When someone achieves as much as Elon Musk
has, it's easy to become fascinated not just with what the person is doing, but who that person is on a personal level. Sure, many of us are curious about what the future of Tesla
looks like from inside the mind of its CEO, but some of us are also curious what he eats for breakfast. In a recent interview with Auto Bild
, the German interviewers do a great job of getting Musk to open up about his business plans, his daily habits and even some of his deeper, more meaningful musings.
"Nobody should be CEO forever." – Elon Musk
Musk says he would likely remain CEO of Tesla Motors for three or four more years, at least long enough to see volume production of the upcoming Model III
and building of the Gigafactory
(for which Musk was able to command enormous incentives
from the state of Nevada). "I will never leave Tesla forever, but I may not be CEO forever," Musk said. "Nobody should be CEO forever."
When hiring, Musk looks for "evidence of exceptional ability" and "a track record of exceptional achievement." That does not necessarily include a college degree. "If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys didn't graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea."
At an interesting point in the conversation, the interviewers ask Musk to describe himself. He says that he has an innate sense of drive and that he seeks the truth, but it's interesting to watch him dig deep to come up with an answer. "All these introspective questions are interesting," he said. "I don't get asked these very often."
Musk goes on to talk about how he originally expected both SpaceX and Tesla to fail, how he lived on borrowed money to keep his companies afloat and even how he'd like to die on the planet Mars. While we didn't get to hear any more about the demon that is artificial intelligence
, the video is an interesting journey through the life and mind of an exceptional person. Watch the whole thing below