111 Elon Musk Quotes (about Education, Innovation, Space, Work…)

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Elon Reeve Musk is the CEO and Chairman of Tesla and one of the wealthiest people in the world. He grew up in South Africa but moved to Canada in 1988 at the age of 17 to study at the Queen’s University. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, where he got his economics and physics degree.

He was about to take his Ph.D. in energy physics at Stanford University. But after a few days, Musk dropped out and with his brother, Kimbal Musk, founded his first company, Zip2 in 1995. They then sold the company for $307 million in 1999. Later that year, Musk then co-founded X.com, which later became Paypal. Like Zip2, this company was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock three years later.

On 2002, he became the CEO and founder of SpaceX, a private aerospace manufacturer, and transportation service company located in the US. In addition to this, Musk is also the co-founder of The Boring Company, Neuralink, and OpenAI.

Briefly, Musk took on an advisory role in Donald Trump’s administration in December 2016 with a plan to pursue infrastructure developments. However, after Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accord, Musk resigned.

Aside from his multi-billion dollar businesses, Musk’s vision includes changing the world and humanity. He also would like to reduce the risk of human extinction by establishing a human colony in Mars.

Read on and get a glimpse of Elon Musk’s methodical mind through his quotes that explores his ideas and views on innovation and education, space, technology, work, life, and many more.

Elon Musk Quotes About Innovation and Education

1. “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.”

2. “The United States is definitely ahead in culture of innovation. If someone wants to accomplish great things, there is no better place than the U.S.”

3. “Trying to read our DNA is like trying to understand software code – with only 90% of the code riddled with errors. It’s very difficult in that case to understand and predict what that software code is going to do.”

4. “I think long term you can see Tesla establishing factories in Europe, in other parts of the U.S. and in Asia.”

5. “Self-driving cars are the natural extension of active safety and obviously something we should do.”

6. “Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution.”

7. “It’s important that we attempt to extend life beyond Earth now. It is the first time in the four billion-year history of Earth that it’s been possible, and that window could be open for a long time – hopefully it is – or it could be open for a short time. We should err on the side of caution and do something now.”

8. “In the early days of aviation, there was a great deal of experimentation and a high death rate.”

9. “When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world.”

When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world. - Elon Musk #quotes #innovation #education

10. “My background educationally is physics and economics, and I grew up in sort of an engineering environment – my father is an electromechanical engineer. And so there were lots of engineery things around me.”

11. “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

Elon Musk Quotes About Space

1. “Land on Mars, a round-trip ticket – half a million dollars. It can be done.”

2. “I feel very strongly that SpaceX would not have been able to get started, nor would we have made the progress that we have, without the help of NASA.”

3. “The space shuttle was often used as an example of why you shouldn’t even attempt to make something reusable. But one failed experiment does not invalidate the greater goal. If that was the case, we’d never have had the light bulb.”

4. “I think we are at the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration.”

I think we are at the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration. - Elon Musk #quotes #space

5. “I would like to fly in space. Absolutely. That would be cool. I used to just do personally risky things, but now I’ve got kids and responsibilities, so I can’t be my own test pilot. That wouldn’t be a good idea. But I definitely want to fly as soon as it’s a sensible thing to do.”

6. “The odds of me coming into the rocket business, not knowing anything about rockets, not having ever built anything, I mean, I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor.”

7. “You need to live in a dome initially, but over time you could terraform Mars to look like Earth and eventually walk around outside without anything on… So it’s a fixer-upper of a planet.”

8. “If you look at space companies, they’ve failed either because they’ve had a technical solution where success was not a possible outcome, they were unable to attract a critical mass of talent, or they just ran out of money. The finish line is usually a lot further away than you think.”

9. “SpaceX is only 12 years old now. Between now and 2040, the company’s lifespan will have tripled. If we have linear improvement in technology, as opposed to logarithmic, then we should have a significant base on Mars, perhaps with thousands or tens of thousands of people.”

Elon Musk Quotes About Technology

1. “The reality is gas prices should be much more expensive then they are because we’re not incorporating the true damage to the environment and the hidden costs of mining oil and transporting it to the U.S. Whenever you have an unpriced externality, you have a bit of a market failure, to the degree that eternality remains unpriced.”

2. “I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous, new technology where you see it, and you’re like, ‘Wow, how did that even happen? How is that possible?'”

3. “Silicon Valley has some of the smartest engineers and technology business people in the world.”

Silicon Valley has some of the smartest engineers and technology business people in the world. - Elon Musk #quotes #technology

4. “Obviously Tesla is about helping solve the consumption of energy in a sustainable manner, but you need the production of energy in a sustainable manner.”

5. “Some companies out there quote a start of production that is substantially in advance of when customers get their cars.”

6. “My vision is for a fully reusable rocket transport system between Earth and Mars that is able to re-fuel on Mars – this is very important – so you don’t have to carry the return fuel when you go there.”

7. “Automotive franchise laws were put in place decades ago to prevent a manufacturer from unfairly opening stores in direct competition with an existing franchise dealer that had already invested time, money and effort to open and promote their business.”

