Илън Мъск: PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX и походът към невероятното бъдеще by Ashlee Vance Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Илън Мъск: PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX и походът към невероятното бъдеще

Единствената официална биография на Илън Мъск, написана с неговото специално съдействие

Илън Мъск:
Човекът зад PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity, Hyperloop и идеята за глобална комуникационна мрежа.
Гениалният визионер – Хенри Форд, Томас Едисън и Стив Джобс в едно.
Най-дръзкият предприемач на Силициевата долина: инженер, изобретател и индустриалец.
Прагматикът и фантаст

Илън Мъск:
Човекът зад PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity, Hyperloop и идеята за глобална комуникационна мрежа.
Гениалният визионер – Хенри Форд, Томас Едисън и Стив Джобс в едно.
Най-дръзкият предприемач на Силициевата долина: инженер, изобретател и индустриалец.
Прагматикът и фантастът, който подготвя човечеството за колонизация на Марс.

Мъск стои начело на един от най-големите подеми в историята на бизнеса. Той е единственият предприемач с достатъчно енергия, сила и въображение, който инвестира цялото си богатство в иновации от друго измерение и революционизира три индустрии едновременно – космическата, автомобилната и енергийната. Мисията на живота му изглежда фантастична, но ако Мъск успее да си купи достатъчно време, той ще предприеме най-голямото пътуване за спасение на човечеството.

„Иска ми се да умра с мисълта, че пред човечеството има светло бъдеще. Ако можем да си осигурим чиста енергия и да станем междупланетарна раса с устойчива цивилизация на друга планета – за да се справим с най-лошия сценарий, в който човешкото съзнание е заличено – тогава… мисля, че ще бъде много хубаво“.
Илън Мъск

Написана след повече от 50 часа разговори с Мъск и интервюта с около 300 души, книгата проследява пътя от нелекото детство на Илън Мъск в ЮАР до върховете на световния бизнес. Авторът Ашли Ванс разказва историите на компаниите на Мъск, които променят света, и живота на човека, който, независимо дали е обичан, или мразен, възхваляван или отричан, създава едно невероятно бъдеще.

Бестселър на „Ню Йорк Таймс” и една от най-добрите книги на 2015 г. според „Уолстрийт Джърнал” и „Амазон”.
…more


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    Will Byrnes

    Elon Musk is not exactly a name that rolls easily off the tongue, like say Tony Stark, the fictional person to whom he is most often compared, or even Steve Jobs, a real-world visionary, whose mantle Musk now wears. There is no question that Musk is a special individual, someone with BIG dreams and the drive, talent, and money to make them happen. But, like Jobs, and Stark for that matter, he might be an acquired taste on a personal level. In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantast

    SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets.

    It might have seemed like visiting another planet when Musk split his home country of South Africa as a teen and headed to North America, anything to get away from an abusive upbringing. He seemed to been blessed not only with exceptional analytical capabilities, and probably an eidetic memory, but an impressively immense set of cojones. He was able to talk his way into whatever he needed and deftly talk his way out of trouble as well. Sometimes that entailed a bit of truth-bending, but whatever.

    description
    Ashlee Vance – from HarperCollins

    Vance take us from his adolescence as a computer geek, bullied at school, through his arrival in Canada, cold-calling to get work, putting together his first dot.com startup, and using the money from that to invest in a banking-oriented company that would become PayPal. It was the mega-bucks from the sale of PayPal that would allow him to begin realizing his big dreams. In 2003, Musk bought into Tesla, then a struggling startup. The company took the early knowledge that lithium ion batteries had gotten pretty good, added some top level engineering, design and programming talent, and, after plenty of mis-steps and struggles, brought the remarkable all-electric Tesla Roadster to the market in 2008. Tesla followed this with the Model S in 2012. Not only did Consumer reports call this a great car, it named both the 2014 and 2015 versions the best overall cars of their years, and the best care they ever tested. The last time an auto startup succeeded in the USA was Chrysler, in the 1920s. But this is not about simply making a buck on a new car. The long term goal is to shift our petrochemical auto industry to renewable power, and the Tesla is a nifty start. Not only is the car amazing, the company has constructed a nationwide series of charging stations where Tesla owners can recharge their vehicles…for free. There are currently 499 such stations, with many more planned. Tesla is involved in building battery production factories, hoping to help support a growing electric-car auto-economy.

    description
    Inside the Tesla Model S – from Tesla Motors

    But this was not the only big notion that drove Musk. A parallel effort was to develop a solar power business. And with the help of a couple of enterprising cousins, he did just that. SolarCity provides the solar arrays that prove power to the Tesla charging stations, but it has also become one of the largest solar utilities in the nation, installing, maintaining a third of the nation’s solar panel systems. There is obvious benefit to both Tesla and Solar City in sharing gains in battery and other technology. But I expect the third jewel in Musk’s crown is his favorite, SpaceX.

