79+ Best Elon Musk Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Elon Reeve Musk FRS is a technology entrepreneur, investor, businessman and engineer. He founded X.com in 1999(known as PayPal), SpaceX in 2002 and Tesla Motors in 2003. Inspirational Elon Musk quotes will enrich the way you see the world, make you start working on your dreams and take on the impossible.

If you’re searching for profound quotes from successful CEOs that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Bill Gates quotes, inspirational Warren Buffett quotes, and best Thomas Edison quotes.

Top Elon Musk Quotes

I’m not trying to be anyone’s savior. I’m just trying to think about the future and not be sad. – Elon Musk

When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. – Elon Musk

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy taught me that the tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask, but that once you do that, the rest is really easy. I came to the conclusion that we should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness in order to better understand what questions to ask. Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

Whenever I’d read about cool technology, it’d tend to be in the United States or, more broadly, North America. […] I kind of wanted to be where the cutting edge of technology was, and of course within the United States, Silicon Valley is where the heart of things is. Although, at the time, I didn’t know where Silicon Valley was. It sounded like some mythical place. – Elon Musk

When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars, people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked. – Elon Musk

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself. – Elon Musk

Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up. – Elon Musk

She said the first question I asked her was, ‘Do you ever think about electric cars?’ She said no, she never does. It wasn’t great. Recently [the line] has been more effective. – Elon Musk

It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic-being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago. – Elon Musk

When I was in college, I just thought, ‘Well, what are the things that are most likely to affect the future of humanity at a macro level?’ And it just seemed like there would be the Internet, sustainable energy, making life multi-planetary, and then genetics and AI. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

We’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work. – Elon Musk

It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I want to make a bunch of money.’ […] With the internet, anyone who had a connection anywhere in the world would have access to all the world’s information, just like a nervous system. Humanity was effectively becoming a super organism and qualitatively different than what it had been before, and so I wanted to be part of that. – Elon Musk

The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur. – Elon Musk

The best teacher I ever had was my elementary school principal. Our math teacher quit for some reason, and he decided to sub in himself for math and accelerate the syllabus by a year. We had to work like the house was on fire for the first half of the lesson and do extra homework, but then we got to hear stories of when he was a soldier in WWII. If you didn’t do the work, you didn’t get to hear the stories. Everybody did the work. – Elon Musk

I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary. – Elon Musk

Do you have the right axioms, are they relevant, and are you making the right conclusions based on those axioms? That’s the essence of critical thinking, and yet it is amazing how often people fail to do that. I think wishful thinking is innate in the human brain. You want things to be the way you wish them to be, and so you tend to filter information that you shouldn’t filter. – Elon Musk

I could either watch it happen or be a part of it. – Elon Musk

I do think a good framework for thinking is physics, you know, the first principles reasoning. What I mean by that is boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there as opposed to reasoning by analogy. Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means kind of copying what other people do with slight variations. And you have to do that, otherwise mentally you wouldn’t be able to get through the day. But when you want to do something new, you have to apply the physics approach. Physics has really figured out how to discover new things that are counterintuitive, like quantum mechanics; it’s really counterintuitive. – Elon Musk

You want to have a future where you’re expecting things to be better, not one where you’re expecting things to be worse. – Elon Musk

A lot of kids are in school puzzled as to why they’re there. I think if you can explain the ‘why’ of things, then that makes a huge difference to people’s motivation. Then they understand purpose. – Elon Musk

I do kinda feel like my head is full! My context-switching penalty is high, and my process isolation is not what it used to be. Frankly, though, I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying. One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree–make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e., the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to. – Elon Musk

You have to be pretty driven to make it happen. Otherwise, you will just make yourself miserable. – Elon Musk

I never had a job where I made anything physical. I cofounded two Internet software companies, Zip2 and PayPal. So, it took me a few years to kind of learn rocket science, if you will. – Elon Musk

My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart. – Elon Musk

I had to learn how you make hardware. I’d never seen a CNC machine or laid out carbon fibre. I didn’t know any of these things. But if you read books and talk to experts, you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. […] It’s really pretty straightforward. Just read books and talk to people–particularly books. The data rate of reading is much greater than when somebody’s talking. You can learn whatever you need to do to start a successful business either in school or out of school. A school, in theory, should help accelerate that process, and I think oftentimes it does. It can be an efficient learning process, perhaps more efficient than empirically learning lessons. There are examples of successful entrepreneurs who never graduated high school, and there are those that have PhD’s. I think the important principle is to be dedicated to learning what you need to know, whether that is in school or empirically. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

