8 books that made Elon Musk
Potential saviour of mankind and eco-warrior Elon Musk has become one of the world’s richest men through his genius and hard work. So, what made the founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX who he is today? Here are eight books he has read that helped shape his outlook:
Musk read a lot of astrophysics and engineering textbooks as he developed his career. Though some such books may be beyond even the best-read people, he suggested this book as a good place to start. Speaking to KCRW, he said, “It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design’.
One of Musk’s heroes, Benjamin Franklin was an author, inventor, diplomat and scientist. Musk says that he was an entrepreneur who started from nothing. Not unlike Musk, who also started out with almost nothing in South Africa.
Musk spent time at the University of Pennsylvania studying physics and economics. It is unsurprising therefore that the future space entrepreneur idolised Einstein for his wisdom and particular views on the world. Much of Einstein’s thinking contributes to the way that Tesla and SpaceX are run today.
This book studies the ethics of Artificial Intelligence and what should happen should AI surpass that of humanity. Musk has been both an investor in AI and yet outspoken as to the risks involved in it becoming uncontrolled. This book directly influenced his thinking on the prizes and pitfalls from developing AI.
Confused about climate change and even the risks around smoking? This is because scientists paid by corporations have been muddying the debate with counter-arguments from vested interests. This book showed how medical science has been challenged by corrupt scientists.
This classic book about a group of boys trapped on a desert island after a plane crash tells of survival, competition and greed.
Based on the lecture notes taught by Peter Thiel at Stanford University, this book focuses on the unique thinking required by entrepreneurs who wish to launch their businesses on the world. This is most appropriate for a serial entrepreneur such as Musk.
The best science fiction writers forecast developments in science and humanity. Asimov was one of the best at this. One of his most far-fetched series of books could yet come to reality with Musk seeing the human race living on other planets in order to survive.
Sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page to get more electric cars and clean energy related news.