Elon Musk- Paperback

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      Elon Musk- Paperback

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      From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of Elon Musk, the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era – a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration and artificial intelligence. Oh, and took over Twitter. When Elon Musk was a kid in South Africa, he was regularly beaten by bullies. One day a group pushed him down some concrete steps and kicked him until his face was a swollen ball of flesh. He was in the hospital for a week. But the physical scars were minor compared to the emotional ones inflicted by his father, an engineer, rogue and charismatic fantasist. His father’s impact on his psyche would linger. He developed into a tough yet vulnerable man-child with an exceedingly high tolerance for risk, a craving for drama, an epic sense of mission, and a maniacal intensity that was callous and at times destructive. At the beginning of 2022 – after a year marked by SpaceX launching thirty-one rockets into orbit, Tesla selling a million cars, and him becoming the richest man on earth – Musk spoke ruefully about his compulsion to stir up dramas. ‘I need to shift my mindset away from being in crisis mode, which it has been for about fourteen years now, or arguably most of my life,’ he said. It was a wistful comment, not a New Year’s resolution. Even as he said it, he was secretly buying up shares of Twitter, the world’s ultimate playground. Over the years, whenever he was in a dark place, his mind went back to being bullied on the playground. Now he had the chance to own the playground.
      ASIN ‏

      ‎ B0CKY4MGFN

      Publisher ‏

      ‎ WINDHILL (1 January 2023)

      Language ‏

      ‎ English

      Paperback ‏

      ‎ 688 pages

      Reading age ‏

      ‎ Customer suggested age

      Country of Origin ‏

      ‎ India

      Based on 10 reviews

      4.56 Overall
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      10 reviews for Elon Musk- Paperback

      1. Amazon Customer

        I read Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson and considered him someone who is way above mere mortals, then I read Elon Musk and now I believe he is not from this planet. People like Musk are gift to mankind ,they inspire our tribe to think and imagine beyond human imagination.

      2. Divit

        Order carefully because the seller might send first copy of the book. Pages of the book are supposed to white not yellow. Rest Amazing book everyone should read it.

      3. adarsh

        This is a brilliantly written book and an amazing story of the imagination of the world’s richest person. His vision and philosophy is much bigger than any other person living today but as a person he is one of the Vora person to work with. He is hardworking , motivated by his purpose , always on war mode and driven. The book is in fact a terrific business book. Before reading this book I never knew he was the founder of open ai or chat GPT. Finally there is a warning beware AI is coming.

      4. Divyanshu Srivastava

        Brilliant! The langauge is so smooth and the book is divided into small chapters that goes according to the timeline of this genius billionaire.

      5. Mohammed Sadiq

        Isaacson weaves biographies like no one else. His biography on Steve Jobs was iconic.And this time around, he kept up. Musk is a dynamic personality as is but Isaacson raises his stature to new heights yet never pulls a blow when highlighting his shortcomings. A perfectly balanced, awe-inspiring, and thrilling sliver on Musk.Must read. Dot.

      6. Sharath Narayan

        Thanks to Walter Isaacson for this gem of a book. Would highly recommend to any Elon fans who are curious to know how his brain works.

      7. POWER OF BOOKS

        Excellent biography.

      8. Swathi Guru

        Had read a biography of Musk before by another author, but this has a lot of current information which can give the vision of Musk . I really like the approach with smaller chapters which helped in taking time outs in between. Great book overall, especially if you are fan of ‘THE MAN’.

