Quotees Archive

SpaceX is only 12 years old now. Between now and 2040, the company’s lifespan will have tripled. If we have linear improvement in technology, as opposed to logarithmic, then we should have a significant base on Mars, perhaps with thousands or tens of thousands of people.

- Elon Musk

Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.

- Elon Musk

Starting a company is a very tough thing. There’s a friend of mine, Bill Lee, whose phrase is ‘starting a company is like staring into the abyss and eating glass.’ So you should certainly expect that it’s going to be very hard. It’s going to be harder than getting a job somewhere by a pretty good margin and the odds of you losing the money that you invested or your friends invested is pretty high. I mean, those are just the basic facts. So if you don’t mind things being really hard and high risk, then starting a company is a good idea. Otherwise, it’s probably unwise. It will certainly stress you out. So I think you have to be pretty driven to make it happen. Otherwise, you will just make yourself miserable.

- Elon Musk

People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.

- Elon Musk

Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell.

- Elon Musk

People tend to over-weigh risks on a personal level. It’s one thing if you’ve got a mortgage to pay and kids to support, so that if you were to deviate from your job, well, how are you going to feed your family and pay the rent? That’s understandable, but let’s say you’re young and you’re just coming out of college, what are your risks? You’re not going to starve, certainly not in any kind of modern economy. It’s so easy to earn enough money just to live somewhere and eat food. Very easy to do. So I don’t know what they’re afraid of. Mostly afraid of failure, I think, but people should be less risk averse, when there’s not much at risk.

- Elon Musk

People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.

- Elon Musk

Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.

- Elon Musk

Physics is really figuring out how to discover new things that are counterintuitive, like quantum mechanics. It’s really counterintuitive.

- Elon Musk

Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.

- Elon Musk

Rockets are cool. There’s no getting around that.

- Elon Musk

Mars is the only place in the solar system where it’s possible for life to become multi-planetarian.

- Elon Musk

My background educationally is physics and economics, and I grew up in sort of an engineering environment – my father is an electromechanical engineer. And so there were lots of engineery things around me.

- Elon Musk

In the case of Apple, they did originally do production internally, but then along came unbelievably good outsourced manufacturing from companies like Foxconn. We don’t have that in the rocket business. There’s no Foxconn in the rocket business.

- Elon Musk

My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.

- Elon Musk

In the early days of aviation, there was a great deal of experimentation and a high death rate.

- Elon Musk

My motivation for all my companies has been to be involved in something that I thought would have a significant impact on the world.

- Elon Musk

It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.

- Elon Musk

My opinion is it’s a bridge too far to go to fully autonomous cars.

- Elon Musk

It is definitely true that the fundamental enabling technology for electric cars is lithium-ion as a cell chemistry technology. In the absence of that, I don’t think it’s possible to make an electric car that is competitive with a gasoline car.

- Elon Musk

My vision is for a fully reusable rocket transport system between Earth and Mars that is able to re-fuel on Mars – this is very important – so you don’t have to carry the return fuel when you go there.

- Elon Musk

It is theoretically possible to warp spacetime itself, so you’re not actually moving faster than the speed of light, but it’s actually space that’s moving.

- Elon Musk

It would take six months to get to Mars if you go there slowly, with optimal energy cost. Then it would take eighteen months for the planets to realign. Then it would take six months to get back, though I can see getting the travel time down to three months pretty quickly if America has the will.

- Elon Musk

It’s important that we attempt to extend life beyond Earth now. It is the first time in the four billion-year history of Earth that it’s been possible, and that window could be open for a long time – hopefully it is – or it could be open for a short time. We should err on the side of caution and do something now.

- Elon Musk

It’s not as though we can keep burning coal in our power plants. Coal is a finite resource, too. We must find alternatives, and it’s a better idea to find alternatives sooner then wait until we run out of coal, and in the meantime, put God knows how many trillions of tons of CO2 that used to be buried underground into the atmosphere.

- Elon Musk

It’s obviously tricky to convert cellulose to a useful biofuel. I think actually the most efficient way to use cellulose is to burn it in a co-generation power plant. That will yield the most energy and that is something you can do today.

- Elon Musk

It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.

- Elon Musk

Land on Mars, a round-trip ticket – half a million dollars. It can be done.

- Elon Musk

Let’s think beyond the normal stuff and have an environment where that sort of thinking is encouraged and rewarded and where it’s okay to fail as well. Because when you try new things, you try this idea, that idea… well a large number of them are not gonna work, and that has to be okay. If every time somebody comes up with an idea it has to be successful, you’re not gonna get people coming up with ideas.”

- Elon Musk

Life is too short for long-term grudges.

- Elon Musk

m reasonably optimistic about the future, especially the future of the United States – for the century, at least.

- Elon Musk

If anyone has a vested interest in space solar power, it would have to be me.

- Elon Musk

In order for us to have a future that’s exciting and inspiring, it has to be one where we’re a space-bearing civilization.

- Elon Musk

If anyone thinks they’d rather be in a different part of history, they’re probably not a very good student of history. Life sucked in the old days. People knew very little, and you were likely to die at a young age of some horrible disease. You’d probably have no teeth by now. It would be particularly awful if you were a woman.

- Elon Musk

In order to have your voice be heard in Washington, you have to make some little contribution.

- Elon Musk

If humanity doesn’t land on Mars in my lifetime, I would be very disappointed.

- Elon Musk

If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.

- Elon Musk

If something’s important enough, you should try. Even if you – the probable outcome is failure.

- Elon Musk

If we could do high-speed rail in California just half a notch above what they’ve done on the Shanghai line in China, and if we had a straight path from L.A. to San Francisco, as well as the milk run, at least that would be progress.

- Elon Musk

If we drive down the cost of transportation in space, we can do great things.

- Elon Musk

If we’re going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation.

- Elon Musk

If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.

- Elon Musk

If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic – being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago.

- Elon Musk

If you had to buy a new plane every time you flew somewhere, it would be incredibly expensive.

- Elon Musk

If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilisations, and I mean strange in a bad way. And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilisations.

- Elon Musk

If you look at space companies, they’ve failed either because they’ve had a technical solution where success was not a possible outcome, they were unable to attract a critical mass of talent, or they just ran out of money. The finish line is usually a lot further away than you think.

- Elon Musk

If you think back to the beginning of cell phones, laptops or really any new technology, it’s always expensive.

- Elon Musk

I’ve actually not read any books on time management.

- Elon Musk

If you want to grow a giant redwood, you need to make sure the seeds are ok, nurture the sapling, and work out what might potentially stop it from growing all the way along. Anything that breaks it at any point stops that growth.

- Elon Musk

I’ve been to Disneyland, like, 10 times. I’m getting really tired of Disneyland.

- Elon Musk

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