The 20 Truths - ELON MUSK MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH
That's, why I really, thought, to like how can I provide, advice that would be most helpful and, I'm not sure I've given enough thought to to. That to, give you the best possible answer but, I think I. Think. Certainly. Being. Focused on something that. You're confident, will have high value, to someone else, and. Just being really rigorous, in making. That assessment. Because. People are attend tend to, natural. Human tendency is wishful thinking. So. A challenge, for entrepreneurs, is to say well what's the difference between really. Believing in your ideals and sticking sticking to them. Versus. Pursuing. Some unrealistic, dream, that doesn't, actually have merit and it's it's that is a that, is a really difficult thing to to, tell you can you tell the difference between those two things yeah so you need to be sort of very, rigorous in, your self self. Analysis, I. Think, certainly extremely, tenacious. And. And. Then, just work like hell I mean you just have to put in you. Know 80 hour 80. 100 hour weeks, every. Week. And. Then matter like that, all, those things improve the odds of success okay. I, mean. If other. People are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you're putting in 100. Hour work weeks then, even, if. You're. Doing the same thing you know that in in, one, year you will achieve what they achieve you, will achieve in. Four. Months what it takes them a year to achieve. How. Do you think about making. A decision when everyone tells you this is a crazy idea where, do you get the internal strength to do that, I'm. Office well I'd say I actually think I feel. Feel, fear quite strongly. So. It's not as though I just. Have the absence of fear I've I feel it quite strongly. But. Yeah, there were times, when if. Something is important enough you believe in it enough that you. Do, you do it in spite of the fear, so. Speaking of important things like people shouldn't think I I I. Should. If you should think well I feel, fear about this and therefore, I shouldn't do it it's, normal to be, feel fair like you'd have to definitely. Something mentally wrong you, shouldn't feel fair. So. You just feel it and let the importance of it anyway. Yeah. You, know actually we're something that can be helpful as fatalism, some. Degree you. Could just think it's just accept the probabilities. Then. That. Diminishes, fear so. My. Starting SpaceX, I thought the odds of success were less than 10%. And. I just accepted that actually, probably I, would just lose lose. Everything. But. That maybe would make some progress if, we could just move the ball forward even. If we died maybe. Some. Other company could pick up the baton and move and keep moving forward, so. That were slowly some good. Yeah. Same with Tesla I thought the odds of a car company succeeding, were extremely. Low when. Does happy focused. On which. Walks in and money coming in when creating companies because otherwise the company will die, so.
That I. Think. That a lot of times people think like. Creating, company is gonna. Be fun I would say it's not it's really not that fun I mean there are periods of fun and, there are periods of where to where she's awful. And. Particularly if you a CEO of the company. You. Actually have a distillation of all the worst problems, in the company. There's. No point in spending your time on things that are going right so, you only spend on things on your, time on things that are going wrong and and. There are things that are going wrong that other, people can't can't take care of so you're like the worst you, have a filter for the crappers problems in the company, the. Most pernicious and, painful problem. So. I wouldn't say it's it's I think you have to feel quite, compelled to do it, and. Have. A fairly, high pain threshold and, there's a friend of mine who. Says like starting companies like staring. At the abyss and eating, glass. And. There's. Some truth to that. We're. Staring it's the best part is that you're going to be constantly facing, the. Extermination. Of the company because. Most startups fail, like. 90% ugly. 99%. Of starts, fail so. I. So. You that, that's the staring into the abyss part you can't stir constantly saying okay this if. I, don't get this right the company will die. It, should be quite right for quite stressful and and. Then. The. Eating glass part is you've. Got you've got to do you've. Got to be the pawns you gonna sell you're gonna work on the problems that the company needs you to work on not the problems you want to work on and. So. That the that's, you and I've working on problems. That that you'd. Really wish you weren't, working on so. That's, the eating class part. Then. That goes on for a long time so how do you keep. Your focus on the big picture when, you're constantly faced with we. Could be out of business in a month. Well. It's, just a very small percentage of mental. Energies on the on, the big picture like you know you know you know where you generally, headed heading for and and. The, fascial path is gonna be some sort of zigzagging thing in, that direction you. Try, not to deviate too far from the path that, that, you want to be on but you're gonna have to do that some degree. But. I don't want to I don't want to diminish the I mean I think the product the profit motive is it is a is a good one if the rules of an industry are properly set up there's. Something fundamentally, wrong with puppet in fact profit just means that people. Are paying you more for, whatever, you're doing then you're spending to create it. That's. A good thing, and. If you're not if, that's not the case then. You'll be out of business and rightfully so. You're. Not adding enough value it. Would. Definitely. Advise. People there's, not any company to expect. A. Long. Period of quite. High, difficulty yeah. But. It means long as, people. Stay super. Focused, on creating absolute, best product or service that, really delights, their end customer, like, if they stay focused on that then, it. Should. Basically, if you get a search that your customers, want you to succeed, then. Then you probably will all right you have to focus on the customer delivering, for them yeah. Make sure if your customers W you will your, odds of success are dramatically. Higher. When. You're building something new there's going to be mistakes, and. It's, important, to to recognize those mistakes acknowledge, them and take, corrective action, yeah and, a successful company is very much more about, how.
