take longer to convince NASA and the authorities that we can do it versus just doing it, then [SpaceX] might just do it [ourselves]. It may literally be easier to just land Starship on the moon than try to convince NASA that we can.
- TIME Magazine, 12 July 2019, https://time.com/5628572/elon-musk-moon-landing/
- If somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great. They should be allowed to stay in their house, and they should not be compelled to leave. But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom.
- Susan Walsh, “Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg Aren’t on the Same Page,” New York Times, (April 30, 2020)
- This notion though, that you can just sort of send checks out to everybody and things will be fine is not true, obviously. Some have this absurd view that the economy is like some magic horn of plenty… that just makes stuff. There’s a magic horn of plenty, and the goods and services, they just come from this magic horn of plenty. And then if somebody has more stuff than somebody else, it’s because they took more from this magic horn of plenty. Now let me just break it to the fools out there: If you don’t make stuff, there’s no stuff. If you don’t make the food, if you don’t process the food, if you don’t transport the food, medical treatment, getting your teeth fixed, there’s no stuff. We’ve become detached from reality. You can’t just legislate money and solve these things. If you don’t make stuff, there is no stuff.
- Joe Rogan’s podcast (May 7, 2020)
- We [the United States] will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.
- The extreme difficulty of scaling production of new technology is not well understood. It’s 1000% to 10,000% harder than making a few prototypes. The machine that makes the machine is vastly harder than the machine itself.
"Starship Update" talk at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas on September 28, 2019
- According to the geological records, earth has been around for around 4.5 billion years, although it was mostly molten magma for about half a billion years... The sun is gradually getting hotter and bigger, and over time, even in the absence of global warming — the man-made stuff — the sun will expand and it will overheat the earth. My guess is probably... there is only several hundred million years left.... Basically, if it took an extra 10% longer for conscious life to evolve on earth, it wouldn't evolve at all, because it would have been incinerated by the sun. ... It appears that consciousness is a very rare and precious thing, and we should take whatever steps we can to preserve the light of consciousness, and the window has been open; only now after four and a half billion years is that window open, that's a long time to wait ... I'm pretty optimistic by nature, but there's some chance that window will not be open for long, I think we should become a multi-planet civilization while that window is open, and if we do the I think probable outcome for Earth is even better, because then you know Mars could help Earth one day. And so I think we should really do our very best to become a multi-planet species and to extend consciousness beyond Earth, and we should do it now. Thank you.
- I have this mantra. It's called, "If a schedule is long, it's wrong. If it's tight, it's right." And I've just, basically just go recursive improvement on schedule, with feedback loop. "Did this make it go faster? OK. If it didn't, we're going to need to fix it." If the design takes a long time to build, it's the wrong design. This is the fundamental thing. Over and over, the tendency is to complicate things. And I have another thing which is, the best part is no part. The best process is no process. It weighs nothing, costs nothing, can't go wrong. So, as obvious as that sounds, the best part is no part. The thing I'm most impressed with, when I have the design meetings at SpaceX, is "What did you undesign?" Undesigning is the best thing. Just delete it. That's the best thing.
- During Q&A at the "Starship Update" presentation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOpMrVnjYeY&t=4807
Conversation: Elon Musk on Wired Science (2007)
From: Interview(s) by Wired Science, pbs.org. Partly republished Interview With Elon Musk Tesla Motors on youtube.com, 2007.
- I didn’t really expect to make any money. If I could make enough to cover the rent and buy some food that would be fine. As it turns out, it turned out to be quite valuable in the end.
- I don’t have an issue with serving in the military per se, but serving in the South African army suppressing black people just didn’t seem like a really good way to spend time.
- I think South Africa is a great country.
- If you wanted to be close to the cutting edge, particularly in technology, you came to North America.
- Tuition costs are outrageous. Fortunately, they gave me a scholarship…so I only had to cover living expenses, books, etc., by working.
- One was the Internet, one was clean energy and one was space.
- I could either watch it happen, or be part of it.
- We could figure out ways with small aerospace companies to do a low-cost spacecraft and lander. But we could not find a way to do a low-cost launcher, unless we went to the Russians.
- The answer was we thought it could be done.
- There is nothing inherently expensive about rockets. It's just that those who have built and operated them in the past have done so with horrendously poor efficiency.
- Falcon One is going to be the lowest cost per flight to orbit of any production rocket.
- Which means we’re cheaper than the Chinese, cheaper than [the] Russians or anywhere else – and we’re doing it in the United States with American labour costs.
- I think the reason it’s cheaper is, first of all, we are a private entity and we have a very lean system in here. What we have been able to do here at SpaceX is to cherry-pick, you know, the top one or two percent and give them, you know, capital to execute well and a clear mission, which is low cost, reliable access to space, and no other constraints.
- Well, I have tried to learn as much as possible from prior attempts.
- If nothing else, we are committed to failing in a new way.
- There’s a graveyard of prior attempts, a big graveyard. There’s probably some freshly dug graves just waiting to be filled. Our aspiration is to avoid that destination.
- I think we’ve got the risks pretty well characterized. I think we are at least avoiding the mistakes that have been made in the past.
- I think the rocket business is quite cyclic. There are a great many peaks and troughs.
- Imagine creating a huge software program that can only be tested in little pieces on a computer that is slightly different from what it is supposed to run on. However, when you do run it as a whole on the actual computer for the first time, it must run almost flawlessly without a single significant bug. When is the last time you saw a software program do that?