You want to be extra rigorous about making the best possible thing you can. Find everything that’s wrong with it and fix it. Seek negative feedback, particularly from friends. – Elon Musk

It shouldn’t be that you’ve got these grades where people move in lockstep and everyone goes through English, math, science, and so forth from fifth grade to sixth grade to seventh grade like it’s an assembly line. People are not objects on an assembly line. That’s a ridiculous notion. People learn and are interested in different things at different paces. You really want to disconnect the whole grade-level thing from the subjects. Allow people to progress at the fastest pace that they can or are interested in, in each subject. It seems like a really obvious thing. – Elon Musk

I care a lot about the truth of things and trying to understand the truth of things. I think that’s important. If you’re going to come up with some solution, then the truth is really, really important. – Elon Musk

Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell. – Elon Musk

It’s better to approach this [building a company] from the standpoint of saying–rather than you want to be an entrepreneur or you want to make money–what are some useful things that you do that you wish existed in the world? – Elon Musk

I think the profit motive is a good one if the rules of an industry are properly set up. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with profit. In fact, profit just means that people are paying you more for whatever you’re doing that you’re spending to create it. That’s a good thing. – Elon Musk

Fundamentally, if you don’t have a compelling product at a compelling price, you don’t have a great company. – Elon Musk

You’re not going to create revolutionary cars or rockets on 40 hours a week. It just won’t work. Colonizing Mars isn’t going to happen on 40 hours a week. – Elon Musk

The path to the CEO’s office should not be through the CFO’s office, and it should not be through the marketing department. It needs to be through engineering and design. – Elon Musk

I don’t create companies for the sake of creating companies, but to get things done. – Elon Musk

A small group of very technically strong people will always beat a large group of moderately strong people. – Elon Musk

The biggest mistake in general that I’ve made–and I’m trying to correct for that–is to put too much of a weighting on somebody’s talent and not enough on their personality […]. It actually matters whether somebody has a good heart. It really does. And I’ve made the mistake of thinking that sometimes it’s just about the brain. – Elon Musk

I want to accentuate the philosophy that I have with companies in the startup phase, which is a sort of ‘special forces’ approach. The minimum passing grade is excellent. That’s the way I believe startup companies need to be if they’re ultimately going to be large and successful companies. We’d adhered to that to some degree, but we’d strayed from that path in a few places. That doesn’t mean the people that we let go on that basis would be considered bad–it’s just the difference between Special Forces and regular Army. If you’re going to get through a really tough environment and ultimately grow the company to something significant, you have to have a very high level of dedication and talent throughout the organization. – Elon Musk

I think most of the important stuff on the Internet has been built. – Elon Musk

I’m head engineer and chief designer as well as CEO [at SpaceX], so I don’t have to cave to some money guy. I encounter CEOs who don’t know the details of their technology and that’s ridiculous to me. – Elon Musk

We don’t think too much about what competitors are doing because I think it’s important to be focused on making the best possible products. It’s maybe analogous to what they say about if you’re in a race: don’t worry about what the other runners are doing–just run. – Elon Musk

There’s no map. By its nature, it’s unknown, which means you’re going to make false moves. It must be OK to make false moves. – Elon Musk

Always solicit critical feedback, particularly from friends. Because, generally, they will be thinking it, but they won’t tell you. – Elon Musk

Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time. Sometimes it will be ahead, other times it will be behind. But brand is simply a collective impression some have about a product. – Elon Musk

I certainly have lost many battles. So far, I have not lost a war, but I’ve certainly lost many battles […] more than I can count, probably. – Elon Musk

We came very close to both companies not succeeding in 2008. We had three failures of the SpaceX rocket, so we were 0 for 3. We had the crazy financial recession, the Great Recession. The Tesla financing round was falling apart because it’s pretty hard to raise money for a startup car company if GM and Chrysler are going bankrupt. […] Fortunately, at the end of 2008, the fourth launch, which was the last launch we had money for, worked for SpaceX, and we loved the Tesla financing round Christmas Eve 2008, the last hour of the last day that it was possible. – Elon Musk

Start somewhere and then really be prepared to question your assumptions, fix what you did wrong, and adapt to reality. – Elon Musk

It’s important to create an environment that fosters innovation, but you want to let it evolve in a Darwinian way. You don’t want to, at a high level, at a gut level, pick a technology and decide that that’s the thing that’s going to win because it may not be. You should really let things evolve. – Elon Musk

I do think it’s worth thinking about whether what you’re doing is going to result in disruptive change or not. If it’s just incremental, it’s unlikely to be something major. It’s got to be something that’s substantially better than what’s gone on before. – Elon Musk

