Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

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In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.”

Elon Musk spotlights the technology and vision of Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity, who sold one of his Internet companies, PayPal, for $1.5 billion. Ashlee Vance captures the full spectacle and arc of the genius’s life and work, from his tumultuous upbringing in South Africa and flight to the United States to his dramatic technical innovations and entrepreneurial pursuits.

Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our age: can the nation of inventors and creators who led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.

Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

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“Highly recommended for high school and ambitious middle school readers.” —School Library Journal

"A valuable addition to STEM-themed collections." —VOYA

An in-depth look into the extraordinary life of the world’s most important entrepreneur, Elon Musk

This fascinating and easily accessible paperback young readers’ adaptation of Ashlee Vance’s New York Times bestselling Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future features black-and-white photographs throughout and an epilogue.

The version for adults has been praised as “riveting” (The Financial Times), “spirited” (The Wall Street Journal), and “masterful” (Vice). Now younger readers can read about this innovative leader who is revolutionizing three industries at once: space, automotive, and energy.

There are few people in history who could match Elon Musk’s relentless drive and vision. A modern combination of famous inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Steve Jobs, Elon is the man behind companies such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and PayPal that are transforming the way we live.

Written with exclusive access to Elon, his family, and his friends, this book traces Elon’s journey from a kid in South Africa to a young man in the United States, his dramatic technical inventions, and his world-changing companies. Elon has sparked new levels of innovation in the world, and this book gives young readers a detailed but fast-paced look at his story.

A Junior Library Guild Selection!

Silicon Valley veterans and newbies alike will want to explore this book that delves into the rich history behind the region that birthed the world's most important industry. Technology journalist Ashlee Vance has captured almost every aspect of the area stretching between San Francisco and San Jose, California, starting with the eager radio and electronics enthusiasts of the early 1900s and ending with the computing powerhouses of today such as Google and Apple. Along the way, the book profiles the people and places that have elevated Silicon Valley to an almost mythic pedestal.

This book delivers Silicon Valley, taking us from success story to failed startup and back again as we drive the roads from San Francisco to Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose. It's full of profiles of the larger-than-life characters that pioneered the processor, computer, and Internet revolutions. The book's vibrant design includes "Silicon Valley Soundbytes" packed with insider information and trivia, and "Click Here" sidebars, which suggest places to eat, drink, and shop.

Place by place, readers get the inside scoop on all the addresses that count, which include Microsoft research centers; the headquarters of Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle; research powerhouses such as Stanford University, NASA Ames, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; the Computer History Museum and The Tech Museum; the Shoreline Amphitheater; the Churchill Club; and many more.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
May 19, 2015
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780062301260
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Business
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Technology & Engineering / Inventions
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A leading innovation scholar explains the growing phenomenon and impact of free innovation, in which innovations developed by consumers and given away “for free.”

In this book, Eric von Hippel, author of the influential Democratizing Innovation, integrates new theory and research findings into the framework of a “free innovation paradigm.” Free innovation, as he defines it, involves innovations developed by consumers who are self-rewarded for their efforts, and who give their designs away “for free.” It is an inherently simple grassroots innovation process, unencumbered by compensated transactions and intellectual property rights.

Free innovation is already widespread in national economies and is steadily increasing in both scale and scope. Today, tens of millions of consumers are collectively spending tens of billions of dollars annually on innovation development. However, because free innovations are developed during consumers' unpaid, discretionary time and are given away rather than sold, their collective impact and value have until very recently been hidden from view. This has caused researchers, governments, and firms to focus too much on the Schumpeterian idea of innovation as a producer-dominated activity.

Free innovation has both advantages and drawbacks. Because free innovators are self-rewarded by such factors as personal utility, learning, and fun, they often pioneer new areas before producers see commercial potential. At the same time, because they give away their innovations, free innovators generally have very little incentive to invest in diffusing what they create, which reduces the social value of their efforts.

The best solution, von Hippel and his colleagues argue, is a division of labor between free innovators and producers, enabling each to do what they do best. The result will be both increased producer profits and increased social welfare—a gain for all.

Innovating is for doers: you don't need to wait for an earth-shattering idea, but can build one with a hunch and scale it up to impact.

Innovation is the subject of countless books and courses, but there's very little out there about how you actually innovate. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not one and the same, although aspiring innovators often think of them that way. They are told to get an idea and a team and to build a show-and-tell for potential investors. In Innovating, Luis Perez-Breva describes another approach—a doer's approach developed over a decade at MIT and internationally in workshops, classes, and companies. He shows that to start innovating it doesn't require an earth-shattering idea; all it takes is a hunch. Anyone can do it. By prototyping a problem and learning by being wrong, innovating can be scaled up to make an impact. As Perez-Breva demonstrates, "no thing is new" at the outset of what we only later celebrate as innovation.

