Why Elon Musk Dreams Big, And What We Can Learn From Him...
By Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
There are many of us who struggle to really know what we want from life. We may even be scared to really dream on a big scale. Many of us wish for; 'a nice house, a nice car and enough money not to work', however, is this really all we are capable of, or is there something more we could achieve?
As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said;
"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men."
Recently the CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk and his team, gave a presentation at the opening of their new electric battery-making facility, the 'Gigafactory' near Reno, Nevada. To give you a taste of the size of this factory, it could house nearly 100 Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets and has the same output capacity as all the world's current battery-making factories put together!! In addition, this is just the first of many factories the company is planning to build!
As you watch the video of the launch presentation, below, look out for the way that Elon Musk and JB Straubel describe their vision for how the factory will operate, and the passion with which they describe the manufacturing process. The video is 15 minutes long but it's incredibly inspiring and definitely worth the watch.
"Manufacturing needs a lot of love and we are here to give it."
- Elon Musk
The whole factory was seen by the engineers as a beautiful machine. Something to be designed and cared for, loved and imagined in exact detail, even before the building site was even touched. The same people who designed and built the revolutionary Tesla cars, have designed and built this revolutionary factory. In the long run, the plan is to build the cars and the batteries at the same manufacturing facility. It completely revolutionises the way vehicles are built, as this has never been done before on a commercial scale. This kind of cooperation and collective vision between all the engineers and employees, is only possible when people think and dream without constraint.
Raw Material Input > Bunch of Stuff Happens > Finished Goods Output
This may seem a comical mantra to have, but it shows us how legends really think! As Mr Musk describes in the video, he thinks like a physicist and starts by looking at 'first principles'. This means looking at things in the simplest of ways, so that the natural and most effective way to build a product becomes clear. Legends look at a problem, then work to understand the basic components of the problem, so they can then find effective solutions.
In this example it is a Gigafactory; however in our own lives, it could be going to the shops, building a relationship or starting a business. All of them have the same basic components...a clear vision of what needs to happen, then working on each step one at a time, in order to achieve the goal. When we understand the principles of how to succeed in life, then we can apply them to any endeavour we embark on!
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I write and am passionate about improving engineering & science especially transport, energy, water & sanitation and how we can use these disciplines responsibly with greater awareness. These disciplines have driven mankind in all exploration, development and advancement for generations and it is where the solutions lie to many of our current challenges.