Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Michael Dell: People ‘self-limit’

'The Facebook Effect' author David Kirkpatrick interviews Musk and Dell during Dell's annual conference

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Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick asked Elon Musk how he has succeeded where governments have failed, and he was at a loss to answer during the opening keynote of Dell’s annual customer conference yesterday in Austin, Texas.

Musk paused. Kirkpatrick ventured, “Is it you’re an engineer who understands how this stuff works?”

The pause continued. Finally Musk fired off a series of answers that give clues into the mindset of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who has leaped over hurdles to successfully build a commercially-viable electric car and possibly a solution to personal space travel.

Musk refused to accept credit for these accomplishments. “There are some things I really think need to happen, and I’ve been able to convince a lot of smart people to help me make them happen.”

He continued, “The real answer is if you can get really talented people together and unite around a challenge, then they can achieve great things.”

Kirkpatrick pressed Musk to explain why others haven’t been able to do the same. “Why don’t people just try harder?” Kirkpatrick asked.

“I think people self-limit,” Musk said. “People should just try. Did you try yesterday? Did you try today? It takes a lot of mental exertion to innovate.”

Today NASA announced that Musk’s company bested opponent Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin in the battle to lease a Kennedy Space Center launch pad once used to send astronauts to the moon, meaning that Musk has yet again succeeded where governments failed by convincing smart people to make the things he thinks should happen, happen. The launch pad has been dormant since the U.S. retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011.

Stephanie Losee

Stephanie Losee

Managing Editor at Tech Page One
Stephanie Losee is the Managing Editor of Dell Global Communications.
Stephanie Losee
Stephanie Losee
Tags: Business,Business Management,Entrepreneurship