During last year’s summer vacation I listened to the audio book The Year Without Pants driving over 1500 km through Switzerland and Italy, while the kids were watching movies and playing fruit ninja. It was a great choice and provided very interesting and useful insights into one of the planet’s most successful distributed companies creating and building freemium products on top of the software WordPress used by over 25% of websites worldwide.
This year we drove another 1500 km altogether to the same Adriatic Sea destination. Unfortunately, our current car still uses an old school combustion engine, but at least it only needs 5.1 litres/100km. Bear with me for a minute to see why that’s relevant.
For this year’s trip I luckily picked a biography about Elon Musk, sub-titled Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, written by Ashlee Vance who provides an authorized look at a real-life Tony Stark and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new „makers“.
I managed to listen to 11 of 13 hours before getting back home, but I will most certainly finish it over the weekend, before getting back to work full time on Monday feeling supercharged with inspiration from the audio book and with Vitamin D from the Italian sun.
Although I personally never delved into advanced rockets and spacecraft, it’s amazing to see what SpaceX has been able to pull off as a private aeronautics company, when in the past only whole countries have been audacious enough to explore space at a scale that large. Other billionaires have tried to do that before and failed. Elon Musk only almost failed. If you want to know how close and how often you should read or listen to this biography. It really inspires me trying to solve real problems for a living.
The author compares Elon Musk with Steve Jobs and other infamous rock star Silicon Valley tech company CEOs, with a small difference as a Tesla employee (formerly working for Apple) put it: Apple is building great gadgets, but Tesla and SpaceX are set out to change the world revolutionizing both the automobile and aeronautics industry.
(Featured image taken at Web Summit)