45 Genius (and Controversial) Elon Musk Quotes

 Elon Musk is an inspirational entrepreneur who has taken huge risks to achieve success. His goals to change the world and humanity itself are being brought to fruition though SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity.

I just finished reading Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Futureby Ashlee Vance and despite numerous failures he continues to make things happen. He is incredibly ambitious and can definitely be controversial when he says things like “Don’t hire MBA’s.”

Elon Musk famously stated “that he wants to die on Mars. Just not on impact” and his innovative genius has changed how we look at transportation both on earth and in space.

Here are 45 genius quotes from one of the most phenomenal minds of our generation:

  1. “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” – Elon Musk
  2. “Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring in to the abyss of death.” – Elon Musk
  3. “If you are trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.” – Elon Musk
  4. “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.” – Elon Musk
  5. “It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.” – Elon Musk
  6. “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” – Elon Musk
  7. “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” – Elon Musk

  8. “There’s a tremendous bias against taking risks. Everyone is trying to optimize their ass-covering.” – Elon Musk
  9. “What makes innovative things happen? I think it’s really a mindset. You have to decide.” – Elon Musk
  10. “I think it is important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk
  11. “The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.” – Elon Musk
  12. “I always have optimism, but I’m realistic. It was not with the expectation of great success that I started Tesla or SpaceX, it’s just that I thought they were important enough to do anyway.” – Elon Musk
  13. “People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.” – Elon Musk
  14. “If you’re co-founder or CEO, you have to do all kinds of tasks you might not want to do. If you don’t do your chores, the company won’t succeed. No task is too menial.” – Elon Musk
  15. “My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.” – Elon Musk
  16. “If something has to be designed and invented, and you have to figure out how to ensure that the value of the thing you create is greater than the costs of the inputs, then that is probably my core skill.” – Elon Musk
  17. “If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.” – Elon Musk
  18. “Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people behind it as the product they sell.” – Elon Musk
  19. “Really pay attention to negative feedback and solicit it, particularly from friends…hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.” – Elon Musk
  20. “Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution.” – Elon Musk
  21. “Talent is extremely important. It’s like a sport’s team, the team that has the best individual player will often win, but then there’s a multiplier from how those players work together and the strategy they employ.” – Elon Musk
  22. “People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.” – Elon Musk
  23. “As much as possible, avoid hiring MBAs. MBA programs don’t teach people how to create companies. – Elon Musk
  24. “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.” – Elon Musk
  25. “Work like hell. I mean you have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. This improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.” – Elon Musk
  26. “I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous, new technology where you see it and you’re like, Wow, how did that even happen?How is that possible?” – Elon Musk
  27. “I wouldn’t say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I’d like my fear emotion to be less because it’s very distracting and fries my nervous system.” – Elon Musk
  28. “When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a hug bet he made, and it worked.” – Elon Musk
  29. “You shouldn’t do things differently just because they’re different. They need to be…better.” – Elon Musk
  30. “We have a strict ‘no-assholes policy’ at SpaceX.” – Elon Musk
  31. “When somebody has a breakthrough innovation, it is rarely one little thing. Very rarely, it is one little thing. It’s usually a whole bunch of things that collectively amount to a huge innovation.” – Elon Musk
  32. “Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.” – Elon Musk
  33. “We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere…can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.” – Elon Musk
  34. “In order for us to have a future that’s exciting and inspiring, it has to be one where we’re a space-bearing civilization.” – Elon Musk
  35. “I think life on Earth must be about more than just solving problems…It’s got to be something inspiring, even if it is vicarious.” – Elon Musk

  36. “Life is too short for long-term grudges.” – Elon Musk
  37. “I’ve actually made a prediction that within 30 years a majority of new cars made in the United States will be electric. And I don’t mean hybrid, I mean fully electric.” – Elon Musk
  38. “I like the word ‘autopilot’ more than I like the word ‘self-driving’. ‘Self-driving’ sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. ‘Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.” – Elon Musk
  39. “I’d like to dial it back 5% or 10% and try to have a vacation that’s not just email with – with a view.” – Elon Musk
  40. “As you heat the planet up, it’s just like boiling a pot.” – Elon Musk
  41. “To make an embarrassing admission, I like video games. That’s what got me into software engineering when I was a kid.  I wanted to make money so I could buy better computer to play better video games – nothing like saving the world.” – Elon Musk
  42. “Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.” – Elon Musk
  43. “Land on Mars, a round-trip ticket – half a million dollars. It can be done.” – Elon Musk
  44. “I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.” – Elon Musk
  45. “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” – Elon Musk


What is your favorite Elon Musk quote? Comment below.

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