In Innovating, the process—illustrated by unique and dynamic artwork—is shown to be empirical, experimental, nonlinear, and incremental. You give your hunch the structure of a problem. Anything can be a part. Your innovating accrues other people's knowledge and skills. Perez-Breva describes how to create a kit for innovating, and outlines questions that will help you think in new ways. Finally, he shows how to systematize what you've learned: to advocate, communicate, scale up, manage innovating continuously, and document—“you need a notebook to converse with yourself,” he advises. Everyone interested in innovating also needs to read this book.

“A perfectly executed, exquisitely reported parable of the Internet age and the wild, mad adventure that is start-up culture.”—Charles Duhigg

Fortune, mania, genius, philanthropy—the bestselling author of Mountains Beyond Mountains gives us the inspiring story of Paul English, the founder of Kayak.com and Lola.

Tracy Kidder, the “master of the nonfiction narrative” (The Baltimore Sun) and author of the bestselling classic The Soul of a New Machine, now tells the story of Paul English, a kinetic and unconventional inventor and entrepreneur, who as a boy rebelled against authority. Growing up in working-class Boston, English discovers a medium for his talents the first time he sees a computer. As a young man, despite suffering from what would eventually be diagnosed as bipolar disorder, he begins his pilgrim’s journey through the ups and downs in the brave new world of computers. Relating to the Internet as if it’s an extension of his own mind, he discovers that he has a talent for conceiving innovative enterprises and building teams that can develop them, becoming “a Pied Piper” of geeks. His innovative management style, success, and innate sense of fair play inspire intense loyalty. Early on, one colleague observes: “Someday this boy’s going to get hit by a truck full of money, and I’m going to be standing beside him.” Yet when English does indeed make a fortune, when the travel website Kayak is sold for almost two billion dollars—the first thing he thinks about is how to give the money away: “What else would you do with it?” The second thing he thinks is, What’s next?

With the power of a consummate storyteller, Tracy Kidder casts a fresh, critical, and often humorous eye on the way new ideas and new money are reshaping our culture and the world. A Truck Full of Money is a mesmerizing portrait of an irresistibly endearing man who is indefatigable, original, and as unpredictable as America itself.

Praise for A Truck Full of Money

“Kidder’s prose glides with a figure skater’s ease, but without the glam. His is a seemingly artless art, like John McPhee’s, that conceals itself in sentences that are necessary, economical, and unpretentious.”—The Boston Globe

“Kidder’s portrayal of living with manic depression is as nuanced and intimate as a reader might ever expect to get. . . . You can’t help admiring Mr. English and cheering for him.”—The New York Times
For anyone paying attention, the beginning of the end for Yahoo! began with decisions made by the first team of executives while the company was on its way up, which set the stage for horrific decisions made by subsequent generations of Yahoo! leadership. Most decisions were either pure incompetence or just lack of vision by CEOs from 2001 to the present.

 

Twenty-one years after its incorporation and sixteen years after its stock peak, Yahoo sold for 96% less than its value on January 3, 2000, when it had closed at an all-time high of $118.75 per share, resulting in a market capitalization of $120 billion. Wall Street valued Yahoo!, at that time in business less than six years, higher than it did Disney, News Corporation, and Comcast combined. Also on that day, the iPhone was more than seven years away from launch, Google was four years from its IPO, Amazon was hemorrhaging money, and Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school!

 

At the end of 2016, the top seven businesses on the list of the highest-valued companies in the world by market capitalization include Apple at #1, Alphabet (Google’s Parent Company) at #2, Amazon.com at #5, and Facebook at #7. Those companies combined are valued in excess of $2 trillion more than the price Verizon paid to acquire Yahoo!

 

Yahoo!’s story is one of missed strategies, failed opportunities, and poor execution. Early decisions to de-emphasize search features, undervalue Google, and overplay Yahoo’s hand in the Facebook negotiations haunted the rest of the company’s existence. In addition, factors outside of Yahoo’s control—most notably how irrational expectations of Wall Street created an environment where short-term decisions were made at the expense of the long-term good. 


The story of Yahoo! is a cautionary tale not intended for the faint of heart.

