Elon Musk became an innovator at a very early age. Inspired to be an inventor by the example of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, Musk considered three areas he wanted to get into that were particularly important. “One was the Internet, one was clean energy, and one was space,” he said. Subsequently, Musk went on to found or co-found the companies PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
These three companies produced, respectively, an Internet payment system (PayPal), the first viable electric car (Tesla’s Roadster), and the successor to NASA’s Space Shuttle (the Dragon reusable spacecraft and F9 rocket). According to Musk, he never aimed to disrupt for disruption’s sake. Instead, he strategized around industries that were stagnant and in need of innovation.
In this video, Musk describes how he has come to recognize opportunities as an entrepreneur in the space industry, which is one of the core skills necessary for success in the 21st century.
Watch the video here:
Core Skill: Recognizing Opportunity
Elon Musk is an advocate for interplanetary life. And yet, great leaps will be required in order for humans to colonize another planet. A reusable spacecraft that his company SpaceX is developing is one step in that direction. According to Musk, the grand challenge for innovators is to “find a Moore’s Law of space.” In other words, we must think exponentially if we are to meet this challenge. Since 1969, Musk says, the space industry has been stagnant, and that is what enabled Musk to recognize an opportunity for disruptive innovation.