- Audio CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Unabridged edition (19 May 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1481533657
- ISBN-13: 978-1481533652
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 12.7 cm
- Customer Reviews: 5,448 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,40,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Preloaded Digital Audio Player, Unabridged, Import
|Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged||
About the Author
Ashlee Vance is one of the most prominent writers on technology today. After spending several years reporting on Silicon Valley and technology for the New York Times, Vance went to Bloomberg Businessweek, where he has written dozens of cover and feature stories for the magazine on topics ranging from cyber espionage to DNA sequencing and space exploration.
Fred Sanders, an actor and Earphones Award-winning narrator, has received critics' praise for his audio narrations that range from nonfiction, memoir, and fiction to mystery and suspense. He been seen on Broadway in The Buddy Holly Story, in national tours for Driving Miss Daisy and Big River, and on such television shows as Seinfeld, The West Wing, Will and Grace, Numb3rs, Titus, and Malcolm in the Middle. His films include Sea of Love, The Shadow, and the Oscar-nominated short Culture. He is a native New Yorker and Yale graduate.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter mobile phone number.
Review this product
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
elon-musk-coverMusk’s family history is generation after generation of adventurous, risk-taking and highly intelligent people. As a child, he devoured all books in sight and resorted to reading through two sets of encyclopedias as well. “Vacuuming books into his brain,” he was considered a “fact factory,” with a “photographic memory.” Author Vance notes that not all of Musk’s childhood acquaintances appreciated his gifted mind, and some saw him as a target for bullying. As a teen, Musk left South Africa without his parents; first moving to Canada and then to his ultimate destination – the United States.
In the United States, one of his first business developments included an early internet mapping & directory system which Compaq purchased and merged into their AltaVista web-search engine. With cash-in-hand, Musk next envisioned online banking in an internet world where people still feared such a thing. That dream became PayPal which soon developed the methods used for fighting online fraud, and formed the basis of software used by the world’s largest banks, the CIA and the FBI. The young innovators making this possible later became known as the “PayPal Mafia” and “Silicon Valley Royalty” with Musk its “most famous and successful member.”
spacex_defaultIn the years to come, Musk developed, invested in, and expanded SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity and more. The author delves into the very interesting histories of each of these companies, including the plunges that almost led to bankruptcies. Musk’s companies re-imaged business and what could be accomplished. The aerospace industry/government contractors with their cumbersome, bureaucratic, and wasteful spending models have felt the quakes brought about by Musk’s paradigm shift. His efficiency has enabled Space-X to drastically reduce the cost of launching experiments and satellites into orbit, making Space-X became the first private company to dock with the International Space Station (ISS).
Tesla Motors is also discussed at length in this biography, but I find the SpaceX portions really reflect Musk’s innovative spirit. There were many years of failed rocket-launch attempts, but there was always the push forward through adversity. The launches into space and missions to the ISS are the beginning phases with the ultimate goal of colonizing Mars! When I worked on the ISS program, ideas like that seemed very overreaching, audacious and even laughable to me, but reading this biography, if anyone can get that started, it would be Musk. The wild promises, one by one, keep unfolding into reality. Musk does not see a depressed, dystopian future for humans he imagines us as a multi-planetary species. Instead, his vision is of saving mankind, not simply creating another product for consumption. Yes, it is far out there, but it is always the big thinkers that push the boundaries.
This is such an inspirational book that I recommended it to my husband and son so they are starting on it. I know my son is interested that many consider Musk the real-life embodiment of Iron-Man’s Tony Stark. To me, one of the great sides to America is that boundaries get pushed and success breaks through in spite of outside interference that tries to tamp it down. The accomplishments of Elon Musk and the teams he pulls together to make things happen truly seem unreal and almost science fiction. I highly recommend this very readable and enjoyable book!
Top international reviews
insightful stories and details about his companies and the struggles to get them off the ground
very inspiring and great book
Highly recommend to any Elon fan
An interesting read for me, considering I never went in depth into what Musk has accomplished (to be fair, I came to this book because I find Tesla cars sexy and thought ‘well, why not read this, at least I’ll know more about the man’).
I’m kind of sitting on the fence about this book. I liked learning about how Musk’s companies came to be, the problems encountered along the way, how things were at times one inch from just failing, but worked out in the end, out of both luck and determination. In a way, it’s a positive ‘lesson’: that sometimes things fail, but it shouldn’t prevent you from fighting for them and taking risks, because they just may succeed as well.
