Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has been making headlines virtually every day lately. Many see him as being fearless because of all that he has accomplished, but in fact, he’s just as human as the rest of us, he admits. Even though everyone loves to compare him to Tony Stark and Iron Man.
Tesla’s CEO speaks on fear
The Next Web’s Josh Ong reports that he spoke at the Dublin Web Summit today and admitted that he does fear failure. He also highlighted just how close he did come to failure with both Tesla and SpaceX. Nonetheless, he said what makes innovators great isn’t a lack of fear about failure but simply the ability to move past it.
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Musk’s near misses with failure
Musk told about how he financed the first three launches of Space X and that each of them failed. The fourth launch was the company’s last chance to succeed, and it barely had the money to complete it. But it was that launched which changed everything for the rocket maker. When the fourth launch went up, Musk said he was “so tense” that when it finally was a success, he didn’t feel excited. All he felt was “stress relief.”
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was trying to raise funds in 2008 at the beginning of the financial crisis. Larger automakers like General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) and Chrysler were going bankrupt, and Musk said it was difficult to approach investors to talk about Tesla. He said they were actually angry when he brought it up.
He ended up putting everything else he had into Tesla, borrowing from his friends in order to make up the difference. Tesla closed its investment round in the last hour of the very last day. If the automaker hadn’t raised enough funds, it would have been bankrupt just days later.
Other advice for entrepreneurs
Musk also offered some advice for entrepreneurs, like reasoning from principles instead of analogy and focusing on one specific area while soliciting as much feedback as possible from friends.
“They know what’s wrong with your product,” Musk said. “You need to get it out of them.”