Elon Musk

Walter Isaacson

My Copies


At first she and Errol were going to name him Nice, after the town in France where he was conceived. History may have been different, or at least amused, if the boy had to go through life with the name Nice Musk.

  • about Elon Musk, Maye Musk, Errol Musk
    • p. 16 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    He had no friends or social life in Toronto, and he spent most of his time reading or working on the computer. Tosca, on the contrary, was a saucy teenager, eager to go out. "I'm coming with you," Elon would declare, not wanting to be lonely. "No you're not," she would reply. But when he insisted, she ordered, "You have to stay ten feet away from me at all times." He did. He would walk behind her and her friends, carrying a book to read whenever they went into a club or party.

  • about Elon Musk, Tosca Musk
    • p. 43 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    Musk also drew another lesson from his time at Scotiabank: he did not like, nor was he good at, working for other people. It was not in his nature to be deferential or to assume that others might know more than he did.

    • p. 48 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    [Elon Musk] decided to major in physics because, like his father, he was drawn to engineering. The essence of being an engineer, he felt, was to address any problem by drilling down to the most fundamental tenets of physics. He also decide to pursue a joint degree in business. "I was concerned that if I didn't study business, I would be forced to work for someone who did," he says. "My goal was to engineer products by having a feel for the physics and never have to work for a boss with business degree."

  • Walter Isaacson, Elon Musk
    • p. 50 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    At Penn, Musk received some internship offers from Wall Street, all lucrative, but finance did not interest him. He felt that bankers and lawyers did not contribute much to society. Besides, he disliked the students he met in business classes.

  • about Elon Musk
    • p. 55 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    Some of the best innovations come from combining two previous innovations.

    • p. 61 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    I never wanted to be a CEO, but I learned that you could not truly be the chief technology or product officer unless you were the CEO.

  • Elon Musk
    • p. 63 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    True product people have a compulsion to sell directly to consumers, without middlemen muddying things up.

    • p. 65 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    Unlike other ambitious people, [Elon Musk] never talked about making money. He assumed that he would either be wealthy or broke, but nothing in between. What interested him were the problems he wanted to solve.

  • by Justine Musk
  • about Elon Musk
    • p. 69 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    Thiel, a practicing libertarian, was not wearing a seatbelt,

  • about Peter Thiel
    • p. 77 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    It was not in Musk's nature to make niche products. He wanted to remake entire industries.

  • about Elon Musk
    • p. 78 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    There's irony in everything [Elon Musk] does. He operates on an irony setting that goes up to eleven but never goes below four.

  • by Max Levchin
  • about Elon Musk
    • p. 80 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

    Elon will say crazy stuff, but every once in a while, he'll surprise you by knowing way more than you do about your own specialty. I think a huge part of the way he motivates people are these displays of sharpness, which people just don't expect from him, because they mistake him for a bullshitter or a goofball.

  • by Max Levchin
  • about Elon Musk
    • p. 81 (Simon & Schuster, 2023)