122. Who Is Elon Musk?

Today Connor and Brittany discuss one of our favorite entrepreneurs of all time: Elon Musk.

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Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: We’ve geeked out a bit on this topic or person before, but today I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into one of our favorite entrepreneurs. The guy, I believe he just became the richest man in the world, surpassing Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame. So I’m of course talking about the one and the only, Elon Musk. So let’s talk about him.

Brittany: We love him, and this is one of my favorite people to talk about, cuz not only do we love entrepreneurship and innovators, and he is both, but we also love a good rabble-rouser. And Elon Musk is all of these things, right? He doesn’t really seem to care what people think about him. I don’t think he’s ever cared what people think about him, and I think that’s part of the reason he’s become the man he is today, which you just said. I think he just became the richest man in the world.

Connor: Well, and when you get people like him who don’t really care you see them unfiltered. I mean, he’s been on people’s, you know, Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is not a family-friendly podcast.

Brittany: Yeah, I was gonna say maybe don’t, maybe kids don’t want that.

Connor: Yeah. But he’s been on different podcasts. He tweets all the time. You know, you’re getting like this raw unfiltered look into his world. He replies to random customers and people on Twitter. And you know, like I laughed a little while back, when, you know, Facebook and Twitter were going after the parlor, social network and all that kind of stuff was happening. It was right then that Elon Musk tweeted, use Signal is what he said. and Signal is an application where you can kind of text people privately. and so it’s encrypted. It’s basically that means it’s secure so the government and others can’t see what you’re texting. Whereas if you just text normally, then, the government can see that. And so Elon Musk, he tweets use Signal. Basically, he’s saying, Hey everyone, go check out that app for more, you know, privacy and security. Well, there’s this, well, I’m trying to remember what it was. There was a company with, that name totally unrelated company, and all these people started buying its stock. In other words, didn’t that in a company? Yeah. And like their stock shot up cuz all these people suddenly started investing in this signal company and it was the wrong company. So it shows how like, you know, someone’s unfiltered thoughts can really sway a lot of people. I thought it was a fun laugh.

Brittany: Well, another thing that I loved, so he became, when he became the richest man in the world, officially, someone tweeted at him like Elon, do you know, you just became the richest man in the world? his response was, the first tweet was, oh, how interesting. And the next one was, I guess it’s time to go back to work. And if he was any other guy, I’d be like, oh, he’s being arrogant. But anybody who’s seen Elon Musk talk knows that. Like, he’s, he just says what he thinks. Right? There’s no filter. And I thought I’m like, what a perfect example of why Elon Musk is who he is. Right? He keeps working. I’m sure he’s happy that he’s the richest man in the world, but there have been many times I’ve read one of his biographies where he’s been like, broke. So this is a, he’s kind of gone all over the place. So it’s really cool to see somebody like him. I love Jeff Bezos as well, but it’s cool to see someone like him out, you know, outperforming him.

Connor: Yeah. And one of the reasons we wanna talk about him and others down the road is we featured, Elon in our new guidebook for pre-teens and up the Tuttletwins Guide to Inspiring Entrepreneurs. So if you don’t have that yet, you can go to Tuttletwins.com/products and you can scroll down and find the information on those guidebooks. And so we share more detail about Elon and other entrepreneurs. And it’s hard to know, you know, to even where to begin. Elon is a very interesting person.

Brittany: Yes, he is.

Connor: because he’s what we call a serial entrepreneur. And Serial is not like the serial you eat. It’s S E R I A L. And so serial in that sense, kind of means in a line like one after the other. And so he’s a serial entrepreneur in that he does one company and then another company, and then another company. And he’s got a lot of companies, some of which we’ll talk about. This is a guy who’s a dreamer. He’s got big, big lofty goals. It’s not just, Hey, I wanna make money, or, Hey, I wanna sell these, you know, t-shirts to people and create a t-shirt company that’s like, you know, big whoop. He’s trying to think of like new ways to solve big problems. And, you know, people joke about how Elon wants to, colonize Mars, someday and send humans to Mars. But like, literally, I think if there’s anyone who can pull something like that off, it’s gonna be him. there was, you know, biography written about him, and one of his classmates from when he was very young, remembers Elon sometimes sitting by himself while, you know, everyone’s playing and talking about how Elon wanted to live on Mars. And so obviously this is like a boyhood dream that he’s now creating the actual technology and companies and developing enough, accumulating enough wealth that can be invested in big companies and lots of equipment and resources and hiring people so that he can achieve these dreams. And we’ve talked in the past, Britney, about how a lot of people like criticize, you know, entrepreneurs and wealthy people, but it’s because they’ve succeeded and accumulated wealth that they have the resources to then invest in these big ideas. If everyone was poor, you would never have someone creating a company that creates reusable rockets, which is Space X, one of his companies. And what that’s doing, for example, is it’s really lowering the cost of going the space, sending satellites up, and other things. Because the rockets take a lot of time to build. They cost a ton of money. And so now that they’ve created a way for rockets to go up to space and then come back down safely to earth, it’s lowering the cost, which means it’s gonna be accessible to weigh more people. Like, this is how entrepreneurs do it, and it’s because he’s accumulated enough wealth to dump into these companies and pursue these ambitious goals. And so that’s not to say these are perfect people. I mean, some of these entrepreneurs have big personal problems. Yeah, yeah. And, you know, and we talk about that in the book, how there’s challenges and experiences where, you know, maybe they’re not the ideal mentor for someone and you want to totally model your life after these people. But there are so many lessons to be learned and how they’re pursuing their dreams. They’re thinking very big, they’re working very hard, and they’re trying to generate enough revenue, enough money so that they can then have enough resources to then focus and invest deeply. Hire a bunch of people, hire smart people. Buy all the resources that you need. Because if he didn’t do that, if there wasn’t enough capital, enough money, then they wouldn’t be able to pursue these really big goals.

