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Best Quotes From & About Elon Musk Via New Book

Some of those reading this may already be aware that author Ashlee Vance recently put out a book on the Tesla Motors/SpaceX/etc entrepreneur Elon Musk. Some may have already read some of the funnier quotes from the book. If not, I’m going to go over some of them now.

The book, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, is due out tomorrow, May 19. Below are some of the better/funnier quotes (imo). Enjoy.

Elon Musk aviator glasses

“I wanted him to meet me behind security so he couldn’t pack a gun.” — Jim Cantrell, speaking about his first meeting with Elon Musk. Cantrell had been previously accused of espionage by the Russians, so was tentative about meeting a stranger with an accent asking to help him with a space technology program, after only a phone call. Things went well, though…

“We’re all hanging out in this cabana at the Hard Rock Cafe, and Elon is there reading some obscure Soviet rocket manual that was all moldy and looked like it had been bought on eBay.” — Kevin Hartz, one of PayPal’s earliest investors, speaking about a trip to Las Vegas that was supposed to be a celebration of the company’s success to date.

“He’s kind of homeless, which I think is sort of funny. He’ll e-mail and say, ‘I don’t know where to stay tonight. Can I come over?’ I haven’t given him a key or anything yet.” — Larry Page, Google cofounder and chief executive, speaking about Elon Musk. Apparently he doesn’t own a place in Silicon Valley, but I guess doesn’t like hotels?

(Clearly ordinary people and the Google CEO have a very different understanding of what “homeless” is here. Homeless where I come from means that you live in a tent city in the woods and don’t eat much. I guess that maybe the rich parts of California are a bit different….)

“I believe the second sentence out of his mouth was, ‘I think a lot about electric cars.’ And then he turned to me and said, ‘Do you think about electric cars?’ ” — The daughter of a Musk advisor by the name of Christie Nicholson, speaking about their first meeting, at a party.

“That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.” — Musk, according to an anonymous Tesla employee, via a possible e-mail concerning the missing of a company event due to the birth of a child.

I admit I laughed out loud at this one. I can’t say that I was surprised, but still…. That said, Musk actually responded to this denying it. Here’s the tweet response:

Knowing Elon’s history of honesty and concern for the truth, I’d take Elon’s word on this one.

“I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to 10 — how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That’s kind of the minimum? I don’t know.” — Elon Musk (I don’t even know what to make of this one. I suppose it’s a joke, but…)

“I would tell those people they will get to see their families a lot when we go bankrupt.” — Ryan Popple, speaking about Musk’s response when an employee spoke up in Tesla’s early days about “working too hard.” (Hah!)

“I’d seen him before, but did worry that maybe he could have an off day. Still, I thought, he would maybe hit one gonad but not both.” — Elon Musk, talking about holding balloons in his hands + between his legs at one of his birthday parties, while a knife thrower tried to hit the balloons.

Overall… about what I’d guess to be honest — workaholics do tend to get things done.

 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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