Quick Are you to fix the mistakes not, will you make mistakes or, admit, mistakes absolutely. Yeah and if you see the difference between a startup, that is successful and one that is not it's because the successful. One they're both made mistakes but. The successful one recognize, the mistakes fix. Them very, quickly and the, unsuccessful, one tries to deny that the mistakes exist you know extremely, smart people are sometimes quite arrogant because, they believe in what they believe in right and so, when they face criticism it's. Less, likely to admit you know they they can make mistakes was. That in your case I learnt it when I was doing when, I was studying physics, mm-hmm the. The you know in physics you're taught to always question yourself you're. Taught to always assume that you're wrong not to seem that you're right and you have to prove yourself not. Not wrong and. So I think that that. That physics, framework is really where where, I learnt it and. It's. Very effective for under, for learning. Counterintuitive, things that aren't obvious mmm-hmm, so, you are very famous in saying that failure is actually an option and if you're not failing but, that. Means you're not in all they doing yeah it's not like I like failure, your likes failure was terrible but if you only do things that are certain to succeed then you're only gonna be doing a very obvious thing. Did. You think I need, to pack this in Devin, why, not I don't, ever give up I'd, have to be dead, or. Completely, incapacitated when. Interview someone to work in the companies to be to. Ask, me to tell me about the problems that they worked on and how they solved them and, if. Someone, was really the person, who solved it they'll be able to answer multiple, levels they'll be able to go down to the brass tacks and. If they would they'll get stuck and. Then you can say oh this person was not really the person who solved it because anyone who, struggled hard with a problem never forgets gonna make, sure that whatever, you're doing is a great. Product, or service and it has to be really great and I go back to what I said earlier where. If. You're a new company, I mean. This it's like some new industry. Or new. Market that added if it's an untapped market or, then then.
You. Have more, ability to give. Is this. The. Standard is lower for your product or service but if you're entering anything where there's an existing. Market place against. Lodge entrenched, competitors, then. Your. Product or service needs to be much better than theirs it can't be a little bit better because then you put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, and they say why would you buy it as consumer, we're just gonna pry the trusted, brand unless there's a big difference so. A lot, of times, you. Know. Entrepreneur, will come, up with something which is only slightly better, and. It's it's, not you can't just be slightly better it's got to be a lot better if. You're creating company or if you're joining a company. The. Most important thing is to I. I, try. It is to attract, great people so either be with join a group that's amazing. That you really, respect before if, you're, building a company you've got to gather great people I mean all the company is is a group of people that have gathered together to create a product or service and so. Depending upon how, talented, and hardworking that, group is and degree, to which they'll focused. Cohesively. In a. Good direction that, will determine the success of the company so. Do. Everything you can to to gather great people if. You're, creating, a company. Really. Liking what you do whatever area. That you get into. Given. That you know even if you if you're the, best the best there's always a chance of failure so I think it's important that you really like whatever you're doing if. You don't like it life, is too short if. You like what you're doing you think about it even when you're not working I mean it'll, just it's. Something that your mind is drawn to and. And, if you don't like it you. Just really can't make it work I think. Depending. On how well, you want to do particularly if you're starting a company you need to work super hard so. What, is super heart mean, well. When, my brother and I were starting our first company. Instead. Of getting an apartment we just rented, us a small office and we slept on the couch and. We. Showered, at the YMCA, and. We're. So hot up we had one, computer so the, the. Website was up during the day and. I was coding at night, seven. Days a week all the time. And, I. Sort. Of briefly had a girlfriend in that period and in order to be.
