To Our Clients & Friends: Welcome to our weekly series “Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed.” Each week, we share a favorite video of a successful entrepreneur, investor or business leader on a variety of topics. This week, we present Elon Musk, a brilliant entrepreneur and the co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies.
In this interesting, 15-minute clip (courtesy of the 2011 Clean Tech Investor Summit), Elon discusses his rationale for founding Tesla and then provides solid advice to entrepreneurs (starting at the 5:33 mark), including the importance of:
- critical thinking (i.e., the “fundamentals of logic”) and avoiding “wishful thinking”;
- not following the trends and looking at things from a “first-principles standpoint”;
- trying to get to a useful prototype as soon as possible with the least amount of money – i.e., showing investors the actual working hardware (as opposed to a powerpoint presentation);
- allowing for a certain amount of chaos in an organization, including encouraging failure;
- persistence (you should not give up if you’re convinced what you’re doing is “correct”); and
- understanding how tough it is to start a company (“starting companies is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death”).
Elon then provides some fascinating predictions about the future (starting at the 10:21 mark). I hope you enjoy it. Many thanks, Scott