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Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future Paperback – 28 March 2016
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From the Publisher
Elon Musk : How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future
Elon Musk is the Steve Jobs of the present and the future, and for the past twelve months, he has been shadowed by tech reporter, Ashlee Vance. Elon Musk : How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping our Future is an important, exciting and intelligent account of the real-life Iron Man.
South African born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey Junior.
The personal tale of Musk’s life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story. He was a freakishly bright kid who was bullied brutally at school, and abused by his father. In the midst of these rough conditions, and the violence of apartheid South Africa, Musk still thrived academically and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he paid his own way through school by turning his house into a club and throwing massive parties.
Musk was forced out as CEO and so began his lost years in which he decided to go it alone and baffled friends by investing his fortune in rockets and electric cars. Meanwhile Musk’s marriage disintegrated as his technological obsessions took over his life.
About the author
Ashlee Vance is one of the most prominent writers on technology today. After spending several years reporting on Silicon Valley and technology for the New York Times, Vance went to Bloomberg Businessweek, where he has written dozens of cover and feature stories for the magazine on topics ranging from cyber espionage to DNA sequencing and space exploration.
For anyone interested in technology, entrepreneurship or the price of greatness, Ashlee Vance's new book is a tremendous look into arguably the world's most important entrepreneur. Vance paints an unforgettable picture of Musk's unique personality, insatiable drive and ability to thrive through hardship. The book bursts with telling anecdotes and quotes that illuminate who Musk is ― The Washington Post
Exhaustively reported . . . this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we've seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him ― New York Times
A book that is smart, light on its feet and possesses a crunchy thoroughness. . . . Mr Vance delivers a well-calibrated portrait of Mr Musk, so that we comprehend both his friends and his enemies. It's a book with many ancillary pleasures. Mr Vance brings us up to date on the states of green energy and space launches. He also veers away from his subject just often enough, offering profiles of the frequently brilliant people who work alongside Mr Musk. The best thing Mr Vance does in this book, though, is tell Mr Musk's story simply and well ― The New York Times
Ashlee Vance’s stellar biography captures Musk’s remarkable life story and irrepressible spirit ― Richard Branson
- Publisher : VIRGIN (28 March 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0753555646
- ISBN-13 : 978-0753555644
- Dimensions : 12.6 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 3,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Though I am sure Elon is a lovely guy in social situations I am sure I would not like to work for him. That was a sad part of who he is and the way he runs his businesses and I am pretty sure Steve Jobs was almost the same in this way. But you cannot fault the dent that Elon has made in our society.
Two thumbs up!
Author Matthew Robert Payne.
I recently read a book on Steve Jobs's life and my review was negative. Here though I am happy to recommend this book as it delivers a serious treatise on the life of an extraordinary character that also makes for an exciting read. It is also a story that is just beginning and I will hopefully get updates going forward. I must say this though about a character like Musk. Individuality is a commodity that is certainly not espoused by this man. Respect for the individual is sacrificed to create his empire and though it might be the way of things in this day and age I feel it is an emotional ambiguity Elon Musk might like to explore a little. Peter Eerden.
Lot of detailed attention has given to people Musk worked with in each industry (X.com, Tesla and SpaceX), their backgrounds and how the came in touch with Musk.
Seemed like Musk has given Ashlee very little details to go on but Ashlee has done a thorough background review to put the pieces well together to bring out a detailed story.
An excellent read and every page turn revealed a new gem of interest in this great man and his triumphs well done
Highly recommend reading, even if the story has leapt ahead since publication.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in India on 3 May 2018
An interesting read for me, considering I never went in depth into what Musk has accomplished (to be fair, I came to this book because I find Tesla cars sexy and thought ‘well, why not read this, at least I’ll know more about the man’).
I’m kind of sitting on the fence about this book. I liked learning about how Musk’s companies came to be, the problems encountered along the way, how things were at times one inch from just failing, but worked out in the end, out of both luck and determination. In a way, it’s a positive ‘lesson’: that sometimes things fail, but it shouldn’t prevent you from fighting for them and taking risks, because they just may succeed as well.
I also appreciated that the author interviewed other people, employees, ex-employees, friends, ex-partners, etc., and that he made them part of the whole: people without whom Tesla Motors or SpaceX wOuld’ve never been able to take off, engineers and mechanics and designers whose role was absolutely not negligible. Since a large part of the book was focused on these companies, acknowledging more than just one actor was a good thing to do.
I would’ve d liked it to go more in depth about how exactly things worked out, when it comes to the science/engineering part. Elon Musk seems like he knows his stuff, too, and has learnt over the years what he didn’t know and made him shoot for impossible deadlines at first (now I guess they’re just improbable, hah), and… I don’t know, I expected something more detailed in that regard. Maybe less of the business aspect, and more about the engineering the way Elon Musk himself goes about it?
Also, for a biography, I think it didn’t go to the bottom of things either when it comes to the man, and lacks a certain detachment. Musk doesn’t come off as a very empathetic person, to say the least, and while objectively I understand his drive, humanely the way he treats his employees is, well, not great at all. So I would’ve been interested in seeing more reflecting about this: coming from him, but also coming from the biographer. There -is- something wrong in the way all these visionary projects have come to be, and it was pretty much glossed over. (In short, was the harshness really needed, does innovation has to come to such a price, and would things have tanked with just a bit more empathy?)
This was instructive, and I kind of liked it, so 3 stars… But while I know more about Tesla Motors, SolarCity and SpaceX, I don’t feel like I know -that- much more about Musk himself now.
insightful stories and details about his companies and the struggles to get them off the ground
very inspiring and great book
Highly recommend to any Elon fan