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Innovation Strategies: Elon Musk on Founding SpaceX

Finding Opportunity Where Others Think It’s Impossible

In this video for Big Think+, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, talks about how opportunity isn’t based on “disruption for the sake of it.” While Musk has shaken the foundations of numerous industries—from payment transactions and automotive manufacturing, to energy and space exploration—the driving issue, for him, is that “industries which a lot of people think are impossible or think you can’t succeed at—that’s usually where there’s opportunity.”

In stagnant or regressive industries, in which services and products have been in decline and there isn’t enough competition to drive innovation, entrepreneurs like Musk see real opportunity. The space industry is one example of an industry in decline, where “we were able to go to the moon in ’69, with Saturn V, and then with the space shuttle we were able to go only to low-Earth orbit, and now the space shuttle’s retired and the United States cannot get a single person into orbit without the help of the Russians.”
Here, Musk saw an opportunity to reverse the course of an industry that others were giving up on, to do something that couldn’t be done in an industry that is currently well-off. This is one of the innovative strategies that Musk has used to revolutionize several different industries. Learn more about innovation strategies from a panoply of experts in Big Think+’s exclusive online learning programs today!

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