Elon Musk: 6 secrets of the commercial success of the richest person in the world
What is behind the incredible success of Tesla, the richest person in the world, and SpaceX boss Elon Musk in business, surpassing Amazon's owner Jeff Bezos?
Elon Musk became the richest person in the world, leaving behind Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, which grew even more during the coronavirus epidemic .
After the recent sharp rise in the shares of the electric vehicle company Tesla, the net assets of Musk, the founder of Tesla as well as SpaceX, have exceeded $ 185 billion.
What is the secret of this success? The BBC talked to him about this for about an hour a few years ago. Let's see what secrets lie behind Elon Musk's success in business life?
1. IT'S NOT THE MONEY WHICH MATTER
This is what lies at the heart of Elon Musk's approach to business. He said in his 2014 interview that he didn't know how much money or assets he had. He said, "Don't think like there's a pile of money somewhere. Actually, I only get a certain approval from Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity, and the market puts a value on it.
He had no objection to making wealth if "earned ethically and properly", but that was not what inspired him. This approach seems to work for him. At the time of this interview, the businessman, who was inspired by the Tony Stark character played by Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man, was probably worth around $ 10 billion.
Especially the electric car company Tesla has been very successful. Its shares soared last year that the company's market value exceeded $ 700 billion. This is enough money to buy Ford, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler all and still have a Ferrari in your pocket.
But Musk, who will turn 50 this year, does not think he will die as a rich man. He says that most of his money will go to build a base on Mars, and he wouldn't be surprised if he spent all his fortune on this road.
Like Bill Gates, dying by leaving billions in the bank would probably be a failure because he couldn't spend those money on something good.
2. FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS
The dream of establishing a base on Mars hints at what Elon Musk believes is the secret to his success. "You want things to be better in the future. You want these exciting new things to make life better," he says.
Let's take SpaceX for example. Musk says he founded this company because he was overwhelmed that the American space program was not exciting enough. "I kept waiting for advances in finding something beyond Earth, sending people to Mars, setting up a base on the Moon, making multiple flights in planetary orbit," he says.
When all this fails to happen, it comes up with the idea of "Oasis Mission on Mars". This is the idea of placing some kind of greenhouse on the red planet where human life could take place. Its aim is to force people to get excited about space again and the US government to increase NASA's budget.
While trying to put this project on his feet, he realized that the deficiency was not due to the "desire to do", but to the high cost of this work. Space technology was much more expensive than it should have been.
From this awareness, the world's cheapest rocket launch business was born. Most importantly, this company was born not out of a profit motive, but a desire to send people to Mars. Musk explains that he sees himself more like an engineer than an investor, and he wakes up in the mornings to find solutions to technical problems.
It excites him to know that every problem he solves will work for anyone struggling with the same problem and that it is permanent. It is precisely for this reason that just before our meeting 6 years ago, he announced that Tesla would open all of its patents to everyone in order to accelerate the development of electric cars worldwide.
3.Don't be afraid of THINKING BIG
One of the most striking aspects of Elon Musk's initiatives is that they are very bold projects.
Revolutionizing the automobile industry, sending people to Mars, building high-speed trains flowing through tunnels, integrating artificial intelligence with the human brain, and developing the solar energy and battery-battery sector. All of these have one consistent thing in common. All of them look like the future dreams you can find in 1980s children's magazines.
From here, we can deduce the clues of the third secret of Musk's success. Don't be afraid: think big! He believes that keeping the target low is the obstacle to the development of many companies. “Too many companies prefer 'step by step',” he says. "If you are the CEO of a big company and you are aiming for a small improvement, and this is taking longer than you expected, and it is not just the way you want, nobody can blame you. You can always say it's not my fault," he continues.
"However, if you act aggressively and aim for a development that will really change the field and you are not successful, you will definitely be out of business," adds Musk and thinks that most companies prefer to make small additions to their existing products and plan bold brand new steps.
His advice is, "Work on things that make a difference."
In the category of things that make a difference, two things stand out in the personal ranking.
One is to speed up the process of getting rid of fossil fuels. The second is to guarantee the future of humanity by living on more than one planet in the long term by creating sustainable living conditions on Mars.
4. BE READY TO TAKE RISK
Looking at the previous tips, this seems pretty obvious, but Elon Musk took bigger risks for many.
In 2002, he sold the shares of his first two ventures. These were an internet city directory called Zip2 and an online payment system PayPal. He was in his 30s and had almost $ 200 million in the bank.
At this stage, he planned to invest half of his savings in new jobs and keep half aside.
But things didn't happen that way. He was just coming out of the darkest period of his business life when I met him.
The new companies he founded were stuck in all kinds of starting obstacles.
SpaceX's first three rocket launch experiments failed, Tesla struggled with all kinds of manufacturing, spare parts and design issues.
On top of these, a financial crisis broke out.
Musk explains that at that point he faced a difficult choice:
"Either I would keep my remaining money, in which case the companies would definitely go bankrupt, or I would invest everything that was left, then maybe I would have a chance," he says.
He poured all his funds into companies.
At one point, his debts had grown so much that he began to borrow money from his wife from his friend in order to continue his daily life.
Wasn't he afraid of the idea of bankruptcy?
He says he doesn't.
5. HANGING THE EAR TO THE CRITICALS
What shocked Elon Musk the most was how much the experts and commentators enjoyed that his business was going wrong.
"The liberal tendency to enjoy the failure of others was unbelievable. Numerous blog sites awaited Tesla's death," he says.
I told him that the magnitude of his goals could be seen as some kind of arrogance, and maybe that's why they wanted people to fail.
He did not agree with this view.
"It might be arrogance if we said we would definitely do certain things, but we said we always wanted to do, we would make the best effort," he said.
Here's another secret to Musk's commercial success: Don't heed the criticism.
He explained that he never thought that these companies would be profitable while establishing SpaceX and Tesla. Actually, nobody believed it. But he did not listen to the doom-tellers and continued on his way.
The reason lies in the first point: Measuring success with problem solving criteria, not profitability.
It didn't worry him that his actions seemed stupid. The important thing was to pursue meaningful ideas.
This was something that made it very easy for him to decide.
After all, it seems that the markets have also confirmed what they are doing.
In October, US investment bank Morgan Stanley valued SpaceX $ 100 billion.
The company transformed the economy of the space technology industry, but it will probably be managing to revive the US government's space program that is most proud of Musk.
Last year, Crew Dragon rockets carried six astronauts to the International Space Station. These were the first astronauts to be dispatched from US soil since 2011, when space shuttles were retired.
6. DO YOUR JOB WITH ENJOYMENT
Follow these rules. If you get lucky, you can become incredibly rich and famous.
Elon Musk is known to be a workaholic. He boasted that Tesla worked 120 hours a week during the production of its # 3 model.
But it also seems to be enjoying life.
He draws attention with his ideas, libel lawsuits he filed and his crazy outlets on social media.
He described the measures announced in the face of the coronavirus epid