    description
    Falcon 9 first stage attempting a controlled landing – from Wikimedia

    Musk doesn’t have much going on here, nothing major, only an ardent desire to colonize Mars. But it takes the establishment of an infrastructure in order to be get from point E to point M. Musk saw an opening in the market for satellite launch vehicles. Existing rockets blast things up into orbit and then burn up on their way back down. His idea was to design a rocket that could make its way back to earth in one piece, to be reused. And he has. SpaceX is nearing its goal of launching at least one rocket a month. The manifest available on SpaceX.com lists missions to date. The company also designed a capsule called the Dragon that can be used for cargo, but also for astronauts. The cost of launching a satellite using a Falcon is a fraction of what other options charge. The next step is a larger launch vehicle. Space X is expected to launch the first Falcon Heavy later this year, offering the biggest load capacity since the Saturn V was last used in 1973. And, while this is definitely good for business in the relatively short term, one must always keep in mind that this is a stage in a bigger plan for Musk. Once the launch infrastructure is established, plans can begin to move forward to put together Mars missions. Not go, look, and explore sorts of adventures, but establishing a colony, a permanent human presence on the red planet.

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    The Dragon Capsule, attached to the ISS – from Musk’s Twitter page

    Of course when one has one’s eyes fixed on the stars (yes, Mars is a planet, I know, Geez), there is a large inclination to lose touch with earth-bound reality. In the movie, then play, then movie The Producers Max Bialystock, in order to cope with the absurd success of a play that was designed to fail, suggests to his partner, Leo Bloom, that one solution would be to do away with the cast. “You can’t kill the actors, Max! They’re human beings,” Leo says. “Human beings? Have you ever seen them eat?” Max replies. I suspect that there are more than a few folks who feel about Elon Musk the way Max felt about the actors. He is rather notorious for his insensitivity to anyone not living inside his head. For example, here is what potential recruits are told to expect when they meet with Musk.

    The interview, he or she is told, could last anywhere from thirty seconds to fifteen minutes. Elon will likely keep on writing e-mails and working during the initial part of the interview and not speak much. Don’t panic. That’s normal. Eventually, he will turn around in his chair to face you. Even then, though, he might not make actual eye contact with you or fully acknowledge your presence. Don’t panic. That’s normal. In due course, he will speak to you.

    Musk has an amazing capacity for work, putting in monstrous hours as a matter of course. But then he expects the same from those who work for him.

    The rank and file employees…revere his drive and respect how demanding he can be. They also think he can be hard to the point of mean and come off as capricious. The employees want to be close to Musk, but they also fear that he’ll suddenly change his mind about something and that every interaction with him is an opportunity to be fired. “Elon’s worst trait by far, in my opinion, is a complete lack of loyalty or human connection,” said one former employee. “Many of us worked tirelessly for him for years and were tossed to the curb like a piece of litter without a second thought. Maybe it was calculated to keep the rest of the workforce on their toes and scared: maybe he was just able to detach from human connection to a remarkable degree. What was clear is that people who worked for him were like ammunition: used for a specific purpose until exhausted and discarded.”

    Musk even fired his loyal assistant, Mary Beth Brown, who had been with him for twelve years, after she asked for a raise. What a guy.

    Ego is certainly a big piece of the picture here. But I guess if you can do it, it ain’t bragging. Elon Musk is a larger than life figure, a computer geek, an engineer, an entrepreneur, and a dreamer, in addition to being a walking IED as someone to work for. He is one of the inspirations for Robert Downey‘s portrayal of Tony Stark in sundry Marvel Universe films. In fact, Downey came to visit Musk, specifically to get a taste of what a real billionaire techno-industrialist was like. Downey insisted on having a Tesla Roaster on the set of Iron Man, saying, ”Elon was someone Tony probably hung out with and partied with or more likely they went on some weird jungle trek together to drink concoctions with the shamans.” Musk even had a cameo in Iron Man II. The resulting publicity from this connection did little to diminish Musk’s view of himself. Living the high-life in Tinseltown, hanging with, social, economic and media A-listers added more gas to the bag. Part of his ego issue is that he tends to take internal company timetables and announce them to the world as promises (I can see his entire staff jointly rolling their eyes, clutching palms to temples and issuing choruses of “Oh my god” and “WTF” as they spin in place), then holds his employees to those unreasonable schedules. Of course this results in many missed deadlines, much ingestion of antacid and probably the odd nervous breakdown or two.

