Elon Musk may be the greatest technologist and visionary of our time. He has guts, intelligence and a great sense of humor (which is often on display on Twitter when his many trolls attack him). And these characteristics of Musk’s were demonstrated this past weekend at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas. Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the hit HBO show ‘Westworld’ and Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight,’ sat down to interview the tech legend; and he asked some very good questions…
The interview is an excellent watch for several reasons. First, Musk gives a very thoughtful take on the future of A.I. and how to prevent it from backfiring on mankind. Musk’s concerns with artificial intelligence have been well-documented, and he delves into the specifics as well as some possible solutions. Musk stated in the interview “Mark my words: AI is far more dangerous than nukes, by far, so why do we have no regulatory oversight, this is insane.”
Musk goes on to explain how another ‘Dark Age’ is likely coming at some point (although he gives no specifics on time frame), and by sending humans to Mars in advance, it may save the entire species. It is “Unlikely that we will never have another World War,” stated Musk.
In the interview at SXSW, Elon Musk makes a strong argument for pricing carbon. That said, he also says the carbon level we have in our atmosphere today is an acceptable amount. “I actually think we can manage with the current carbon level. Or even a little bit higher,” stated Musk.
Elon Musk talked about his two biggest stresses that keep him up at night, as well as the near-death experience Tesla had in its earlier days. For any entrepreneur, and this sounds a bit twisted, but it is true, it is always refreshing to be reminded that even the greatest capitalists and innovators out there face the same stresses we do, just on a different scale.
Musk also explained how he initially allocated half of his earnings from PayPal ($180 million) to SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City. He figured if they all failed, he’d be fine with $90 million to live off. But, like so many R&D startups before, schedules were pushed out and costs increased. Inevitably, Musk went all in with his dough on the three companies, nearly going bankrupt in the process. He talks in detail about the near company failing moments all three experienced, and what they did to his psyche.
All risk-taking entrepreneurs and investors will appreciate this interview with Elon Musk at the South by Southwest 2018 Conference in Austin, Texas. It’s motivating, relatable and educational. Grab a cup of coffee and find the time to watch the interview from start to finish.
P.S. I’m no Elon, but I’ve managed to do very well for myself investing in startups and building businesses for more than a decade. Subscribe to my newsletter below to see exactly how I’ve differentiated and profited in several industries. Only my best content will land in your inbox.