Elon Musk: Business Principles

Here’s a very refreshing short clip from Elon Musk, one of the greatest innovators in our generation, where he very simply describes the business principles behind starting a business.

1) Starting a business is not for everyone, but if you’re going to start,  have a high pain threshold.

  • Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss. When you first start a company, there’s lots of optimism and happiness is high. Then you start to face a lot of issues and happiness will steadily decline and you’ll go through a whole world of hurt. And eventually if you succeed, and in most cases you will not succeed, after a long time you will finally get back to happiness.


2) Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s a product or service, has to be really, really great

  • Unless you’re tapping into a new industry where the standards are lower, your product has to be much better than the entrenched competitors that are dominating the market. It can’t be a little bit better, because if you put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, they’re always going to buy the trusted brand unless there’s a big difference.


3) Constantly seek criticism

  • A well thought-out critique of what you’re doing is as valuable as gold. Take the approach that you as the entrepreneur are wrong, and your goal is to be less wrong.  Getting to this level is a matter of dissecting the criticism you receive on a constant basis.