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    Musk, in an Iron Man II cameo – fromWired

    Musk is the sort of guy who shows up with some regularity in science fiction novels, a genre trope, like the researcher who has exactly the sort of experience and insight the President/PM/Chairman/Secretary General needs in order to stave off global catastrophe. He’s the guy who has been secretly building the arc that the world needs to stave off extinction. In this case he is doing it publicly. Of course this raises some issues. Do we as a country, as a planet, really want to be reliant on private companies for our space exploration? Do we want a possible colony on Mars to be a privately held branch of Musk Industries? There are only a gazillion questions that are raised by the privatization of space. What’s good for the bottom line at SpaceX may or may not be good for humanity. We have certainly seen how a reliance on the inherent civic-mindedness and good will of corporations has worked on this planet. Musk is a dreamer, for sure, and I expect his dream of making a better world through the use of renewable energy and his hopes of establishing a human outpost on Mars are pure ideals. But the devil is always in the details, and what would happen should Musk be infected by another virulent strain of malaria and not escape with a near miss, as he did in 2001? Would the replacement CEO share his ideals? Would a replacement CEO be willing to take big risks to support those ideals? Would a replacement CEO look to sell Tesla off to GM to make a few quick billion? One person can move the world, but it takes more than a start to keep things rolling. We could certainly use plenty more people with the sort of drive and ambition that Elon Musk embodies. Innovation is a rare resource and must be cherished. But like any powerful force, it must be, if not tethered, at least monitored, to make certain that it does not run amok.

    Ashlee Vance has done an amazing job of telling not only Musk’s story, but of making the life history of the several companies with which Musk has been involved fascinating reading. I did get the sense that Vance was, from all the time he spent with Musk, smitten with his subject. While his portrait of Musk is hardly a zit-free one, I got the feeling that there might be a few more skeletons safely tucked away in closets, a few more bodies buried in basements. Nevertheless, Elon Musk is a powerful, entertaining and informative look at one of the most important people of our time. Your personal vision of the future should certainly include checking out this book.

    =============================EXTRA STUFF

    Links to the author’s personal, Twitter and FB pages

    Here are links to Musk’s three main companies, SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City

    To Musk’s Twitter – Loooooooove the image he is using for this. He really needs a pinky ring to go with it though. There are a lot of nifty videos in here

    Here is the press kit SpaceX provided with its latest Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station. There are many links in there that are worth checking out.

    A visit to the Tesla Factory

    And be sure to check out the link Tabasco brought in – Comment #1

    Musk joins other large players in establishing a non-profit – Artificial-Intelligence Research Center Is Founded by Silicon Valley Investors

    April 1, 2016 – Musk announces a new generation, mass-market car for 2017, the Model 3, but problems with existing Teslas might give one pause.

    September 1, 2016 – New York Times – SpaceX Rocket Explodes at Launchpad in Cape Canaveral – by Kenneth Chang, Mike Isaac and Matt Richtel

    September 27, 2016 – New York Times – Elon Musk’s Plan: Get Humans to Mars, and Beyond – by Kenneth Chang

    October 25, 2016 -National Geographic is producing a documentary series about our favorite red-tinted neighbor (no, not the lady across the way who got too much sun. Put those binoculars away NOW). Coverage in the latest issue includes a whole passel of things Martian. You-know-who figures prominently. Enjoy. Mars: Inside the High-Risk, High-Stakes Race to the Red Planet

    October 28, 2016 – Huffington Post – Elon Musk Unveils Shingles That Could Finally Make Rooftop Solar Sexy – by Alexander C. Kaufman

    January 30, 2017 – NY Times – Tesla Gives the California Power Grid a Battery Boost – by Diane Cardwelljan

    September 7, 2017 – Bloomberg.com – Vance’s article about one shop’s advances in AI is must-read stuff – Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano

    September 29, 2017 – National Geographic – EM announces his updated plans for space exploration, which includes a monster vessel aptly named the BFR, or Big F___ing Rocket – Elon Musk: In Seven Years, SpaceX Could Land Humans on Mars – by Nadia Drake

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    Mars City Opposite of Earth. Dawn and dusk sky are blue on Mars and day sky is red. – image from the NatGeo article
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    Ana

    Yes I am still crushing on Elon Musk. I’m counting on him to deliver on his promise of building a city on Mars. The time has come for us to destroy yet another planet.

     photo 1ab0e34b-4682-41c0-9812-ed82b2349b5f_zps0lf04iqr.gif

    Mark Bao

    May 23, 2015

    rated it
    it was amazing

     · 
    review of another edition

    Excellent and inspiring. This book brought up one key question: do you have to be a bit reckless to be good? Musk was reckless in two areas: in the risks he took, and the way that he manages his companies.

