Elon Musk got motivation from these 8 books (among many other things)

Elon Musk, an automotive pioneer with his California-based Tesla Motors. (© AP Images - source: share.america.gov)
Elon Musk, an automotive pioneer with his California-based Tesla Motors. (© AP Images – source: share.america.gov)

Elon Musk is among the most successful businessmen in the present day world. He has developed such services and organizations that are helping in the development of a sustainable future. His innovations have taken part in electric cars, rooftops, tunneling machines, and electric cars. Here are the 8 books that changed the life of Elon Musk and he, somehow, credited his success to these books:

  1. Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by J.E. Gordon

This book helped Elon Musk in working on the rocket science. “It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design,” Musk stated in an interview with KCRW.

This book is also among the “Best Seller”(s) in Civil Engineering. It can tell its readers several things such as “why suspension bridges don’t collapse under eight lanes of traffic (?)” and “what principles guide the design of a skyscraper or a kangaroo (?)”

  1. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson

“You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur,” Musk stated in an interview with Foundation’s Kevin Rose. “He was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.”

This book is actually a “full-scale biography” of Walter Isaacson.

  1. Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson

Quotations of Einstein such as “The important thing is not to stop questioning,” and “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new,” have significantly influenced the vision of Elon Musk.

This book is showing how a person moved from the job of clerk to a high level of scientist, and how he got so much success.

  1. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” by Nick Bostrom

Musk stated this book, which is related to the potential danger of AI overtaking humanity, is “worth reading” and tweeted about it in the year 2014.

This book is also among the “Best Seller”(s) in Artificial Intelligence.

  1. Merchants of Doubt” by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

Musk told about this book on Twitter in the year 2013. This book explains how several scientists intentionally screw the research data in various ways for different corporations to make profit.

  1. Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

This book, about greed and survival, spoke to Musk. “The heroes of the books I read always felt a duty to save the world,” he told the New Yorker.

  1. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

The book was authored by Paypal cofounder of Musk. It deals with the need for unique thinking while planning a startup.

This book is also among the “Best Seller”(s) in New Business Enterprises.

  1. The “Foundation” trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Most important lesson Musk learned from this book is that “civilizations move in cycles,” that became the reason for developing more confidence in trying several incredible things with his startups.

“Given that this is the first time in 4.5 billion years where it’s been possible for humanity to extend life beyond Earth,” he stated, “it seems like we’d be wise to act while the window was open and not count on the fact it will be open a long time.”

Source: CNBC

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.