My Four Heroes
Winston Churchill was one of my heroes as well as Darwin, who was an amazing writer.
Elon Musk is an engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist of best known for co-founding PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
He is currently the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity. Musk is best known for having created the first viable production electric car of the modern era (Tesla Roadster), for designing a private successor to the Space Shuttle (F9/Dragon) and creating the world's largest Internet payment system (PayPal).
Musk left home in 1988 at the age of 17, without his parents' support, and in part because of the prospect of compulsory service in the South African military during Apartheid.
Musk sold his first company, Zip2, for more than $300 million to AltaVIsta in 1999 and used that money to start the company that would become PayPal. When eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion a couple years later, Musk embarked on a couple of big, bold projects: SpaceX (commercial space flight) and Tesla Motors (electric vehicles).
In terms of how inventors in history influenced me, there’s so many that it’s hard to necessarily pick a few, but certainly Edison and Tesla would be good examples. They’re each great men in their own right. In the case of Edison, he was much more of a trial and error kind of guy, but willing to try all sorts of things. And I think he was quite pragmatic and sensible.
Tesla was the archetypal crazy genius who could design amazingly complicated things in his head. He really understood the theory and applied the scientific method very well. So he was less of a sort of a trial and error guy, and more about theory and experiment. But then he wasn’t as good in terms of being practical and sensible.
Those two certainly have inspired me in a lot of ways. And then there’s many other people in history as well. Winston Churchill was one of my heroes as well as Darwin, who was an amazing writer. Everyone should read The Origin of Species, it’s really, really good.
60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.