Quotes from “Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance

You don’t know what you don’t know. You realize there are all these things out there
“When Elon gets into something, he develops just this different level of interest in it than other people. That is what differentiates Elon from the rest of humanity.”
This side of him is likely obscured by the fact that he feels most deeply about his own humanity-altering quest and so has trouble recognizing the strong emotions of those around him. This tends to make Musk come off as aloof and hard. I would argue, however, that his brand of empathy is unique. He seems to feel for the human species as a whole without always wanting to consider the wants and needs of individuals. And it may well be the case that this is exactly the type of person it takes to make a freaking space Internet real
Where Mark Zuckerberg wants to help you share baby photos, Musk wants to . . . well . . . save the human race from self-imposed or accidental annihilation.
Tens of millions of dollars were spent on promotions, while millions more were lost battling hackers who had seized upon the services as new playgrounds for fraud. “It was like the Internet version of making it rain at a strip club,”
Musk had a modicum of banking experience and had resorted to buying a book on the industry to help understand its inner workings.
Much of the point of being a dot-com success in 1999 was to prove yourself once, stash away your millions, and then use your credentials to talk other people into betting their money on your next venture.
Musk e-mailed fellow McLaren owner Larry Ellison, the billionaire cofounder of the software maker Oracle, out of the blue to see if he wanted to go race cars around a track for fun.
“Yeah, we had some very good software engineers at Zip2, but I mean, I could code way better than them. And I’d just go in and fix their fucking code,” Musk said. “I would be frustrated waiting for their stuff, so I’m going to go and fix your code and now it runs five times faster, you idiot. There was one guy who wrote a quantum mechanics equation, a quantum probability on the board, and he got it wrong. I’m like, ‘How can you write that?’ Then I corrected it for him. He hated me after that. Eventually, I realized, Okay, I might have fixed that thing but now I’ve made the person unproductive. It just wasn’t a good way to go about things.”
The first obvious assumption would be that other people will behave like you. But that’s not true. Even if they would like to behave like you, they don’t necessarily have all the assumptions or information that you have in your mind. So, if I know a certain set of things, and I talk to a replica of myself but only communicate half the information, you can’t expect that the replica would come to the same conclusion. You have to put yourself in a position where you say, ‘Well, how would this sound to them, knowing what they know?’”
The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for greater collective enlightenment,
feels as if Musk is trying to shape his life story in a forced way. But for Musk, the distinction between stumbling into something and having intent is important
“Innovation is a finite resource.”
I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to ten—how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe ten hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.
They might have a little adversity at school, but these days schools are so protective,” he said. “If you call someone a name, you get sent home. When I was going to school, if they punched you and there was no blood, it was like, ‘Whatever. Shake it off.’
1

ELON’S WORLD
DO YOU THINK I’M INSANE?”
This question came from Elon Musk near the very end of a long dinner we shared at a high-end seafood restaurant in Silicon Valley. I’d gotten to the restaurant first and settled down with a gin and tonic, knowing Musk would—as ever—be late. After about fifteen minutes, Musk showed up wearing leather shoes, designer jeans, and a plaid dress shirt. Musk stands six foot one but ask anyone who knows him and they’ll confirm that he seems much bigger than that. He’s absurdly broad-shouldered, sturdy, and thick. You’d figure he would use this frame to his advantage and perform an alpha-male str
“Don’t worry about the methods or if they’re unsound. Just get the job done. It comes from Elon.
Musk sits somewhere on the autism spectrum and that he has trouble considering other people’s emotions and caring about their well-being
Musk’s demanding management style can only flourish because of the otherworldly—in a literal sense—aspirations of the company.
These sentiments are not far off from those of Vaclav Smil, a professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba. Bill Gates has hailed Smil as an important writer for his tomes on energy, the environment, and manufacturing
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