Brittany: And one thing that I think is really cool, you mentioned Space X. one thing I wanna mention about this is the first time you’ve had a private company. Now they worked with NASA, so I don’t wanna call it a full private venture, but this is the closest we’ve ever gotten to private space exploration. And our listeners aren’t, remember this summer, I remember I was like glued to the TV watching the livestream. It was Terry and someone else, I can’t remember the other guy’s name, but they orbited the earth for how many days?

Connor: I don’t remember,

Brittany: But it was months. I mean, they were up for months up there. But this is the first time you had a private company embarking on space travel, which is huge because for so long the government has had a monopoly. We’ve talked about this before. Like they were the only ones allowed to do this. And NASA’s really cool, they do some great things, but there’s never been any competition to NASA until Elon Musk came along and had this dream. And so it’s really cool. In fact, I think he even sent a Tesla, which is his car into space. Yeah. Yep. Somewhere out there. There is a Tesla floating around.

Connor: Well, and I, so I rented a Tesla, for my birthday a few months ago. You and I share the same birthday. So my treat for myself was, renting a Tesla for a day. And it’s so interesting because everything in a Tesla is clean and there’s no buttons anywhere. It’s just a touchscreen with really nicely designed software. And they’ve thought through so many details. It’s just a great experience. And then I get back in. So I’m, I spend the whole day in this thing. you, I’m taking people that, you know, I’ve met my cousin for breakfast and I ran errands and I’m just make taking full advantage of driving in this thing and big smile on my face. cuz it’s, they’re zippy. They’re fast.

Brittany: And they’re just smooth. Like they drive so smoothly.

Connor: Really smooth. And so I drop off the car and I get back in my car and I feel like I, went back in time like two decades, like, the really big kind of touchscreen kind of thing. I get back in my car and the little rear view screen for like the infotainment system is like four inches big. It’s literally like feeling like I’m going from my cell phone to like a landline with a cord plugged in and like a modem with AOL to access the internet from years ago. which the kids are like, wait, a modem? What’s that? Right? And so it felt like this. I was going back in time and there’s a button in my car, there’s buttons and knobs and, you know, everything just poorly designed. Well I thought of that because here you have Elon Musk sending, through their contract with the government and NASA, they’re sending the astronauts to the space station in their own kind of, you know, Elon Musk, Tesla-inspired design inside this kind of space shuttle vehicle. And I saw this interesting photo where on the left it showed kind of the NASA’s space shuttles of all these, you know, astronauts over the decades that have gone up to space. So on the left it showed that, and of course, there’s like literally thousands of buttons and switches, like these astronauts are sitting in the cockpit and they’re literally surrounded by buttons and switches, like every surface has a button or a switch. And then on the right side of this image, it showed the two astronauts sitting inside the Space X vehicle. And literally they were just sitting there on a bench in this neat Tesla. Like, you know, everything is a flat surface. There’s no buttons, there’s no switches, everything is, you know, like remote controlled or programmed in or however they did it. But it was just, it was kind of sexy design. It was just like clean and simple, really nice looking. And the astronauts were just kind of sitting there along for the ride. And I’m like, this shows you like government versus free market. Yeah. You know, private company, like the government just messes everything up. Horrible experience, poor thinking, not thinking about the end person. Like how would they like to use this as just like, well we need a button here and we need a switch for that. Versus the market thinking about how can we make this the best ride for not only astronauts now, but people in the future to go to space. Imagine when they start doing private space flight and you know, like they’ll start with wealthy people first cuz it will cost a lot of money to do. And then over time, you know, the costs will come down. And that’s how things go. When Tesla cars first came out, right, of course. they came out with, I think it was the Roadster Road bunch of money. But then when the wealthy people were funding that they were generating money to then go invest in additional research to create an even more affordable car and then an even more affordable car after that. And so I think that’s how space travel is gonna be and it shows they’re putting in thought into it. And so I applaud Elon cuz you know, it shows the attention to detail and they’re trying to get like a really good experience out of it.