- When thinking about starting a business, I think it’s actually better to start in a trough and come to market in a peak, than the other way around. Frankly, if anything does, and it’s almost cliché, space has a long-term future.
- I want to be able to make sure that we have enough capital to survive at least three consecutive failures. If you want to make a small fortune in the launch vehicle business, start with a large one.
- The long term ultimate objective – the holy grail – is we would like to help make life multi-planetary.
- We got to the moon, but have never done anything better since. I'm disappointed that we have not made more progress since Apollo. I don't even see a plan that says we're going to do better than Apollo to exceed that goal.
- I like to be involved in things that change the world. The Internet did, and space will probably be more responsible for changing the world than anything else. If humanity can expand beyond the Earth, obviously that's where the future is.
- If we can be one of the companies that makes it possible for humans to become a multi-planetary species, that would be the Holy Grail. It sounds a bit crazy but it's going to happen, and only if people build the means to do so. We're making progress toward a greater philosophical goal while building a sound business.
- When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, 'Nah, what's wrong with a horse?' That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.
- It doesn’t do a great deal to advance the goal of humanity. I would pay $20 million not to spend six months in Russia. And besides this, my interest is how do we enable many other people to go to space, not necessarily me, personally.
- If we can build something that is capable of taking people and equipment to Mars, such that it can service a transportation infrastructure for humanity becoming a multi- planet species - which I think is a very, very important objective - then I would consider the mission of SpaceX successful, at that point.
- We are used to things improving every year; we are used to having a better cell phone next year than this year; a better lap top. We are even used to some basic things, like we expect more from your car in next year’s model than last year’s model. But this is not the case in space; reliability and cost - those are the fundamental parameters of transportation - have not improved.
- Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell.
- So even if a fire develops, it can't really attack the particularly vulnerable locations like the pneumatic system or the avionics or the engine bay. We want to be in the situation that even if a fire develops, the rocket just keeps going.
- A great deal of bargaining power with suppliers. We are never locked in to anyone.
- I think it is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don't know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.
- My approach is simply to seek out very talented people, ensure that the environment at SpaceX is as motivating & enjoyable as possible and establish clear & measurable objectives.
- Rocket engineering is not like ditch digging. With ditch digging you can get 100 people and dig a ditch, and you will dig it a hundred times as faster if you get 100 people versus one. With rockets, you have to solve the problem of a particular level of difficulty; one person who can solve the problem is worth an infinite number of people who can’t.
- I think that is a mistake and results in cloudy judgment on important technical issues. They can't tell if something is really good or not, so they just do what everyone else does, assuming it to be the safe bet.
- We're adding a triple sign-off for all work done on the launch pad, on flight components, and flight critical GSE. You have a technician, a responsible engineer, and then quality assurance will sign the final, record all information, and take photographs of all the work that was done, and then make sure that all information is put into our quality assurance database, which is reviewed prior to launch.
- Although I am new in the business, my team is not. I would say that, person for person, there has never been a better rocket company in existence, in history. I don’t think there has ever been a group this talented in one place, in one company, developing a rocket – ever.
If you have millions of dollars it changes your lifestyle, and anyone who says differently is talking ########. I don’t need to work, from a standard of living point of view, but I do, you know. I work every day and on weekends and I haven’t taken a vacation for years.
- This is the chance to fulfill a dream.
- I’m nauseatingly pro-American. It is where great things are possible.
- As life’s agents, it’s on our shoulders.
Foreword to Marc Kaufman's Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission. National Geographic. ISBN 978-1-4262-1278-9.
- ... I plan to travel to Mars and make it my home.
- Page 9.
- People should be travelling to Mars and doing it in our lifetime.
- Page 9
- Only by breaking through to new paradigms of space travel will more than a handful of us ever get to Mars and make it a potentially livable place.
- Page 10
- Getting to Mars is too big an accomplishment for us to feel proud by just by swinging by. We are a nation of enterprise as well as exploration, and we're not about to go there without making something of it.
- Page 10
- Sending large numbers of people to explore and settle Mars in the decades ahead isn't inevitable, but it is entirely possible. The biggest challenge isn't the engineering and spacecraft, however difficult they may be. Instead, it's making sure that a sustained Mars campaign proceeds as a national priority, and that will happen only if the American people are behind it. We have the opportunity now to make this happen. We might not be so fortunate in the future.
- Page 13
- So, I think the best analogy for rocket engineers, if you want to create complicated software, you can't run as an integrated whole, or run on the computer it's intended to run on, but, first time you run it, it has to run with no bugs. That's the essence of it. So ... we missed the mark there.
- Caltech Commencement Address - 2012
Joe Rogan Experience
On simulation theory (Joe Rogan Experience #1169)
"if you assume any rate of improvement at all, then games will be indistinguishable from reality ..."
"we could be in base reality"
"this is just about probability"
" ... there are many, many simulations ..."
"you might as well call them reality, or multiverse"
" ... they're running on the substrate ... that substrate is probably boring"
Quotes about Elon Musk
- If there was a sci-fi novel with a megalomaniac billionaire who was the son of an Apartheid emerald mine owner, and he was privatizing space exploration so the public no longer has a say in it... you know that would be considered bad, right?
The heroes would fight to stop SpaceX.
- Remember in the 60s when rockets launched and the credit was given to the scientists and astronauts that actually made it happen?
Now it's given to the billionaire who pillaged NASA tech and is now using it as his playground and promotion for his cars. That's bad. SpaceX is bad.
- Encyclopedic article on Elon Musk at Wikipedia