We live in the 21st century. We face problems. The more we develop, the more problems arise day by day. There is war, fear of the unknown, intolerance, greed, dominance, scarcity and many other endless potholes we are digging for ourselves.
Beneath this mess, there is a man who is trying to alleviate a few of these humanitarian problems one at a time to the best of his ability. Who the is person I am talking about here?
The name’s Musk, Elon Musk, founder of Zip2.com, X.com [later PayPal], SpaceX(his venture to make humans a multi planetary species), Tesla motors(chief investor, later chairman) and Solarcity. He is also the genius behind the concept of Hyperloop, a transportation system consisting of pressurised tubes and he kept it in the public domain for other people to realise it or he would have done it himself. His willingness for a job to be completed far exceeds his the fact that how or who does the job. That clearly explains the altruism this man possesses.
There are entrepreneurs who might be more successful, richer, more popular and more philanthropic than him but they can’t be called a bigger visionary than this man. What do I think of him? I personally feel that in a world where people give practicality as a reason for not dreaming big, he is a philanthropist, an idealist and a pragmatic (in given order) person all at the same time. He recognizes what’s important for people in upcoming future (simply cause no one else does), carefully moulds his vision around it (receives a lot of flak by the critics), takes the necessary and practical steps to realise that vision, achieves it (screw you, skeptics) and quietly moves on to the next.
He recently shared the idea of his next venture Nueralink, where he is planning to link the human brain with AI (critics, pay close attention) which may even improve memory aid. I for one have no doubt about this and am planning to see some cyborgs in my neighborhood or become one myself in the near future (psyched!).
But what actually drives this man, the answer to the question revolves around the fact that he was the inspiration behind the genius, philanthropist, billionaire Tony Stark’s character in Marvel’s Iron Man as exclaimed by the film’s director John Favreau (where he makes a guest appearance too. Interesting, ain’t it?). Those who have seen the movie should have guessed by now that Elon had a troubled childhood. He had an abusive relationship with his father and was even severely bullied in school which dwelled him into his books and computer. He had already written the code for his first computer game, Blastar by the age of 12 and it became the first product he ever sold.
The man hasn’t stopped ever since. People have dreams but they give up on them before they even begin and then there is Elon Musk who doesn’t seem to understand the notion of failure in his mind. He went against the banking sector (PayPal), went against the aerospace industry (SpaceX), went against auto industry (Tesla). That in my opinion defines what conviction is.
Larry page (founder, Google) once said,
“I would rather give my billions to Elon Musk than charity”. That’s a very big thing to admit being one of the most successful entrepreneurs himself. But that just shows how much Musk’s judgement is valued.
In the end I would like to throw some light on the man’s take on hard work (beside being a genius of course), “Work like hell. I mean you just have to put 80 to 100 hours per week. [This] improves the odds of success. If others are putting in 40 hours per week and you are putting 100 hour work weeks, then even if you are doing the same thing you know that…you will achieve it in 4 months what takes them a year to achieve.” The quote has so many things to teach us.
- The importance of hard work indeed.
- Hard work is overrated. Look at the man just plainly stating how he works 80-100 hours a week when we put forward excuses like lack of motivation, short-term pleasures etc.
- The only differentiating point between you and your competitors is your hard work. You simply cannot expect to be ahead in competition by putting an equal amount of effort as theirs.
- Conviction is really important. Just imagine for once about how many times we have second thoughts as soon as we are on to something huge. Are we doing it right? Are we actually doing the right thing? Is it worth that much effort? One seriously needs to have a great amount of conviction to actually work so hard in life.
There are definitely people who are smarter than Musk but their contribution towards building a better world seems really trivial in front of what Musk has achieved being a person still in his 40s. Till the day he is alive I can definitely smell the Musk of a more interesting world.