Imagine living through the breakthrough moments of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the other icons of today's new economy. The kind of technological revolution that they led in Silicon Valley is now sweeping through China, but with much more dramatic implications. The dynamic entrepreneurs who are using technology to radically transform business and cultural life in China are fighting not only outdated business models and a tumultuous economy but also an unpredictable government that has a love-hate relationship with the Net, at once pushing its expansion at a feverish pace and censoring it. As Duncan Clark, cofounder of BDA, an Internet consulting company in Beijing, told author David Sheff, "This environment -- the regulations, the competition, the political uncertainties -- makes these the fastest, most courageous, nimblest-thinking people globally. To deal with this level of risk and still sleep is no small accomplishment. But they're hooked on it like some Chinese are becoming hooked on Starbucks cappuccino."

In this irresistible, groundbreaking book, Sheff takes us into the trenches of the Chinese technology revolution, introducing the major and minor players who are leading China into the twenty-first century. Players like Bo Feng, the charismatic former sushi chef who is now one of the leading venture capitalists in China. And Edward Tian, a national hero who has been described as China's Steve Jobs and Bill Gates combined, who left his own start-up on the eve of its IPO in order to lead the government's attempt to bring broadband to the entire nation, in the process leapfrogging the United States, Europe, and the rest of Asia with the longest and fastest network in the world.

As the U.S. technological revolution wanes, business leaders will be looking to the billion-plus potential customers in China for new growth. In addition, the world's newest member of the World Trade Organization will no longer be a bystander in the global economy; it will be a fierce competitor. And when hundreds of million Chinese have access to unprecedented information and communication, China itself will be profoundly altered. Jay Chang, an analyst who covers China for Credit Suisse First Boston, sums the seismic nature of the changes: "What happens when China successfully transforms from a mainly agrarian/industrial nation into one that has significant input from the information technology industry? What happens when eighty percent of the state-owned enterprises in China are able to link economically to the global Internet on fast pipes? What happens when China's engineering talent pool is able to gain access to high-end computing resources and exchange ideas and information easily with their global peers? What happens when fifty percent of the Chinese population gets wired in ten years -- six hundred million people, the largest number of Internet users in the world?" With its compelling, character-driven story, researched over the course of three years, China Dawn will be the definitive book on the subject.

Silicon Valley veterans and newbies alike will want to explore this book that delves into the rich history behind the region that birthed the world's most important industry. Technology journalist Ashlee Vance has captured almost every aspect of the area stretching between San Francisco and San Jose, California, starting with the eager radio and electronics enthusiasts of the early 1900s and ending with the computing powerhouses of today such as Google and Apple. Along the way, the book profiles the people and places that have elevated Silicon Valley to an almost mythic pedestal.

This book delivers Silicon Valley, taking us from success story to failed startup and back again as we drive the roads from San Francisco to Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose. It's full of profiles of the larger-than-life characters that pioneered the processor, computer, and Internet revolutions. The book's vibrant design includes "Silicon Valley Soundbytes" packed with insider information and trivia, and "Click Here" sidebars, which suggest places to eat, drink, and shop.

Place by place, readers get the inside scoop on all the addresses that count, which include Microsoft research centers; the headquarters of Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle; research powerhouses such as Stanford University, NASA Ames, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; the Computer History Museum and The Tech Museum; the Shoreline Amphitheater; the Churchill Club; and many more.

From a co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios—the Academy Award–winning studio behind Coco, Inside Out, and Toy Story—comes an incisive book about creativity in business and leadership for readers of Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, and Chip and Dan Heath.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Huffington Post • Financial Times • Success • Inc. • Library Journal

Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

For nearly twenty years, Pixar has dominated the world of animation, producing such beloved films as the Toy Story trilogy, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and Inside Out, which have gone on to set box-office records and garner thirty Academy Awards. The joyousness of the storytelling, the inventive plots, the emotional authenticity: In some ways, Pixar movies are an object lesson in what creativity really is. Here, in this book, Catmull reveals the ideals and techniques that have made Pixar so widely admired—and so profitable.

As a young man, Ed Catmull had a dream: to make the first computer-animated movie. He nurtured that dream as a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, where many computer science pioneers got their start, and then forged a partnership with George Lucas that led, indirectly, to his co-founding Pixar in 1986. Nine years later, Toy Story was released, changing animation forever. The essential ingredient in that movie’s success—and in the thirteen movies that followed—was the unique environment that Catmull and his colleagues built at Pixar, based on leadership and management philosophies that protect the creative process and defy convention, such as:

• Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. But give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better.
• If you don’t strive to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.
• It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them.
• The cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.
• A company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE BESTSELLING BIOGRAPHIES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND ALBERT EINSTEIN, THIS IS THE EXCLUSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF STEVE JOBS.

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
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