Ashlee Vance, the writer and technology journalist who has spent extensive time interviewing Elon Musk as well as his competitors, will talk to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council about Musk and his extraordinary ambitions over lunch on Wednesday May 27th. Musk, who spoke to LAWAC in November 2013, continues to be one of the most captivating entrepreneurs in the US - and he is still only 43 years old.
Vance, a former technology writer for the New York Times who now works for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, spent 50 hours talking to Musk and many more hours talking to his family, friends, employees and competitors to write Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, which is being published this month.
Vance chronicles Musk's life from his childhood in South Africa to his founding of PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, where he seeks to do nothing less than change the world we live in. He portrays Musk as an amalgam of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs - a brilliant industrialist who has introduced revolutionary designs in not one, but four different industries - and earned himself a fortune that is currently more than $13 billion. He describes the enthusiasm Musk inspires in his employees and the sometimes unreasonable demands he makes on them in his quest to innovate at all costs. Finally, he discusses the enemies Musk has made in his uncompromising struggle to excel in highly competitive, extremely risky, and sometimes jealously protected industries.