Words From The Wise

Words From The Wise

Elon Musk, a man with a net worth of $232.5 billion can move markets with his off-the-cuff tweets. The quirky, unpredictable  serial entrepreneur has been in the headlines recently with his pending takeover of Twitter and ruffling feathers in the process. But this extraordinary person is also working to transform transportation both on Earth (through Tesla) and also in space (through SpaceX).

Musk has been named the most innovative leader of 2019 by Forbes, one of the 100 most influential persons in the world by TIME, and the top businessperson by Fortune. In the domains of information technology, space exploration, green technologies, and artificial intelligence, Musk has made significant contributions.

We collected some of his funniest and more profound quotes that give Musk his edge.



  • If something's important enough, you should try. Even if - the probable outcome is failure.

  • People work better when they know what the goal is and why. It is important that people look forward to coming to work in the morning and enjoy working.

  • I really do encourage other manufacturers to bring electric cars to market. It's a good thing, and they need to bring it to market and keep iterating and improving and make better and better electric cars, and that's what going to result in humanity achieving a sustainable transport future. I wish it was growing faster than it is.

  • I'd rather be optimistic and wrong than pessimistic and right.



  • I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.

  • To make an embarrassing admission, I like video games. That's what got me into software engineering when I was a kid. I wanted to make money so I could buy a better computer to play better video games - nothing like saving the world.

  • Rockets are cool. There's no getting around that.

  • I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I'm really good at email.

  • If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it's not.

  • Starting a business is not for everyone. Starting a business - I'd say, number one is have a high pain threshold.

  • I wouldn't say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I'd like my fear emotion to be less because it's very distracting and fries my nervous system.

  • I say something, and then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.

Elon Musk shares a light-hearted moment with his mother, Maye Musk at the Met Gala


Food for Thought

  • We're already cyborgs. Your phone and your computer are extensions of you, but the interface is through finger movements or speech, which are very slow.

  • Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.

  • There's a silly notion that failure's not an option at NASA. Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.

  • With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there's the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, and he's like, yeah, he's sure he can control the demon? Doesn't work out.

  • Life is too short for long-term grudges.

  • If you're trying to create a company, it's like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.

  • It's OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.

  • I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.

  • Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.

  • There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What's the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? If the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing.

  • It's very important to like the people you work with. Otherwise, your job is going to be quite miserable.

  • Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.

  • An asteroid or a supervolcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. 

  • I don't create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done.