To say that Elon Musk is a control freak with an extreme Type A personality is putting it lightly. Elon Musk-Tesla, Space X, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future is a biography about Musk that was published a few years ago. The author opens the book by writing about how Musk did not want him to write the book. Then Musk agreed to work with him but he got editorial control. The author holds his ground and they come to an agreement that Musk would be allowed to add in some footnotes.
The book starts with Musk’s early childhood and upbringing. One of the things that drew me to this biography was I hoping Musk would discuss his autism and how that effected his life. But unfortunately when this book was written he had not made that public knowledge yet. The author does share some interesting tidbits about his childhood that definitely demonstrates it though. His Mom described Musk as a child as, “Brilliant but precocious. He would sometimes drift off in to a deep trance, and would sometimes just not even hear you when you were talking to him.” As a child, Musk read two complete sets of encyclopedias and programmed his first video game at an early age.
As an adult, Musk was at the heart of the dot com boom. He started several companies with a vision that was often early before it’s time. One of his companies lead to the creation of Paypal, where he was eventually dismissed as the leader of the organization by the board. Leaving Paypal, he took over Tesla and started Space X. While the companies for the most part are on financial stable footing now, they both were near bankruptcy at several different points. His hands on approach and non-stop work ethic definitely helped the companies thrive.
While his passion and his drive is second to none for his companies, his businesses seem to leave little to no room for family and friends. I walked away from the book wondering if he was lonely and or if he had any true bonds with anyone. The book reminded me of one of my themes…time. How do you want to spend your time? I know my answer, I want to spend it with my family and friends.
Published by Ryan’s wife, Karen, on his behalf.