Updated November 14, 2017
What does it take to start a company like Space X?
Brawns, Most Definitely
Skills, You Bet!
Elon Musk makes a huge confession on the stage at a recent talk that reveals three essential traits needed to start a innovative company like Space X.
Elon Musk has been the lead designer on Space X rocket builds from the beginning of the company. This was not by design, we came to find out in a recent talk that Musk gave. He simply couldn’t find any brilliant rocket scientist or engineers to hire. They wouldn’t partner with Space X. Musk, full of curiosity and innocence just started to design. He and his group of engineers (unqualified to build rockets) just started building. He claims he had no idea what they were doing at first. This is quite evident from the three test fails which nearly put the entire company and musk himself out of business. They had only set aside enough capital to attempt three launches. After the third launch failed Musk had a choice to make: Invest ALL of his personal assets (similar to how Tesla survived) or watch his dreams of space exploration crumble on the launch pad.
Musk went all in, and because of this decision he is one step closer to taking man kind to Mars. During this talk Elon Musk makes a huge confession revealing three essential traits needed to start a innovative company like Space X.
1 ) Curiosity: I would rank this as the number one trait you need to start an innovative company, make a career shift, or develop new skills for the first time. Musk has such a burning curiosity for space and exploration that he is willing to go all in on it. He was ready to lose his entire fortune to get one last shot towards Mars! If you are not full of curiosity you will not be willing to get up early, stay up late, work longer, harder, faster, or risk it all for the opportunity to simply start something new. Remember this something new is always uncertain, but that is the power of curiosity. It just wants to find out!
2 ) Confidence: When Musk couldn’t find any Aerospace/Rocket Engineers to join his team did he put his curiosity on the back burner to pursue later? No, he stepped up! And that is what it takes to be a great innovator. You need to rise to the occasion. Your skill sets don’t fit? Make them. You don’t have a background in that industry you want to break into? Start creating a background. You are scared of what might happen if your idea fails? Well make sure it doesn’t! Confidence in innovation is not about having unlimited resources, even Elon Musk almost ran out of money. Confidence in innovation is about taking what you have and make the most of it. Elon Musk was surrounded by car engineers, but was able to build rockets!
Jim Cantrell, who was an aerospace consultant at the time, became SpaceX’s first VP of business development and Musk’s industry mentor when the company launched in 2002. He says that Musk literally taught himself rocket science by reading textbooks and talking to industry heavyweights.
3 ) Refusal to Conceive Failure: Musk is hard working, curious, courageous, and and avid researcher on subjects of his curiosity. All of these character traits give him an edge on his competition, but nothing sets Elon Musk apart more than his refusal of failure. He will not take no for an answer. Paypal, Tesla, and now Space X all faced imminent failure at some point in their development but Musk always pushed on. He always found a way to keep the code developing, the wheels turning, and the rockets burning.
Refuse failure and you will have the determination to see victory in the face of adversity.
What have you been wanting to start? Perhaps you have been putting it off… START NOW. Don’t put it off any longer. If it is a phone call you need to make. Make it. An e-mail to be sent. Send it. Maybe you need to start develop skills so that you will enable yourself to start the next innovation of yourself! Start it!
Head on over to our resources page where you can start to develop skills. Elon Musk had to get help, and that help enabled him to build rockets way out of his league. Make this happen. Refuse to settle.