As lead designer at SpaceX, Elon oversees the development of rockets and spacecraft for missions to Earth orbit and ultimately to other planets. The SpaceX Falcon 1 was the first privately developed liquid fuel rocket to reach orbit, in 2008. Following that milestone, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft won the NASA contract to provide a commercial replacement for the cargo transport function of the Space Shuttle, which retired in 2011. In 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company to launch and recover a spacecraft from Earth orbit with its Dragon spacecraft. In 2012, Dragon achieved the distinction of being the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station and return cargo to Earth. In 2014, SpaceX won a commercial crew contract from NASA to carry astronauts in 2017. By pioneering the development of reusable rockets, SpaceX is pursuing the long-term goal of making humans a multi-planetary species.
At Tesla, Elon serves as product architect, overseeing product development, engineering, and design for the all-electric vehicle range, which is manufactured in Fremont, California. The Tesla Roadster sports car debuted in 2008, followed by the Model S Sedan, which was introduced in 2012, and the Model X SUV, which came out in 2015. The Model S was named Consumer Reports’ Best Overall Car in 2014 and 2015 and earned the highest-ever safety rating awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From the beginning, Tesla’s mission has been to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy economy, in which compelling and accessible electric transport will play a crucial role. In that spirit, the company opened its patents to all in 2014 and will unveil the Model 3, a $35,000 mass-market electric car with over 200 miles of range, in 2016. In addition, Elon is the non-executive chairman and principal shareholder of SolarCity, which he helped create. SolarCity is now the leading provider of solar power systems in the United States. Previously, Elon co-founded PayPal, the world's leading Internet payment system, and served as the company's Chairman and CEO. Telsa and SpaceX
1. Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success.
2. Constantly think about how you can be doing things better.
3. Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive, and determination of the people behind it as the product they sell.
4. I ask myself: Will this activity result in a better product or service? If not, I stop those efforts.
5. If something is important enough you should try even if the probable outcome is failure.