I first saw this book at a Fully Booked branch last February but I did not buy it then. I was intrigued, but wasnt entirely convinced yet that the book was worth it. The funny thing about this encounter was that I didn’t really know who Elon Musk was – just that he looked like a rich businessman – and it was Tesla that actually caught my attention on this book.
The first time I encountered Tesla Motors was from a Discovery, if not Nat Geo documentary (forgive me, it was ages ago) around high school I think, circa 2012. I remember that after the Audi, Tesla became my dream car brand because it was electric, the car looked sexy and there was so much leg room in the vehicle when it was featured.
I shrugged it off and it wasn’t until a few weeks later that I actually googled who Elon Musk was…. and then the curiosity started to pique. Business Insider articles, YouTube videos with him being interviewed, news features and whatever was free on the internet about him became brain food for me. And it wasn’t enough.
Finally succumbing I bought the book and I must say, Ashlee Vance did not disappoint. It was an easy read – I think I finished it in about a week – structure was simple, straightforward and it made you want to keep reading. I liked that the book was able to discuss and relate how Elon operates his companies to his background before he even became a tech startup magnate.
Moreover, I liked that Vance started building this book from the interviews of different people, who were and are involved in Elon Musk’s life before actually including Elon’s side of the story. It gives it a sense of detachment in narrating Elon’s life and a reality when you read that multiple accounts(people) describe him the same way. I liked that it got very real because it included all the hardships and financial struggles and how Elon overcame it to get all his companies to where they are now. I mean, yes, you get to read it in the news because some of the companies are public and of course the public statements that Elon releases but it’s different if you read it in the words of the person who actually went through it, the part that doesn’t get published until now.
After reading the book, I knew that it was good because it left me feeling inspired knowing that technology is pushing itself to new heights again not only in the software industry but hardware because of the drive of Musk. It also left a good feeling because it showed me that successful people do not gain success overnight.
They work and work and learn and make mistakes and learn from them to be better. In that sense, it makes being a better person in whichever aspect you wish, very attainable. It becomes a matter of how much effort you put into it. I don’t think I’ll ever dream of working like him – sleepless nights and all, but I am glad I get to read about it.
Happy to say that he’s my CEO crush and I am looking forward to many more innovations from his companies.