Elon Musk quotes and sayings
June 28, 1971
It's important that we attempt to extend life beyond Earth now. It is the first time in the four billion-year history of Earth that it's been possible, and that window could be open for a long time - hopefully it is - or it could be open for a short time. We should err on the side of caution and do something now.
I'd like to dial it back 5% or 10% and try to have a vacation that's not just e-mail with a view.
The future of humanity is going to bifurcate in two directions: Either it's going to become multiplanetary, or it's going to remain confined to one planet and eventually there's going to be an extinction event.
You want to have a future where you're expecting things to be better, not one where you're expecting things to be worse.
My vision is for a fully reusable rocket transport system between Earth and Mars that is able to re-fuel on Mars - this is very important - so you don't have to carry the return fuel when you go there.
There are some important differences between me and Tony Stark, like I have five kids, so I spend more time going to Disneyland than parties.
I think the high-tech industry is used to developing new things very quickly. It's the Silicon Valley way of doing business: You either move very quickly and you work hard to improve your product technology, or you get destroyed by some other company.
I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I'm really good at email.
I'm extremely confident that solar will be at least a plurality of power, and most likely a majority... in less than 20 years.
I really do encourage other manufacturers to bring electric cars to market. It's a good thing, and they need to bring it to market and keep iterating and improving and make better and better electric cars, and that's what going to result in humanity achieving a sustainable transport future. I wish it was growing faster than it is.
The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication.
Well, my motivation behind Tesla is really to do as much good as possible for the environment and the electric-vehicle revolution. I think there is still a lot of work to do and if we were to sell to a big company, I'm not sure it would progress at the same pace.
Mars is the only place in the solar system where it's possible for life to become multi-planetarian.
Weighing too much on someone's talent and not someone's personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.
Going from PayPal, I thought: 'Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?' Not from the perspective, 'What's the best way to make money?'.
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 , will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.
Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.
If you look at space companies, they've failed either because they've had a technical solution where success was not a possible outcome, they were unable to attract a critical mass of talent, or they just ran out of money. The finish line is usually a lot further away than you think.
There's no better place in the world for technology start-ups than Silicon Valley; there's such an incredible well of talent and capital and resources. The whole system is set up to foster the creation of new companies.
Automotive franchise laws were put in place decades ago to prevent a manufacturer from unfairly opening stores in direct competition with an existing franchise dealer that had already invested time, money and effort to open and promote their business.
We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun, you don't have to do anything, it just works. It shows up every day.
Yeah, well I think anyone who likes fast cars will love the Tesla. And it has fantastic handling by the way. I mean this car will crush a Porsche on the track, just crush it. So if you like fast cars, you'll love this car. And then oh, by the way, it happens to be electric and it's twice the efficiency of a Prius.
There are really two things that have to occur in order for a new technology to be affordable to the mass market. One is you need economies of scale. The other is you need to iterate on the design. You need to go through a few versions.
I like the word 'autopilot' more than I like the word 'self-driving.' 'Self-driving' sounds like it's going to do something you don't want it to do. 'Autopilot' is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.
I read books and talked to people. I mean that's kind of how one learns anything. There's lots of great books out there and lots of smart people.
It's really incumbent upon us as life's agents to extend life to another planet. I think that being a multi-planet species will significantly increase the richness and scope of the human experience.
I think there should be regulations on social media to the degree that it negatively affects the public good.
I wouldn't say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I'd like my fear emotion to be less because it's very distracting and fries my nervous system.
The odds of me coming into the rocket business, not knowing anything about rockets, not having ever built anything, I mean, I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor.
If anyone thinks they'd rather be in a different part of history, they're probably not a very good student of history. Life sucked in the old days. People knew very little, and you were likely to die at a young age of some horrible disease. You'd probably have no teeth by now. It would be particularly awful if you were a woman.
The revolutionary breakthrough will come with rockets that are fully and rapidly reusable. We will never conquer Mars unless we do that. It'll be too expensive. The American colonies would never have been pioneered if the ships that crossed the ocean hadn't been reusable.
We polled Tesla owners, do you want autopilot disabled or not. Not one person wanted it disabled. That's pretty telling.
A company is a group organized to create a product or service, and it is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. I just happen to be the face of the companies.
I think we have a duty to maintain the light of consciousness to make sure it continues into the future.
A utility can handle up to 20% of production from solar and that helps the grid because it produces electricity when needed. Solar power peaks in the middle of the day and that's also when air conditioning is running and businesses are operating, so power production matches usage.
Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you're putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you're doing the same thing you know that you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve.
There's a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.
We need to figure out how to have the things we love, and not destroy the world.
I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.
When I was a child, there's one thing I said: 'I never want to be alone.' That's what I would say. I don't want to be alone.
Trying to read our DNA is like trying to understand software code - with only 90% of the code riddled with errors. It's very difficult in that case to understand and predict what that software code is going to do.
You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that's wrong with it and fix it.
SpaceX is only 12 years old now. Between now and 2040, the company's lifespan will have tripled. If we have linear improvement in technology, as opposed to logarithmic, then we should have a significant base on Mars, perhaps with thousands or tens of thousands of people.