      9. はろだいん

        Elaborates Elon’s lack of empathy but only skims the sauce of his successInteresting but Insufficient!Not bad. The book is long, but the story it tells holds your interest. Walter Isaacson characterizes the players well, draws quotes from lots of people around Elon Musk, such as Gwynne Shotwell, Grimes, as well as current and former deputies and engineers that reported to Elon, at Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, Twitter, Neuralink, and the Boring Company.The book’s saving grace is that it reads fast, tells a mostly coherent chronological story, and explains much of Musk’s worldview. It cites examples of Musk’s algorithm:1. Question every requirement.2. Delete any part or process you can.3. Simplify and optimize.4. Accelerate cycle time.5. Automate.Corollaries:a. All technical managers must have hands-on experience.b. Comradery is dangerous.c. It’s OK to be wrong. Just don’t be confident and wrong.d. Never ask your troops to do something you’re not willing to do.e. Whenever there are problems to solve, don’t just meet with your manager. Do a skip level.f. When hiring, look for people with the right attitude.g. A maniacal sense of urgency is our operating principle.h. The only rules are the ones dictated by the laws of physics. Everything else is a recommendation.Likewise, Isaacson interviews his close family (like brother Kimbal and father Errol) extensively, drawing from them the lessons they learned from the games they play, like Polytopia:1. Empathy is not an asset.2. Play life like a game.3. Do not fear losing.4. Be proactive.5. Optimize every turn.6. Double down.7. Pick your battles.8. Unplug at times.These kinds of lists characterize Elon well, and help us understand his mind better. Books that influenced him, such as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, also illuminate his preferences. I love the explanations of his worldview played out in-scene, throughout his companies and personal interactions, like multiplayer games of Polytopia against Grimes or Kimbal.The book’s main problem is its heavy-handed layperson focus on Elon’s emotional intelligence. Supporting cast, like Elon’s children and cousins, are introduced as cardboard cutouts with “emotional alertness, and eagerness to please that were not part of Elon’s repertoire.” Every relative is characterized as resembling Elon, “except with empathy.” Elon’s tweets, comments, and actions are explained away as “Elon’s Asperger’s coming out in full.” Walter Isaacson spends an inordinate number of quotations, scenes, situations, and personal introductions pointing out Elon’s perceived lack of empathy or feelings, to the point that it feels like a mission, the book’s central thesis. Justine, his first wife, “tried to explain to him the concept of true empathy: It involves feeling. You feel the other person.” Everybody interviewed seems to say something about Elon’s lack of empathy. It gets tiresome, fast.Just present the actions and let the reader make the judgments! We don’t need to be spoonfed psychoanalytic explanations for Elon’s behavior, like we’re his shrink trying to prescribe his meds. Presenting the worldview and then tying that to the actions is enough; we can read the scenes you’ve chosen and form our own opinions.Too often, Isaacson does more than show the scene; he forces meaning on us, in explicit words, like why Gwynne Shotwell’s personality and empathy juxtaposed with Elon’s lack of it. Every person with any relationship with Elon chimes in on this topic in the book, that it feels like we are sitting in on a parent-teacher conference, hearing the thoughts and observations of that matriarchal 1st grade homeroom teacher, discussing children on the playground: who’s a good kid, who plays well with others, who’s a jerk, who’s a bully, who needs to be toned down. Isaacson and the sources and quotations beat the empathy horse to death, breaking the 4th wall often to describe how he and others around Musk spoke about Musk behind his back. The narrative tries too hard to justify mean tweets and harsh statements, layoffs, and real-world actions that have dogged Musk in mass media newspapers and gossip magazines. The overall tone is that it is a negative trait: “Demon mode causes a lot of chaos, but it also gets shit done.” No duh!But what the book doesn’t adequately explain, is why the people that remained despite this follow him religiously, how he led them (besides prescribing unreasonable deadlines), and why people packed those 11pm meeting rooms despite a lack of sleep, praise, or empathy. The flip side of this — a driven sense of mission — doesn’t receive nearly the amount of coverage or depth that it should. But as leaders trying to derive the good and study Elon’s results, we readers need to see more of this.Max Levchin, one of Elon’s PayPal cofounders that forced him out, is one of the few quotes that cast light on this topic:”One of Elon’s greatest skills is the ability to pass off his vision as a mandate from heaven.””