I also appreciated that the author interviewed other people, employees, ex-employees, friends, ex-partners, etc., and that he made them part of the whole: people without whom Tesla Motors or SpaceX wOuld’ve never been able to take off, engineers and mechanics and designers whose role was absolutely not negligible. Since a large part of the book was focused on these companies, acknowledging more than just one actor was a good thing to do.
I would’ve d liked it to go more in depth about how exactly things worked out, when it comes to the science/engineering part. Elon Musk seems like he knows his stuff, too, and has learnt over the years what he didn’t know and made him shoot for impossible deadlines at first (now I guess they’re just improbable, hah), and… I don’t know, I expected something more detailed in that regard. Maybe less of the business aspect, and more about the engineering the way Elon Musk himself goes about it?
Also, for a biography, I think it didn’t go to the bottom of things either when it comes to the man, and lacks a certain detachment. Musk doesn’t come off as a very empathetic person, to say the least, and while objectively I understand his drive, humanely the way he treats his employees is, well, not great at all. So I would’ve been interested in seeing more reflecting about this: coming from him, but also coming from the biographer. There -is- something wrong in the way all these visionary projects have come to be, and it was pretty much glossed over. (In short, was the harshness really needed, does innovation has to come to such a price, and would things have tanked with just a bit more empathy?)
This was instructive, and I kind of liked it, so 3 stars… But while I know more about Tesla Motors, SolarCity and SpaceX, I don’t feel like I know -that- much more about Musk himself now.
Prior to reading the book, I thought that my knowledge of Musk was pretty good. However, I still found there was a new surprise on every page.Vance has done well to capture a story of the billionaire's background, from bullied schoolboy to minimum wage worker, right through to him becoming one of the most pioneering minds of a generation.
It is an honest and fair portrayal of both his family and business life, a pleasure to read and delves just enough into the areas of interest in the subject's life.
Anyone looking for some inspiration should definitely buy this book!
Insight in to not only a gifted brain but the ability of Musk to see the advantage of bringing together the greatest brains and putting every penny of his fortune to the betterment of mankind through science and simple logic if you have the foresight of brilliance.
Elon if ever proof was needed this book is proof that he is a gift to Humanity. May his God Bless him.☺
But then no one is perfect. This book is brilliant at going through his life up to a few years ago, warts and all. It's not a sycophantic false look and holding him on a pedestal. More it explains who he is, for the good and bad.
A very very strong recommendation.
There were moments when I wouldn’t shove a page or a quote in front of the closest person and get them to read it to highlight the genius that is Elon Musk.
The book was published a few years ago, so don’t expect the most recent falcon heavy launch to appear in there!!
This book takes you on a concise yet anecdotally rich story of the life of Elon (includes accounts of his great grand parents too) painting the struggles of a child that morphed through different cycles into the person we think we know. It paints instances of his genius as well as extracts of his harsh and sweet sides too. Guess you don't change the world by being cookie-cutter nice. 😅
I especially enjoyed how Ashlee managed to rope in accounts of co-founders and their signifance in the companies for which Elon has become the poster child of, the economic and social considerations that influenced them, as well as how we got to have a new sided "Elon did everything" view of these companies in, and more.
I have walked away with a great appreciation of the sacrifice Elon and the workmates that have laughed, cried, mourned, and exhibited a plethora of other emotions as Elon's "Unified Theory" has began to come to fruition. I am especially pleased to see the accounts of loyal employees who stay in the dark despite carrying most of the work but being motivated by the common goal. What a tale! It may be sad in some cases but to see that someone, who others would happily take on offering more praise and maybe more pay, stay on because they believe in the dream and goal; that to me makes working for Elon great and worth the pain.
Hopefully I shall find out at some point too 😉
In short, I thoroughly recommend this book! Thank you Ashlee, thank you Elon Musk and Co.
As a result, Elon Musk pops up everywhere, when checking Tesla details.
SpaceX appealed. Literally reaching for the stars and believing it could be done.
Well now I have read this well written and balanced book, I know much more about Mr Musk. I admire his achievement traits but hope he learns to soften the after burn when ending an employee's job. Every person counts.
I also fully believe Elon Musk will help us reach Mars. He has gifts the rest of us do not, although perhaps we can identify with some.
A great read. It's 5am and I just had to get to the end of the book! Nuff said.
Highly highly recommended reading to anyone interested in the evolution of many of the technologies that we take for granted today.. An extraordinary book you definitely wont want put down..