Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future

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9780753555637: Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of Spacex and Tesla is Shaping Our Future
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There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk's relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. More than any other executive today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as a science fiction fantasy.

In this lively, investigative account, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance offers an unprecedented look into the remarkable life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious businessman. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey from his difficult upbringing in South Africa to his ascent to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than fifty hours in conversation with Musk and inter- viewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies and to paint a portrait of a complex man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation--all while making plenty of enemies along the way.

In 1992, Elon Musk arrived in the United States as a ferociously driven immigrant bent on realizing his wildest dreams. Since then, Musk's roller-coaster life has brought him grave disappointments alongside massive successes. After being forced out of PayPal, fending off a life-threatening case of malaria, and dealing with the death of his infant son, Musk abandoned Silicon Valley for Los Angeles. He spent the next few years baffling his friends by blowing his entire fortune on rocket ships and electric cars. Cut to 2012, however, and Musk had mounted one of the greatest resurrections in business history: Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity had enjoyed unparalleled success, and Musk's net worth soared to more than $5 billion.

At a time when many American companies are more interested in chasing easy money than in taking bold risks on radical new technology, Musk stands out as the only businessman with enough dynamism and vision to tackle--and even revolutionize--three industries at once. Vance makes the case that Musk's success heralds a return to the original ambition and invention that made America an economic and intellectual powerhouse. Elon Musk is a brilliant, penetrating examination of what Musk's career means for a technology industry undergoing dramatic change and offers a taste of what could be an incredible century ahead.

From the Back Cover:

"Ashlee Vance has given us an intensely reported, wonderfully spirited account of Elon Musk's rise to the pinnacle of the business world. This is the definitive look at the man who may have the biggest impact on the human race. Should Musk bring humanity to Mars, this will be the planet's founding document." -- BRAD STONE, author of the bestselling The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

"Elon Musk is a man after my own heart: a risk taker undaunted by setbacks and ever driven to ensure a bright future for humanity. Ashlee Vance's stellar biography captures Musk's remarkable life story and irrepressible spirit." -- RICHARD BRANSON, founder of Virgin Group

"More than any entrepreneur since Steve Jobs, Elon Musk sets the bar for what's possible in technology. We are fortunate to have our very own real-life Tony Stark in Elon, and here, for the first time, we have his story vividly told." --MARC ANDREESSEN, venture capitalist and Web pioneer

"Ashlee Vance offers a clear-eyed look at a man who has played the underdog again and again--challenging old thinking and changing the world. I dare anyone to read this book and not be inspired to set their sights a little higher." --TONY FADELL, creator of the iPod and iPhone, and CEO of Nest Labs

"Elon Musk is one of the greatest entrepreneurial minds of our time. His combination of extreme intelligence, relentless drive, and steadfast belief in his bold ideas is ensuring that all of society has the chance to benefit from his efforts. The book Elon Musk is a compelling firsthand, behind-the-scenes look at how Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity were formed, and how Elon works to bring his passions to fruition. He is a unique character changing the world, and Ashlee Vance's book is a riveting account of how Elon's game-changing ideas have been conceived and born, and now flourish." --J. CRAIG VENTER, Ph.D., first human genome sequencer and creator of synthetic life

"This thrilling book will make you want to start a car company, build spaceships, and go to Mars. The only downside is when you eventually remember that you're not Elon Musk." -- AARON LEVIE, CEO of Box

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