I LOVE being a dad of boys in Cub Scouts! It’s a lot of fun to watch my boys get excited about achieving goals. The program exposes them to a lot of new ideas and reinforces values we teach in our home. They’re learning new skills and developing character. And it’s fun!
Ephram and I had a great time with a requirement that said: Find three stories that tell how people are protecting our world. I shared with him the stories of three “people” that I look up to a lot. I will write about this in four posts – three about the people, and one with some insight about why the process they’ve followed is the best way to make a positive impact on the world.
Elon Musk is an amazing entrepreneur. He’s an anomaly in the popular image of what a capitalist mogul is. We often think of the powerful, rich, uncaring man who amasses wealth without a care for the world or its denizens. (There’s a lot wrong with this perception, but that’s a topic for a later post.) A simple exploration of Musk’s business achievements obliterates this perception.
Ephram and I watched some videos about Musk’s company SpaceX, which is notable for making space travel possible at lower costs than previously possible. They’re also making huge strides in manufacturing that will increase efficiency, reduce waste, and open the door for drastic improvements in complex components like rocket engines.
SpaceX is amazing, but my respect for Musk really comes from his work with Tesla. Since being a kid I’ve looked at electric cars with disdain. They either looked stupid, performed poorly, or most likely both. It was like the auto industry manufactured a few electric cars in a way that turned people away from wanting to buy the very product they made!
Musk changed the rules. He said that they would make a car that was world-class in performance (not compared to the previous models of electric cars, but compared to the world’s best gas-powered vehicles!), aesthetics, elegance, and technology. He refused to accept that devoting attention and resources to one of these areas necessarily meant sacrificing in the other areas. The result is electric cars that are in my opinion some of the coolest cars on the road.
He even bypassed the outdated, expensive model of dealership sales. By selling direct he improved on the process of buying the vehicle with plans to make future models more accessible to the public. And if you doubt his sincerity in making this TYPE of vehicle (notice I’m not saying just HIS cars) accessible to all, let me finish with the last tidbit that is the most amazing of all and the reason that I think he’s one of the most important figures in protecting the world: He released the patents held by Tesla – inviting competition and improvement on his designs.