8. “With DNA, you have to be able to tell which genes are turned on or off. Current DNA sequencing cannot do that. The next generation of DNA sequencing needs to be able to do this. If somebody invents this, then we can start to very precisely identify cures for diseases.”

9. “An asteroid or a supervolcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.”

10. “The problem is that at a lot of big companies, process becomes a substitute for thinking. You’re encouraged to behave like a little gear in a complex machine. Frankly, it allows you to keep people who aren’t that smart, who aren’t that creative.”

11. “In order for us to have a future that’s exciting and inspiring, it has to be one where we’re a space-bearing civilization.”

In order for us to have a future that’s exciting and inspiring, it has to be one where we’re a space-bearing civilization. - Elon Musk #quotes #technology

12. “I like the word ‘autopilot’ more than I like the word ‘self-driving.’ ‘Self-driving’ sounds like it’s going to do something you don’t want it to do. ‘Autopilot’ is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.”

13. “Silicon Valley has evolved a critical mass of engineers and venture capitalists and all the support structure – the law firms, the real estate, all that – that are all actually geared toward being accepting of startups.”

14. “Yeah, well I think anyone who likes fast cars will love the Tesla. And it has fantastic handling by the way. I mean this car will crush a Porsche on the track, just crush it. So if you like fast cars, you’ll love this car. And then oh, by the way, it happens to be electric and it’s twice the efficiency of a Prius.”

15. “Government isn’t that good at rapid advancement of technology. It tends to be better at funding basic research. To have things take off, you’ve got to have commercial companies do it.”

16. “Boeing just took $20 billion and 10 years to improve the efficiency of their planes by 10 percent. That’s pretty lame. I have a design in mind for a vertical liftoff supersonic jet that would be a really big improvement.”

17. “There are really two things that have to occur in order for a new technology to be affordable to the mass market. One is you need economies of scale. The other is you need to iterate on the design. You need to go through a few versions.”

18. “Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.”

19. “The fuel cell is just a fundamentally inferior way of delivering electrical energy to an electric motor than batteries.”

20. “I’ve actually made a prediction that within 30 years a majority of new cars made in the United States will be electric. And I don’t mean hybrid, I mean fully electric.”

21. “I think Tesla will most likely develop its own autopilot system for the car, as I think it should be camera-based, not Lidar-based. However, it is also possible that we do something jointly with Google.”

22. “The goal of Tesla is to accelerate sustainable energy, so we’re going to take a step back and think about what’s most likely to achieve that goal.”

23. “I do think there is a lot of potential if you have a compelling product and people are willing to pay a premium for that. I think that is what Apple has shown. You can buy a much cheaper cell phone or laptop, but Apple’s product is so much better than the alternative, and people are willing to pay that premium.”

24. “The future of humanity is going to bifurcate in two directions: Either it’s going to become multiplanetary, or it’s going to remain confined to one planet and eventually there’s going to be an extinction event.”

25. “I really do encourage other manufacturers to bring electric cars to market. It’s a good thing, and they need to bring it to market and keep iterating and improving and make better and better electric cars, and that’s what going to result in humanity achieving a sustainable transport future. I wish it was growing faster than it is.”

26. “A battery by definition is a collection of cells. So the cell is a little can of chemicals. And the challenge is taking a very high-energy cell, and a large number of them, and combining them safely into a large battery.”

27. “My opinion is it’s a bridge too far to go to fully autonomous cars.”

28. “The factory is the machine that builds the machine.”

29. “Yeah, well I think anyone who likes fast cars will love the Tesla. And it has fantastic handling by the way. I mean this car will crush a Porsche on the track, just crush it. So if you like fast cars, you’ll love this car. And then oh, by the way, it happens to be electric and it’s twice the efficiency of a Prius.”

Elon Musk Quotes About Life

1. “People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else.”

People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else. - Elon Musk #quotes #life

2. “Life is too short for long-term grudges.”

3. “I think life on Earth must be about more than just solving problems… It’s got to be something inspiring, even if it is vicarious.”

4. “If anyone thinks they’d rather be in a different part of history, they’re probably not a very good student of history. Life sucked in the old days. People knew very little, and you were likely to die at a young age of some horrible disease. You’d probably have no teeth by now. It would be particularly awful if you were a woman.”

Elon Musk Quotes About Work

1. “Great companies are built on great products.”

2. “I always invest my own money in the companies that I create. I don’t believe in the whole thing of just using other people’s money. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to ask other people to invest in something if I’m not prepared to do so myself.”

3. “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. - Elon Musk #quotes #work #motivational

4. “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

5. “I think the high-tech industry is used to developing new things very quickly. It’s the Silicon Valley way of doing business: You either move very quickly and you work hard to improve your product technology, or you get destroyed by some other company.”

6. “People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.”

7. “I don’t spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.”

8. “The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design.”

9. “I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.”

I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done. - Elon Musk #quotes #motivational

10. “A company is a group organized to create a product or service, and it is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating. I do want to recognize a ton of super-talented people. I just happen to be the face of the companies.”