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 goofball.”The book needs more of this kind of insight. I wanted to know more of Musk’s motivational strategies, not from Isaacson’s perspective or Musk’s own words, but from those he motivated. The engineers he cussed out. The people that moved to Kwaj on a moment’s notice. The Bulent Altans, Yoel Roths, Gwynne Shotwells, Andy Krebs, Lucas Hughes, Brian Dows, and Shivon Zilis of his world. These characters come and on with hateful comments and firings. Isaacson puts too much focus on the negative, that he leaves too little room to study the positive, … like how he gets people to achieve beyond their wildest dreams. Readers deserve to know why things worked, how people gained motivation, how milestones were hit, and companies built.After buying X, Musk just picks up the phone, calls Tim Cook, and sets up a meeting. Dines with Bill Gates and criticizes his shorting of Tesla. How did he know Tim’s number? Where does that level of accessibility originate? For such a lone wolf fearmonger without a scheduler or secretary, how does he manage such an expansive, text-or-call-anyone successful network?If humanity is to emulate, further, or reproduce some of the most successful strategies that Elon has employed in building each of his companies, then students of such greatness — Isaacson — need to do a better job documenting the nuances of those interactions, specifically how the people around him stretch and grow beyond their boundaries to achieve the goals he sets out. Instead of spending so much book time harping the negatives, idiosyncracies, and abnormalities of what we readers already know and accept to be an idiosyncratic, abnormal man, Isaacson should focus on why the positives have driven the people around him. Too often, the narrative devolves into mass media-level shock and awe at the coldness or darkness of an action or interaction, when what readers are really wondering is, “Then how do his people do it?”After all, the success of a company depends on its people, and how its leader motivates them. The narrative shouldn’t dance around that subject, by wasting cycles on the leader’s emotional mood swings or perceived lack of empathy. Too often, the perspective feels like that of a skeptic, or a short-seller like Gates, where all that matters is money and comfort. “If Musk’s goal had been to create a profitable rocket company, he could have allowed himself to collect his winnings and relax after surviving 2018. His reusable workhorse Falcon 9 had become the world’s most efficient and reliable rocket, and he had developed his own communications satellites that would eventually produce a gusher of revenue.” (p. 326)This kind of perspective misses the point entirely. We shouldn’t be treated like consumer pigs spoonfed a litany of Musk’s shortcomings as a heartwarming man. We’re leaders seeking the secret sauce to a successful endeavor!As quoted from Musk on page 609, “Every year there are more referees and fewer doers. That’s why America could no longer build things like high-speed rail or rockets that go to the moon.” Quotes like these should have clued Isaacson that the problem isn’t a lack of empathy, it’s a lack of getting things done (no excuses!) that disturbs Musk — and frankly, other creators and doers as well. We’re hampered by a society that tries to protect a 9-5 work-life balance devoid of confrontation, urgency, or challenge to the status quo. Rules and regulations hamper, not just in materials and safety, but in dealing with people’s fragile emotions (“woke-mind virus”). This is why Musk has to push people harder than a normal taskmaster. This is why young talented people like Kiko Dontchev quit big corporations like Boeing: Because we can’t achieve anything around unmotivated people in a culture that is content with plodding along slowly and obediently down the beaten path. I empathize and feel that is why so many talented engineers — the Musketeers — follow Elon so religiously, from one company and crazy idea to another. But this is only my suspicion, because Isaacson doesn’t delve deeply enough into their reasons, or the efficacy of Musk’s leadership style. Like Kiko and Musk, I understand that it isn’t all about profit — it’s about making enough to show and justify the investment of people and allies that can help further the mission for humanity. Too bad Isaacson spends so much time on the valuation of Musk’s companies to miss this point, and miss an opportunity to pinpoint more of the leadership strategies that work on highly motivated, highly talented people. We could have really benefited from a deeper dive!We buy a book to learn more about how a giant leads and succeeds, not snicker at tabloid-level potshots at the central character’s lack of empathy. Humanize the demon by sharing how he powers through such a lack of sleep/exercise/nutrition, and overcome the limits and feelings of his subordinates, not by parading and pontificating every unsympathetic act taken in a meeting room or public tweet. Humankind deserves to know how his magic works, not the things in spite of which it works.Give us the insight into human motivation and show us the scenes where it plays out; then let us pass our own judgment.