Brittany: You bring up something that is really important. We’ve talked about Ludwig Van Mises before, who’s, you know, one of our favorite economists. He mentioned something you mentioned where everything starts with the wealthy. What I mean by that is, you know, hundreds of years ago or maybe, maybe a little over a century, I don’t remember the exact date, but using silverware, using utensils was not a thing. People just ate with their hands. That’s just how people ate. It was the wealthy who could afford. Cuz back then utensils were made of silver, right? So back then only the wealthy had access to utensils. And so it became a very big, you know, that was like something that you only had if you had a lot of money, And then all of a sudden it trickled down and more people and more people were able to do it. And now everybody uses them, right? So I think if that way with Tesla, maybe they started with only the wealthy, but that then it goes down to maybe the middle class, then more and more people are able to afford it. So I think that’s really cool. Another thing I love about Elon is that he’s a little bit of a swashbuckler if you will. I love that term. He’s a little bit of an outlaw. So California, I mean we, I think we’ve said so many things about California before, but when, when the lockdowns happened with COVID I mean they were shutting factories down and Elon refused to comply. In fact, Elon’s now moved his, I don’t know if he’s moved his business, but he’s moved his family out of California because everything’s just gotten so ridiculous. But he refused to shut down his factory. And a lot of people were angry. You know, how could you do this? How could you make people come in during COVID? But his employees wanted to come in. They, you know, they wanted to make money. And as we’ve seen happen, because of the Covid lockdowns, a lot of people now are suffering financially. But Elon let his company stay open. He’s kind of, we’ve talked about Ayn Rand and we’ve talked a little bit about Atlas Shrugged. In fact, Tuttletwins has their book of it. but it’s kind of the same way, right? Like he just kind of chooses what he wants to do. And because he is such an innovator, he has that power. If Elon were to disappear tomorrow, like all the people in Atlas shrugged, we would be very, we’d be worse off, I think. Anyway.

Connor: Yeah, it’s, there’s so much to talk about here. We’re not gonna be able to cover it all. And so make sure you check out the Tuttletwins Guide to Inspiring Entrepreneurs. There’s some fun nuggets in there and background. And there, there’s just so much going on. He’s a very interesting person to follow and really pushing the boundaries of what, you know, we can do. I mean the, we haven’t even talked about his boring company. Like, this just shows this personality, right? Here’s Elon Musk sitting in LA which has, you know, one of the worst, areas of traffic. Yeah. Car traffic in the world or in the United States. And, he’s sitting in traffic one day thinking there’s gotta be a solution. And so he starts thinking it through and comes up with the concept for boring a tunnel, which means.

Brittany: I love it.

Connor: Digging a hole in the ground, a big long tunnel, and having Tesla cars down there that are, I don’t remember the terminology or the technology, but basically, the car wouldn’t drive, the car would sit in a little pod and that pod would use, you know, kind of like a vacuum or I think magnets that would whisk it like super fast. Cause there wouldn’t be other lanes and pedestrians. And so it would just whisk you to the other end and then you’d come out and travel much faster or, wasn’t there the hyperloop is another one?

Brittany: Yeah, that’s the, yeah.

Connor: Using the pneumatic tube kind of thing where it would, it would kind of use vacuum pressure and you’d be able to kind of go above ground like innovative thinking. And that to me shows the true spirit of an entrepreneur. And that is you’re a problem solver. Like you’re sitting in traffic and then it’s like, well what can I do about this? Or what could be done? And admittedly someone like Elon Musk has now developed the skills and the experience and the wealth to be able to then say, I’m gonna go start a boring company, right? and grow up.

Brittany: The name is perfect too. Cause it has the double meaning.

Connor: Totally. And so I think, that shows though that we need to develop that mindset. We need to be thinking about how to solve problems and look for the young kids out there. These are gonna be small problems at first. Again, maybe it’s, you know, the problem is people, you know, take, don’t like taking their dogs for a walk cuz they’re busy. Great. I will walk your dogs for you. Maybe it’s, they don’t like weeding or, you know, hitting, put Christmas lights up. People constantly have problems. And if you’re looking out for those solutions, if you’re trying to figure out ways to solve problems for other people, they will reward you. And that is why the Jeff Bezos and the Elon Musk of the world have gained wealth. Not because they’ve taken it from people, not because they’ve, you know, stolen anything. It’s because they have served, they’ve served so many people through their businesses that people are saying, I want to pay you money because my life is better when your business serves me. So check out the Tuttletwins Guide to inspiring entrepreneurs. Tuttletwins.com/products is where you can find all the books. Thanks as always for being subscribed. And until next time, Brittany, we’ll talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.

 

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