With Me she had to sleep in the office so. I. Work, hard like, it. Mean, every, waking hour that's that's the the thing I would I would say if your particular if you're starting a company and. I. Mean if you do simple math to say like okay if somebody else is working 50, hours and you're working 100, you'll. Get twice as done as much done in the course of a year as, the. Other company. So. Many people try to talk me out of starting, a road company it was it was crazy one, good friend of mine collected. A whole, series of videos of rockets blowing up and made me watch those you just didn't want me to lose all my money we're. Doing these things that seem. Unlikely to, succeed and we've, been fortunate and these, thus far they have succeeded now. Is the time to take risk you. Don't have kids as you get older your obligations, increase, so, your and, once, you have a family you start taking risks not just before yourself but for your family as well it gets much harder to, do. Things that might not work out. So, now is the time to, do that, before. You before you have those obligations so. I would encourage you to take risks now to do something bold. You. Want to regret it. You. Focus on on signal, over noise, a, lot, of companies get confused they they spend money, on things that don't actually make the product better for. Example at Tesla. We've. Never spent, any money on advertising. We. Put. All the money into R&D. And, manufacturing and. Design to, try to make the car as good as possible. And I. Think that's that's. The way to go before, for any given company just, keep. Thinking, about are. These efforts that people, are expending. Are they resulting, in a better product or service and if they're not stop, those efforts how. Did you figure you, were gonna start a car company and be successful, at it well I didn't, really think Tesla, would be successful, I thought we were most likely failed but I thought that we at least could, address the false perception, that people had that an electric car had to be ugly, and slow and and boring.
Like A golf cart but you say you didn't expect the company to be successful, then why try if, something is important enough you should try even if they probably. Outcome as failure, what. Tesla your goal has been to make, a better car and you've. Done that with an electric, vehicle that people covet. That has quite, a cult following, that's. Upgradable. But. You also want to achieve and, your, turn of phrase is very nice, or. Try, to achieve this Platonic. Ideal of a car right, to reach your perfection, so what, does the perfect, car. Look, like. Well. I'm gonna do I do use that phrase with our assuring, sign team that aspirationally. We're. In pursuit of the Platonic ideal of the perfect car and. Here's. What that looks like actually but it's I. Want. To try to make every element of the car as. As. Flawless as possible. And. They'll always be you, know some, degree. Of imperfection, but try. To minimize that and. Create. A car that is just a line fill in every way and. I think if you do that then the. Rest kind of takes care of itself. Doing. Business sometimes, requires, no. Assistance. And sometimes, could be very, boring do. You have the same fun from, innovation, as from business running, a business. Well. Just. An innovator, engineer, instead of a business, owner or runner I mean I'd love to just do innovation work and just do engineering. But. You raise a good point because, you, know a lot of life in general in any job there's like you have to do your chores you. Know there's, no. Nobody, can. Do that for you well it's yet I, think to be successful at almost anything you can't if, you have to do, the tough stuff and as well as the enjoyable stuff you have to do the boring stuff as well as the non, boring stuff and. If you don't do your chores then, bad things will happen but if they don't do the things that they don't like to do then the company will be in trouble yeah like you have to basically, be like, it's more fun to cook the meal than to clean. The dishes okay. But you need to clean the dishes. Do. SpaceX, and you've, said that your ultimate goal is to get humankind, to Mars. I've. Heard your response to the question but these guys need to hear it why, is Mars important, why does Mars matter.
