One of the best-selling biographies to be remembered in 2015 is “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Search for a Fantastic Future”, dedicated to the most successful and most important businessman in the world right now.
Named a modern version of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, Mask is the only one in the Silicon Valley after Steve Jobs’s death around whom a similar mystical aura floats. 44-year-old, he is the man behind PayPal, the spacecraft production company, that of Tesla Motors, and SolarCity, the largest US solar energy company. Currently, Forbes estimates his fortune to over $ 13 billion.
But he is far from “ordinary” businessman – his moves are visionary and revolutionary, in three separate industries that are linked through his projects: Tesla cars, for example, are sold with a guarantee of free fuel in the form of solar energy, from solar power stations powered by solar panels produced at Solar City. At the same time, a homemade battery with an affordable price is stored that stores solar energy and switches on when the solar panels are empty.
The ambition of Musk is unprecedented: “Our goal is a fundamental change in the way the world uses energy, a complete transformation of the full energy infrastructure of the world.” The project, again, is launched if civilization is in danger, formed a human colony on Mars, a colony comprised of more than 80,000 people, for example, Hawthorne, California, near Los Angeles, where the space is headquarters are located. The whole project is a series of ups and downs – launched in March 2006 the first SpaceX rocket that fell to the ground and collapsed in less than a minute. The same thing happened the second time. In 2008, six years after the announcement, SpaceX Falcon 1 became the first privately designed spacecraft to reach orbit.
Ashley Vance’s detailed biography is written in collaboration with Mask, though not with his final approval. They spent more than 50 hours together in interviews, in which he disclosed more details about the difficult childhood in South Africa, his beginnings as a migrant worker in Canada, the barely escaped death from malaria and the death of his first son of sudden death syndrome in newborns. The second part deals with disappointments, but also huge business successes, which, according to him, are guided not by the desire for money but by ideas. It is they, Vance says, make him work for 100 hours a week, and be harsh about himself, but also for the employees.
A former employee at Mask said: “Many of us worked hard for him for years and were thrown out like a rag. It became clear that people who work for him are like ammunition, used for a specific purpose until they are wasted and then thrown away. “A grammatical mistake in the email of marketing staff could be the reason for firing, and for absenteeism,
there was no excuse for the desire to be at the birth of one’s own child. “This is not an adequate argument, I am extremely disappointed, and you need to re-examine priorities. We change the world and history here, either you will dedicate or you will not work here “wrote Mask to one of the employees.
What is clear is that it is an uncompromising leader who invests in risky ventures, but with a long-term vision and great technical intelligence. Almost like an alien, with whom they often compare – the psychological man still has the symptoms of a classic narcissism, the need to be famous, the lack of empathy, the belief that it is smarter than all and the messianic plan to save civilization. Steve Jobs in comparison with him acts as zen.
The book is nevertheless scolded by the puzzling chronology (that is, the lack of it), as well as the apparent admiration of Vance at the middle of the book, for which he “lost the reporter’s distance.” Perhaps Mask really has some special gift with which seduces the people around him, take part in projects that initially act as crazy, to be retrospectively celebrated as a visionary.