Posted in Reviews

Review: Rocket Man: Elon Musk In His Own Words by Jessica Easto


Title: Rocket Man: Elon Musk In His Own Words

Editor: Jessica Easto

Genre: Non-fiction

Elon Musk, the South African–born entrepreneur who made his first fortune with Internet companies such as PayPal, has risen to global prominence as the visionary CEO of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, two companies with self-proclaimed missions to improve life as we know it and better secure the future of humanity.
For the first time, the most insightful, thought-provoking, and revealing quotes from this entrepreneurial engineer have been compiled into a single book. Rocket Man: Elon Musk In His Own Words is a comprehensive guide to the inner workings of the man dubbed “the real Tony Stark.” Hundreds of his best quotes, comprising thoughts on business, clean energy, innovation, engineering, technology, space, electric vehicles, entrepreneurship, life lessons, and more, provide an intimate and direct look into Silicon Valley’s most ambitious industrialist.
Even with no prior experience in the complex, ultra-high-barrier-of-entry automotive and space industries, Musk has excelled. Tesla, the first successful American car startup in more than 90 years, received more than 325,000 reservations for its economical Model 3 in a single week—advancing the company’s cause to “accelerate the advent of sustainable transport” via affordable, reliable electric vehicles. SpaceX, the first private company to launch, orbit, and recover a rocket and dock at the International Space Station, has drastically reduced the cost of launching and manufacturing reusable spacecraft, which the company sees as the first step toward its “ultimate goal” of making life multiplanetary. In the words of Richard Branson, “Whatever skeptics have said can’t be done, Elon has gone out and made real.”
How could a young man who at one time seemed like “just” another Internet entrepreneur have gone on to build two highly disruptive companies and innovate technologies related to everything from electric batteries to rocket manufacturing? There’s no better way to learn than through his own words.
This book curates Musk quotes from interviews, public appearances, online postings, company blogs, press releases, and more. What emerges is a ‘word portrait’ of the man whose companies’ swift rise to the top will undoubtedly keep their status-quo competitors scrambling to keep up.

Rating: 4/5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

It taught me that the tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask, but that once you do that, the rest is really easy. I came to the conclusion that we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.

I’m a big fan of Elon Musk, so naturally I want to read whatever I can find about him. After reading two biographies, I came across this book – a collection of Elon Musk’s best quotes. The quotes are compiled from his interviews, speeches and even his twitter. I think the book is too short: Elon Musk has said many more things that I think deserve to be in this collection. I also have a complaint about the table of contents: it’s way too long and detailed (every quote in the book is listed in it, which is really unnecessary).

When people ask me why I started a rocket company, I say, “I was trying to learn how to turn a large fortune into a small one.”

This book includes quotes about his companies, especially Tesla and SpaceX, but also about learning, business, engineering, technology, his childhood etc. Most quotes are serious, but there are some lighthearted and fun ones. I love the things he said about learning (now if only I would apply his wisdom to my life :))

One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree—make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e., the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.

The book also includes a list of milestones in his life. Fans of Elon Musk should check this book out. It would be great if there was a new, updated edition every few years… how else are we going to keep up with everything he says? 😀

I just want to emphasize that sometimes—in fact, most of the time—I get way too much credit or attention for what I do. I’m just the visible element. But the reason those companies are successful is because we have extremely talented people at all levels that are making it happen.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s