Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for A Fantastic Future

Book - 2015
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Dec 11, 2019

In a world of postmodern deconstruction, it’s reassuring to know that a few people are building something other than outrage.

Criticize Elon Musk as much as you want. He’s a visionary. The book does a great job of outlining how he’s done the impossible, like pioneering internet banking, then building a solar panel company, an e-car company, and a rocket company from the ground up, while surviving a worldwide financial crash. Musk does it better, sexier and cheaper then anyone else.

The only drawback was the clunky prose of author Ashlee Vance. At times he sounds more like a Valley girl with a high school blog than a serious writer. He continually drew attention away from the subject matter with cringeworthy lines like “the knife-stabby part of San Francisco...” or “a cutesy thing with the doorhandles.“

Vance needs a good editor.

Mar 27, 2019

This is probably the most accurate depiction of Elon Musk's life as you'll get. The book will go through Elon's timeline from when he was working at PayPal, to starting up SpaceX and Tesla.

Mar 25, 2019

This book starts off with talking about Elon Musk’s upbringing in South Africa and how he came from a family of odd induvisuals.In his early Elon was fascinated with books and read all the time. He was seen as nerdy and weak by children his age.Elon was always wanting to learn new stuff about the world. Later on he went to America and attended University where he excelled. Upon graduating he had a few startup companies and work from day to night. Elon was determined to be successful. His hard work paid off and sold PayPal for millions. With that money he opened Tesla and SpaceX which seen many failures from the beginning. SpaceX had many failed rocket attempts and Tesla couldn’t get a functioning car. These issues got worse in 2008 during the financial crisis which lead Elon to a mental break down. This is because he was pouring his personal money in his companies which were constantly seeing failures all while during a financial crisis. But somehow Elon got through the toughest time in his life and his companies got through it too somehow. Now Elon is seen as a real life Iron Man and has aspirations of going into mars and building a place where humans can live.

Jan 18, 2019

I would suggest researching Elon Musk through his associated releases and online articles. This book takes a personal view of a man who operates on a very factual basis, an approach that is likely to leave one a stranger to the reality in which Elon Musk operates.

Sep 18, 2018


Jul 21, 2018

Vance writes a very thorough story about Elon Musk, starting in childhood and progressing through his early adulthood about his ambitions, near failures, fabulous successes, and future hopes today. If this were a novel, I’d say it couldn’t be real, but it is. Vance obtained information previously unavailable to the public by meetings with Musk (even though obtaining contact with him was very difficult); however, she does not white-wash his flaws. We learn that Musk is obsessed by his drive to make a better future for humanity but also very hard even on loyal people. He sees transportation, space travel and electrical power as answers to a better world and perhaps the saviors of humanity.
The event-driven-writing style is very professional as though documenting the life of a long-past era (even with some four-letter words, perhaps to match Musk’s style of speech) is excellent. If you are a “futurist,” interested in applied science, attaining “impossible” goals, or just wondering what your next car might be like, I highly recommend it.

Oct 21, 2017

Great bibliography about a fascinating man. I highly suggest this to anyone interested in business, technology, and the hope for mankind. Musk is a unique man that will do anything for the good of humans. This book is well-written and interesting.

VaughanPLDavidB Aug 25, 2017

If you want to gain some understanding of what makes Elon Musk tick, this is the book for you. He is driven by the need to make the world a better, cleaner place. With Tesla Motors, he is on the verge of giving the world a viable, mass-produced electric car, and with Solar City, an inexpensive and effective way for individuals to harness the power of the sun for their energy needs. Yet he doesn't stop there. His backup is Space-X, the purpose of which is developing a way to make humans extra-terrestrial if we can't make the planet livable. Musk has been compared to Steve Jobs, but in terms of his vision for humanity, Musk leaves Jobs far behind.

Jul 10, 2017

Interesting read about a very driven individual.

Mar 09, 2017

An interesting quick read. I definitely learned a lot about his accomplishments and the industries he was in. However at times it felt like the author was trying to 'win' the reader or convince us at how great Elon is rather than be unbiased.

Feb 17, 2017

A fascinating read about a fascinating man.

Nov 02, 2016

These comments alone made me read this book. Also, I am attempting to work for Tesla so there's that as well. I just have to finish a book about Nat Turner and this book will then become my life. Finishing books is not a high point for me but it will be as I am discovering a very limited vocabulary over the years. Regrets on top of regrets, of course. A book about Elon Musk should keep maintain my attention. I miss Reading Rainbow. Get the book!!

Oct 17, 2016

Probably one of the best books i've read. 5 stars thumbs up!

The book is filled with heart racing, mind boggling facts and story about Elon Musk's history, present and future. This book is like a roller coaster ride and an absolutely inspiration for many people!

Definitely a must read!

Aug 17, 2016

I didn't know of or care about Musk, considered migration to Mars is, if not preposterous, far-fetched. Tesla was one incentive for me to pick up this book, as I (think I) am an environmentalist, and would be tempting to throw more money down the drain of solar/alt-energy and electric vehicles. So the book succeeded in educating and inspiring me. Musk is like no one else, contemporaries Jobs and Gates accomplished less. He's flawed, but I'm proud of living in his/our era, and I still prepare to die on earth.

Dec 09, 2015

Fantastic book! I went in knowing very little about Elon Musk. I really only knew of him as the CEO of Tesla but the book does a good job explaining to you his role in that company as well as Paypal and Space X in much more detail. He seems like a really intense guy, kind of a crossover between Steve Jobs (visionary) and Bill Gates (technical guru). One of the better books I have read this year!

Oct 12, 2015

A good description of Elon Musk's vision, warts and all.

Aug 26, 2015

Excellent - I echo all the comments of braves19!

Aug 22, 2015

This has been by far one of the best books I have read this year. Ashlee Vance tells a very accurate and non-partisan story from beginning to end. I have been fascinated with Elon Musk and his visions and ideas for a couple of years now. This book was very well written and does a fantastic job of jumping into Elon’s world as well as articulating the goals and visions behind the companies that he runs. What I most appreciate is how this book dives into the good, bad, and the ugly. Elon is an extremely intelligent person but his ideas do not come without some of his shortfalls. Many of his former employees have called him a slave driver and I believe them. Once Elon is fixated an idea, it becomes a maximum effort project, which his employees pay the cost through extremely long work hours.
Despite that, Elon is a genuine person who cares about real issues and wants to solve complex problems to benefit humanity. After all, he could have been a video game designer, but saw something greater in changing the world. As a Star Trek nerd, I was particularly thrilled to know that Elon believes human beings should become a “multi-planetary species.” He is a no bullshit type of guy and hates wasting time. Elon has had a difficult childhood, all of which has made his that much more independent, tenacious, and determined. I sincerely recommend this book for anyone who wants to be inspired about the type of world we could live in if we focus on solving complex problems instead of hanging around and watching time pass and waste our lives away.

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