I don’t know entrepreneur, who wouldn’t like Tony Spark, described by himself as “genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist”, and played by Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man movie series.
Why do we start with Iron Man in the post of Elon Musk, know as Tesla Motors founder?
Despite sheer entrepreneurial zest Elon Musk and Tony Spark have in common, some scenes to Iron Man 2 were in fact directed in one of the manufacturing sites of company founded by Musk.
So what Elon Musk does, and what entrepreneurs can learn from him?
In a nutshell Elon Musk is founder of PayPal (instant online payments solution), SpaceX (rockets and spacecraft designer and manufacturer), Tesla Motors (electric vehicles designer and manufacturer) and member of the board at Solar City (the largest solar power provider in USA).
There are couple of things I believe distinguishes Musk’s way of disrupting the status quo:
Firstly, his inventions solving big world challenges are presented are explored in context.
In other words it’s not about massive release of “super new things, technologies, or materials”, but encapsulating them in form of complex solutions to real life challenges (which of course embrace super new things, technologies and materials).
A perfect example of this is Tesla Model S – fully electric vehicle introduced to mass production by Tesla Motors in 2012. Tesla’s car efficiency and safety seriously disrupt conventional premium cars segment, but electric cars need charging stations. They need them badly, and the perfect situation would be to have them scattered across the continents, so the drivers could enjoy travelling without empty battery surprises. So what Tesla does is setting up network of superchargers – charging stations, claimed as free source of energy for Tesla users to create literally “traveling for free” experience.
Secondly, on top of innovating in context and addressing “the bigger picture” it is the user’s experience being at core of inventions supported by Musk. Referring to Tesla car, my wife called it a vehicle for ninja, as the only thing you hear during the ride with the sunroof open is the gentle whizz of air. If you have a night-vision device, you’ll enjoy exploration of your neighborhood at night unnoticed. For me driving Tesla’s could be compared to steering a spaceship due to magical lit up of car’s inside, impressive 17” touchscreen functioning as control panel (today’s world of smart phone natives would love this way of car control), and car’s acceleration getting you into the feeling of a plane taking off.
Thirdly, the thing about Elon Musk I believe, is that he lives BHAGs to the full, which stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. He’s not afraid to set goals, which are out of this planet, and gain people on board to work on them with him. On 30th of April 2015 Musk is to announce its new invention. The gossips about it range from Tesla hoverboards to Tesla jetpacks. After announcement of plans toward Hyperloop enabling traveling people in capsules with speed of bullets in the riffles, these rumors doesn’t seem to be unjustified.
Source: Own pictures library.