Don’t delude yourself into thinking something’s working when it’s not, or you’re gonna get fixated on a bad solution. – Elon Musk

I don’t think everything needs to change the world; you know. […] Just say: ‘Is what I’m doing as useful as it could be?’ Whatever this thing is that you’re trying to create, what would be the utility delta compared to the current state of the art times how many people it would affect? That’s why I think having something that makes a big difference but affects a small to moderate number of people is great, as is something that makes even a small different but affects a vast number of people. – Elon Musk

I think AI is going to be incredibly sophisticated in 20 years. It seems to be accelerating. The tricky thing about predicting things when there is an exponential is that an exponential looks linear close-up. But actually, it’s not linear. And AI appears to be accelerating, as far as I can see. – Elon Musk

It’s not as though I think the risk is that the AI would develop all on its own right off the bat. The concern is that someone may use it in a way that is bad, and even if they weren’t going to use it in a way that is bad, somebody would take it from them and use it in a way that’s bad. That, I think, is quite a big danger. We must have democratization of AI technology and make it widely available. That’s the reason [we] created OpenAI. – Elon Musk

There’s a quote that I love from Lord Acton–he was the guy who came up with, ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’–which is that ‘freedom consists of the distribution of power and despotism in its concretion.’ I think it’s important if we have this incredibly powerful AI that it is not concentrated in the hands of the few. – Elon Musk

Creating a neural lace is the thing that really matters for humanity to achieve symbiosis with machines. – Elon Musk

It’s very important to like the people you work with, otherwise life [and] your job is gonna be quite miserable. – Elon Musk

We’re already a cyborg. You have a digital version of yourself or partial version of yourself online in the form of your e-mails and your social media and all the things that you do. And you have, basically, superpowers with your computer and your phone and the applications that are there. You have more power than the president of the United States had 20 years ago. You can answer any question; you can video conference with anyone anywhere; you can send a message to millions of people instantly. You just do incredible things. – Elon Musk

The reality is that autonomous systems will drive orders of magnitude better than people. In terms of accidents per mile, it’ll be far lower. Technologically, I think it’s about three years away for full autonomy.[2015]Owning a car that is not self-driving, in the long term, will be like owning a horse–you would own it and use it for sentimental reasons but not for daily use. – Elon Musk

The fundamental problem with cities is that we build cities in 3D. You’ve got these tall buildings with lots of people on each floor, but then you’ve got roads, which are 2D. That obviously just doesn’t work. You’re guaranteed to have gridlock. But you can go 3D if you have tunnels. And you can have many tunnels crisscrossing each other with maybe a few meters of vertical distance between them and completely get rid of traffic problems. – Elon Musk

You can only go there every two years because the orbital synchronization of Earth and Mars is about every two years. but I think it would be an interesting way for the civilization to develop. People would meet each other and be like, ‘What orbital synchronization did you arrive on?’ – Elon Musk

Hope we’re not just the biological boot loader for digital superintelligence. Unfortunately, that is increasingly probable. – Elon Musk

What a lot of people don’t appreciate is that technology does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of really strong engineering talent is applied to the problem. […] There are many examples in history where civilizations have reached a certain technology level and that have fallen well below that and then recovered only millennia later. – Elon Musk

When somebody has a breakthrough innovation, it is rarely one little thing. Very rarely, is it one little thing. It’s usually a whole bunch of things that collectively amount to a huge innovation. – Elon Musk

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster. – Elon Musk

I always invest my own money in the companies that I create. I don’t believe in the whole thing of just using another people’s money. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to ask other people to invest in something if I’m not prepared to do so myself. – Elon Musk

Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100-hour weeks every week. [This] improves the odds of success. If other people are putting in 40-hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100-hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing, you know that you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve. – Elon Musk

If there was a way that I could not eat, so I could work more, I would not eat. I wish there was a way to get nutrients without sitting down for a meal. – Elon Musk

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. – Elon Musk

I always have optimism, but I’m realistic. It was not with the expectation of great success that I started Tesla or SpaceX. […] It’s just that I thought they were important enough to do anyway. – Elon Musk

We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere […] can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe. – Elon Musk

You need to live in a dome initially, but over time you could terraform Mars to look like Earth and eventually walk around outside without anything on. […] So, it’s a fixer-upper of a planet. – Elon Musk

From an evolutionary standpoint, human consciousness has not been around very long. A little light just went on after four and a half billion years. How often does that happen? Maybe it is quite rare. – Elon Musk

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