I think long term you can see Tesla establishing factories in Europe, in other parts of the U.S. and in Asia.
The reality is gas prices should be much more expensive then they are because we're not incorporating the true damage to the environment and the hidden costs of mining oil and transporting it to the U.S. Whenever you have an unpriced externality, you have a bit of a market failure, to the degree that eternality remains unpriced.
SpaceX has the potential of saving the U.S. government $1 billion a year. We are opposed to creating an entrenched monopoly with no realistic means for anyone to compete.
Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.
It was obvious to me that we could never colonize Mars without reusability, any more than America would have been colonized if they had to burn the ships after every trip.
I don't think it's a good idea to plan to sell a company.
The biggest mistake, in general, I've made, is to put too much of a weighting on someone's talent and not enough on their personality. And I've made that mistake several times. I think it actually matters whether somebody has a good heart, it really does. I've made the mistake of thinking that it's sometimes just about the brain.
My background educationally is physics and economics, and I grew up in sort of an engineering environment - my father is an electromechanical engineer. And so there were lots of engineery things around me.
Entrepreneurship is like eating glass and walking on hot coals at the same time.
Life is too short for long-term grudges.
It's obviously tricky to convert cellulose to a useful biofuel. I think actually the most efficient way to use cellulose is to burn it in a co-generation power plant. That will yield the most energy and that is something you can do today.
For all the supporters of Tesla over the years, and it's been several years now and there have been some very tough times, I'd just like to say thank you very much. I deeply appreciate the support, particularly through the darkest times.
You should be innovating so fast that you're invalidating your prior patents.
The path to the CEO's office should not be through the CFO's office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.
Facebook is quite entrenched and has a network effect. It's hard to break into a network once it's formed.
The problem with car dealerships is you've already decided what you want to buy before you even go there, and you're really just going there to talk through some annoying negotiation.
I've always wanted to be part of something that would radically change the world. . . . People forget the power of inspiration. All of humanity went to the moon with the Apollo missions. The issue was cost. There was no chance to build a base and create frequent flights. That's the problem I would like to solve.
Government isn't that good at rapid advancement of technology. It tends to be better at funding basic research. To have things take off, you've got to have commercial companies do it.
One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree - make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.
The rumours of the demise of the U.S. manufacturing industry are greatly exaggerated.
A Prius is not a true hybrid, really. The current Prius is, like, 2 percent electric. It's a gasoline car with slightly better mileage.
Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death.
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.
People will buy the car just because it's a great car. We want them to think it's excellent value for money and then, oh yeah, it happens to be electric.
I've actually not read any books on time management.
It is true that SpaceX is partially a government contractor, but it would be unfair to say that SpaceX is entirely a government contractor.
We're already cyborgs. Your phone and your computer are extensions of you, but the interface is through finger movements or speech, which are very slow.
What I'm trying to do is, is to make a significant difference in space flight. And help make space flight accessible to almost anyone.
The idea of lying on a beach as my main thing just sounds like the worst. It sounds horrible to me. I would go bonkers. I would have to be on serious drugs. I'd be super-duper bored. I like high intensity.
Fear is a hard thing to deal with. I feel it quite strongly. If I think something is important enough, I'll make myself do it in spite of fear. But it can really sap the will. I hate fear, I wish I had it less.
Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution.
The only reason I was able to accomplish things is the great people willing to work with me. A company is a group of people organized to create a product or service, and that product or service is only as good as the people in the company - and how excited they are about creating it. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. Without them, I would have accomplished very little. I just happen to be the face of the companies.
You need to be in the position where it is the cost of the fuel that actually matters and not the cost of building the rocket in the first place.
Target launch date for Falcon I maiden flight is Halloween from our island launch complex in the Kwajalein Atoll. For potential customers out there, I should mention that Kwajalein has some of the worlds best scuba diving and snorkeling! It is literally a tropical paradise.
I just want to retire before I go senile because if I don't retire before I go senile, then I'll do more damage than good at that point.
To make an embarrassing admission, I like video games. That's what got me into software engineering when I was a kid. I wanted to make money so I could buy a better computer to play better video games - nothing like saving the world.
You need to live in a dome initially, but over time you could terraform Mars to look like Earth and eventually walk around outside without anything on... So it's a fixer-upper of a planet.
Silicon Valley has evolved a critical mass of engineers and venture capitalists and all the support structure - the law firms, the real estate, all that - that are all actually geared toward being accepting of startups.
Humans need to be a multiplanet species.
If anyone has a vested interest in space solar power, it would have to be me.
So, there's quite a big keep-out zone, and when you factor the keep-out zone into account, the solar panels put on that area would typically generate more power than that nuclear power plant.
People should pursue what they're passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.
On one of the SpaceX flights, we had a secret payload: a wheel of cheese. We flew to orbit and brought it back, so it was the world's first 'space cheese.' It was, in part, a tribute to Monty Python.
The primary means of energy generation is going to solar. It will at least be a plurality, and probably be a slight majority in the long term.
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