Book Review: Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance

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I just finished reading Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance. It's an easy to read biography/commentary of Elon Musk's business successes and how his life and experiences account or attribute to them. It's very interesting to read the blow by blow accounts of the many many ups and downs of all of Musk's companies and Vance does a good job of trying to get multiple views on any incident by interviewing as many people involved as possible.

The scale and breadth at which Elon Musk has grown his companies is remarkable. The book focuses on Space X and Tesla for majority of the time and sometimes it's hard to remember that all of the risks, failures and triumphs of each company happened in parallel rather than as sequential actions in Elon Musk's business career, which makes his progress even more remarkable!

I really enjoyed reading about the early days of Tesla and SpaceX and about how both underdogs entered into their respective arenas as laughable upstarts to the incumbants, to then go on and run rings around those companies in true David Vs Golaith stories. If you're ever unsure about a project or a goal, remember that Elon Musk once went to Moscow wanting to buy Russian ICBM rockets and sold an electric car power system to Mercedes-Benz, the company who invented the two stroke petrol engine!

While he comes across as no angel in the book, the sheer magnitude of what he has accomplished to date is awe-inspiring. I recommend getting the updated version of the book if you can, it includes some extra epilogue commentary by Vance on the goings on between when the book was written in 2015 and 2017.

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