    As for the first, the number of near-death experiences that Tesla, SpaceX and earlier companies went through is almost a running joke throughout this story. The Falcon 1 failed three times, exhausting the company’s funds, before achieving a successful fourth flight. Tesla avoided bankruptcy by

    As for the first, the number of near-death experiences that Tesla, SpaceX and earlier companies went through is almost a running joke throughout this story. The Falcon 1 failed three times, exhausting the company’s funds, before achieving a successful fourth flight. Tesla avoided bankruptcy by taking on a NASA-approved loan from SpaceX plus a last-minute acquisition of a company Musk invested in pulled through, and avoided being derailed by a predatory investor by a bluff on the order of $40 million. Combine these with the many situations where it didn’t look like Tesla was going to build anything substantial, plus the negative media attention—the fact that Musk continued to persevere and pull through at times where most normal people would have given up is crazy.

    This risk undoubtedly took a toll on his life and relationships, through three divorces and the insane sleep deprivation he and the others on the team go through. It brings up the question—when you’re doing things as big as this, how reckless do you have to be? Should you have a breaking point? Does the sustainable, get-eight-hours-of-sleep-and-exercise approach really work? Or is the right thing to do actually to push through, get four hours of sleep, and get shit done? Are those that prefer the ‘sustainable’ option the ones that don’t succeed as much, and the reckless ones the ones that actually make progress?

    As for the second, the way that he manages his companies, he was reckless in what he demanded from people. The most notable story is of SpaceX, where employees worked on a crappy atoll in the Marshall Islands for months to deliver the Falcon 1 rocket launches. In a Jobs-like fashion, his outward personality is cold, demanding, and fearful: employees are on edge all the time and have to have answers. If someone is the bottleneck on a project, there’s immense pressure on them to deliver. And you never want to be the deliverer of bad news—and if you are, you better have a solution to back it up:

    The savvy engineers knew better than to go into a meeting and deliver bad news without some sort of alternative plan at the ready. “One of the scariest meetings was when we needed to ask Elon for an extra two weeks and more money to build out another version of the Model S,” Javidan said. “We put together a plan, stating how long things would take and what they would cost. We told him that if he wanted the car in thirty days it would require hiring some new people, and we presented him with a stack of resumes. You don’t tell Elon you can’t do something. That will get you kicked out of the room. You need everything lined up. (Loc 4277)

    And while that is actually a good way to work—to have everything lined up—is Musk’s approach the right way to manage a company? Is it the only way to be successful on incredibly difficult things? Or are Tesla and SpaceX successful in spite of this way of working—that it actually holds people back?

    Other than those questions, this is a very good overview of Musk’s life and personality, and the trials and tribulations he went through to be successful—a path beset by an immense number of setbacks and late deliveries.

    What comes through clearly is how much of a genius this guy was. To get a sense of what this guy is like, consider that in his childhood, he ran out of books to read at the local library and the school library, and sometimes would read for ten hours a day. Dude also has a memory that’s not only photographic, but he can wrangle images and numbers and relationships between them in his head. Insane. His ability to ingest and retain information, and his approach to knowledge, is nuts:

    People who have spent significant time with Musk will attest to his abilities to absorb incredible quantities of information with near-flawless recall. It’s one of his most impressive and intimidating skills and seems to work just as well in the present day as it did when he was a child vacuuming books into his brain. After a couple of years running SpaceX, Musk had turned into an aerospace expert on a level that few technology CEOs ever approach in their respective fields. (Loc 3421)

    What also comes across was how much Musk believes in the technological future and how much he as done to restore that promise to humanity. It’s clear that he is one of the top people pushing technology and humanity forward, and that’s incredibly inspiring.

    What I found a bit lacking in this book, which would have made this an excellent book, was more about Musk’s inner life. Vance hypothesizes that Musk seems cold and non-emotional because he has a different sort of empathy than others: he emphasizes with the entire human species, and wants to do the most he can for them, but that makes him forget the individuals in front of him. But what does Musk think about this? How does Musk characterize his own values and experiences? Of course, this is something that few biographies do anyway, but for someone as dynamic as Musk, it would have been a welcome addition to the surface-level ‘what he did’ information.

    The guy’s a genius, and this book, I think, represents that well. The inside look into Musk’s life and work from the mid-2000s is thorough and really gives you a fantastic backstory into Musk’s experience with Tesla and SpaceX. showing he did to make them successful, making this into an endlessly inspiring biography.

    FIVE STARS — Changed how I see things
    …more