      10. Kindle Customer

        Inside look at revolutionary companiesI only wish it was longer and more detailed. The book is quite well structured and fairly chronological which is a quite a feat given Elon’s roles at 4-6 different companies where progress is rapid.Having read Ashlee Vance’s biography on Elon and Liftoff, I found the initial portion of the book somewhat lacking in detail but that was fine with me because I was mainly looking to learn more about events after those 2 books. That said, we do learn more about the adversity Elon faced in childhood and Walter makes it a recurring theme backed by many quotes from others how this adversity shaped him.I’m glad Walter included a bunch of examples that were resolved during Tesla’s production hell and at SpaceX. It was quite entertaining to read even if we can’t understand the full complexity of the issue in a few sentences.Throughout the rest of the book, finding out additional context about events I’ve observed as an outsider illuminating.After production hell and achieving a production rate of 5k cars/week, I was surprised to read how stressed Elon was at times (lying on the floor before a Tesla earning call) because I didn’t get that impression when listening to him on the actual earnings calls around that time. Similarly, I didn’t sense much drama when watching Tesla AI day but after reading Kovac’s trauma (which I felt took up more pages than it should – Andrej Karpathy was prominently missing from this book so I assumed Walter wasn’t able to interview him), I went back and watched the short section he presented.Reading this really goes to show how as outsiders, we only get a small glimpse of the truth and looking back at some of those events with the new context the books provide sure puts me in a contemplative mood.One theme prevalent in the book is Elon’s demon mode. Elon has appeared in many interviews and I haven’t seen much of this side before so it’s interesting to hear about the problems this can cause behind the scenes. And the public scenes as well – from his tweets on the diver, Paul Pelosi and banning journalists for linking the teenager doxxing his location, he’s definitely shot himself in the foot and stabbed himself in the eye more times than I wish he did. But as Grimes puts it, demon mode certainly can push things to make sure s–t gets done and as Walter and Marks puts it, this character trait may be part of the package and can not simply be untangled from the woven cloth.The Twitter drama was entertaining to watch when it was unfolding at the time but after reading this book, I’ve found myself reassessing my interpretation of some of the events that occurred. My impression of Yoel Roth for example was not great at the time. Calling your opposition Nazis is not conducive to preventing tribalism which sadly American politics has degraded to. Yet in the book he’s quite reasoned in his role at Twitter and it retrospectively explains why Elon publicly endorsed him back then. So clearly, Twitter brings out the worst in us and is a poor way of measuring someone’s integrity.I do recall at the time that CP was an issue on Twitter and I wish we could have learned more about why Twitter, with such a large content moderation team failed to remove it from their platform for so many years until Elon took over the company. Was there some innocent mistake that Walter could have helped clear the air with?The Ukraine situation was interesting to read but possibly badly written since it insinuated that Elon thwarted their attack on Crimea by proactively disabling service during a military operation. Walter later clarified on Twitter/X that Starlink was always disabled in the region.Either way, it’s nice to hear Elon deprioritize Twitter as he refocuses his efforts on Starship given the threat of general AI. I do hope he stops shooting himself in the foot now because I tend to agree with Kimbal, Twitter is mainly a pimple.For engineers, the algorithm and the idiot index sounds like common sense but most of us find ourselves trapped in the layers of layers of complexity and requirements and we end up solving and optimizing within the narrow space we finds ourselves in. Why? Because working from first principles is difficult – questioning every requirement requires more brain cycles – we need to rethink through all the edge cases and their flow on effects. Sometimes we convince ourselves to avoid analysis paralysis by assuming the requirements make sense and focusing our efforts on adding building/adding complexity onto of it. It’s no wonder that Elon repeats it like a mantra, even when surrounded by the world’s top talent.It is somewhat sobering to hear Elon lament on how they’ll ever colonize Mars when dealing with BS regulations and poetically describing it as how civilizations fall when they become complacent after winning for so long. But it also helps explain why he pushes for surges at his companies. If I was asked to work my ass off at 11pm on a Friday night, I’d be furious, but then again I’m aware that I’m not the hardcore type of engineer that helps revolutionize industries. I deeply respect those that do and cheer your efforts on.

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