Sure. Well the it's. Really a fundamental surgeon we need to make as. A civilization. You. Know what kind of future do we want do you want a future where we have forever confined to one planet until, some eventual, extinction event however far in the future that might occur or. Do we want to become a multi-planet, species, and. And. Then ultimately be out there among the stars me, among, many planets, many star systems and. I think the latter is a far more exciting and inspiring future. Than the former, and. And. Mars is the next natural. Step in. Fact it's the only planet. We really have a shot at at establishing, a self-sustaining, city on and. And. I think once, we do establish such a city there, will be a strong forcing function for the improvement of spaceflight, echnology, that. Will then enable us to, establish. Colonies, elsewhere in the solar system and ultimately extend, beyond the beyond our solar system, and. And. So there's the defensive, reason of. Protecting. The future of humanity ensuring, that the light of consciousness is not extinguished should. Some calamity before, earth, but. Also and. That's the defensive reason but personally, I find the, more the word what, it. Gets me more excited is, is, the, fact that this would be an incredible adventure, maybe. Like the greatest adventure ever, and. It will be exciting and inspiring and, they, need to be things that excite. And inspire people yeah, you have to be you know reasons, why you get up in the morning it can't just be solving, problems it's got to be yeah. Something something great is gonna happen in the future yeah we. Talked about this at length yesterday it's, it's not an exit strategy or, a back-up plan humankind earth fails right. It's also to inspire. People, on, earth right, and to. Transcend. And to seek to go beyond, our. Mental. Limits of what we think we can achieve right, I mean I think it's sort of how incredible the Apollo program was and. Just yeah I mean if you ask anyone and to, name. Name some of humanity's greatest, achievements. In the 20th century, the. Apollo program landing, on the moon would, wouldn't it and in, many of my most places be number one. 2001. With just just touring a friend of mine and you, asked me yes, we was gonna have to pay pal and I thought well you. Know I was wondering. Like I'd. Like to get involved in space but I I just didn't think there was anything for you as an individual and, but. As curious as to win we wintered, NASA, would be sanding a. Team. To Mars because that was always gonna be the thing to do after I've moved I. Figured. That there'd, be some plan and I just go to websites and I could read the you know the schedule. Then. Mars there's oh yeah it's like okay 2017, good okay, but. Actually there wasn't anything on on the website and. At. Least I thought like I cannot, find it like what's going on right here and. It's, a secret I don't know I said, but it turned out that. That. NASA, had done a study on what it would cost us and to, do a manned. Mars mission and, I. This. Was under Bush the first and I. Suppose. He asked for a 90-day study short, left taking. Office and NASA. Came back with a 500 billion dollar price tag and. He said okay maybe not billion, IV that's been 500 billion dollars with serious money. In, for the government so. I. So. Then that got totally, shelf and it was like you were not allowed to talk about any, kind of crude mission to Mars at NASA. Anyway. So I thought, well if, I can do something that word. Galvanize. Public interest, that, and then, that public interest would translate, to. Additional. Appropriations, for NASA whose the budget, then maybe they could do it so, the foot so actually what I sort, of thinking, I would, do is, send. Out a small greenhouse the surface of Mars or, seeds in dehydrated, gel and then upon. Landing hydrate the gelatine or the plants and the, public tests respond to precedents and superlatives, so this would be the farthest that life's ever traveled the first life on laws I try to subtract I got how to do this with the proceeds that I had from from, PayPal and.
I. Was able to figure out how to get the cost of the spacecraft. Down and the communications, and and the, little. Of greenhouse and everything but the one thing I couldn't compress was the cost launch because, there only a few options and the us options were way too expensive and. They. Ended up going to Russia three times to try to buy, the. Biggest ICBM, and the Russian nuclear fleet. That's. Where I'd start yeah yeah go baby well yeah. I mean okay. But. They. It. Was so there were some strange trips that's for sure. But. You know it's like virtually like. You can buy any it's a very capitalist, society, some. Ways. So. I actually didn't go she had a deal to buy, two of the ICBMs, - the nukes. But, I came to conclusion have that third trip that, it. Wouldn't really matter like you for the food I actually, came inclusion that my initial, premise. Was was was wrong, because. I actually think there's as. Tourists about a will, in. The American population particularly, to. To. Explore. The. United States you know maybe more than any other country. Is. A distillation, of the human spirit of exploration and. It's. Really fundamental, to psyche so if, people think there's a way I think it actually get a lot of support but. But then, it can't, be just banging your head against the wall I gotta believe that this can be done without, breaking, the federal budget. So. That's. When I said, okay well is there, some way to affect the cost of space, transport, and. An. Is good and, it's hope I. Got. Together with a group of people of, her series of Saturday's just to just try it outside is there something super. Expand, 'mentally super expensive about rockets or can. The cost be, substantially. Improved, and. I. Had. A bunch of those kind. Of brainstorming sessions and I couldn't see I couldn't say any fundamental obstacle, to improving the cost of rockets, so. And that's when I started SpaceX. It's. Like I'll just build them myself yeah. And then but. I said at that point I would say the probability, of success was definitely. Less than 30% I thought it would most likely not succeed, but. Was worth a try.