11. “If you want to grow a giant redwood, you need to make sure the seeds are ok, nurture the sapling, and work out what might potentially stop it from growing all the way along. Anything that breaks it at any point stops that growth.”

12. “If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.”

13. “I’d like to dial it back 5% or 10% and try to have a vacation that’s not just e-mail with a view.”

Elon Musk, More Quotes and Sayings

1. “I’m glad to see that BMW is bringing an electric car to market. That’s cool.”

2. “The lessons of history would suggest that civilizations move in cycles. You can track that back quite far – the Babylonians, the Sumerians, followed by the Egyptians, the Romans, China. We’re obviously in a very upward cycle right now, and hopefully that remains the case. But it may not.”

3. “I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. - Elon Musk #quotes #motivational #advice

4. “If we could do high-speed rail in California just half a notch above what they’ve done on the Shanghai line in China, and if we had a straight path from L.A. to San Francisco, as well as the milk run, at least that would be progress.”

5. “I think you should always bear in mind that entropy is not on your side.”

6. “You need to be in the position where it is the cost of the fuel that actually matters and not the cost of building the rocket in the first place.”

7. “There are some important differences between me and Tony Stark, like I have five kids, so I spend more time going to Disneyland than parties.”

8. “When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.”

9. “For all the supporters of Tesla over the years, and it’s been several years now and there have been some very tough times, I’d just like to say thank you very much. I deeply appreciate the support, particularly through the darkest times.”

10. “Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.”

11. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to plan to sell a company.”

12. “To make an embarrassing admission, I like video games. That’s what got me into software engineering when I was a kid. I wanted to make money so I could buy a better computer to play better video games – nothing like saving the world.”

13. “Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.”

14. “If anyone has a vested interest in space solar power, it would have to be me.”

15. “As you heat the planet up, it’s just like boiling a pot.”

16. “I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.”

17. “We polled Tesla owners, do you want autopilot disabled or not. Not one person wanted it disabled. That’s pretty telling.”

18. “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster. - Elon Musk #quotes #advice #motivational

19. “Stationary storage will be as big as the car business long term. The growth rate will probably be several times what it is for the car business.”

20. It is theoretically possible to warp spacetime itself, so you’re not actually moving faster than the speed of light, but it’s actually space that’s moving.”

21. “Biofuels such as ethanol require enormous amounts of cropland and end up displacing either food crops or natural wilderness, neither of which is good.”

22. “If humanity doesn’t land on Mars in my lifetime, I would be very disappointed.”

23. “It’s obviously tricky to convert cellulose to a useful biofuel. I think actually the most efficient way to use cellulose is to burn it in a co-generation power plant. That will yield the most energy and that is something you can do today.”

24. “What I’m trying to do is, is to make a significant difference in space flight. And help make space flight accessible to almost anyone.”

25. “You could warm Mars up, over time, with greenhouse gases.”

26. “Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product.”

27. “Tesla is becoming a real car company.”

28. “I’m anti-tax, but I’m pro-carbon tax.”

29. “I’ve actually not read any books on time management.”

30. “I wouldn’t say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I’d like my fear emotion to be less because it’s very distracting and fries my nervous system.”

I wouldn’t say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I’d like my fear emotion to be less because it’s very distracting and fries my nervous system. - Elon Musk #quotes #fear

31. “Winning ‘Motor Trend’ Car of the year is probably the closest thing to winning the Oscar or Emmy of the car industry.”

32. “I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”

33. “I hate writing about personal stuff. I don’t have a Facebook page. I don’t use my Twitter account. I am familiar with both, but I don’t use them.”

34. “In order to have your voice be heard in Washington, you have to make some little contribution.”

35. “It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.”

36. “I think there are more politicians in favor of electric cars than against. There are still some that are against, and I think the reasoning for that varies depending on the person, but in some cases, they just don’t believe in climate change – they think oil will last forever.”

37. “Even if producing CO2 was good for the environment, given that we’re going to run out of hydrocarbons, we need to find some sustainable means of operating.”

38. “I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.”

I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens. - Elon Musk #quotes #motivational

39. “What most people know but don’t realize they know is that the world is almost entirely solar-powered already. If the sun wasn’t there, we’d be a frozen ice ball at three degrees Kelvin, and the sun powers the entire system of precipitation. The whole ecosystem is solar-powered.”

40. “It’s not as though we can keep burning coal in our power plants. Coal is a finite resource, too. We must find alternatives, and it’s a better idea to find alternatives sooner then wait until we run out of coal, and in the meantime, put God knows how many trillions of tons of CO2 that used to be buried underground into the atmosphere.”

41. “I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.”

42. “If something’s important enough, you should try. Even if the probable outcome is failure.”

If something is important enough, you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure. - Elon Musk #quotes #inspirational #advice

43. “The rumours of the demise of the U.S. manufacturing industry are greatly exaggerated.”

44. “From an evolutionary standpoint, human consciousness has not been around very long. A little light just went on after four and a half billion years. How often does that happen? Maybe it is quite rare.”

45. We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere… can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.

If you’d like to know more about the life and accomplishments of Elon Musk, we recommend that you read Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future written by Ashlee Vance.