Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Musk, Meaning of life, Mars...

Elon Musk, may not be an instantly recognizable name, but I predict you won't forget it now. Here's the story. Following an immersion in the philosophical leanings of Schopenhauer, Musk experienced a self-described existential crisis -  at the age of 12.  Already a precocious child, this South African by birth, made his way to Silicon Valley via Queens U in Ontario and U of Penn, Wharton. Next, he spent just two days in a Stanford PhD program before deciding he wanted to become an internet millionaire.  And did.

Elon Musk has already transformed the way we secure financial transactions on the web, when he started PayPal during the turbulent kick off to this millennium. With those riches banked, he is now wearing the CEO cap at Tesla in northern California and SpaceX in LA.

What does this have to do with ageing?

I don't know about you but the issues with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner lithium batteries has increased stress levels throughout the gray haired ranks of the aeronautic industry across the globe. This includes the globetrotting public. Elon's a pretty dab hand with batteries, having originally traveled to Silicon Valley to help in electric vehicle core technologies. These are the batteries necessary for a long term sustainable business proposition. He's probably not a bad choice to have on your crisis swat team!

One of his favorite books and an early source of inspiration was the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy. It fired his post Schopenhauer imagination because it brought him to conclude that the question is harder than the answer. All his subsequent entrepreneurial pursuits have evolved from this notion and he asserts that it puts him in a position to understand the universe better.

This man on a mission has asked himself (and everyone he knows) what is going to have the most influence on the future? This is a question every boomer should seriously be asking themselves, with their bonus decades up for grabs (see below for other interesting links on the subject).

In the meantime, here's one clever guy with some great ideas for entrepreneurs, including "older-preneurs". He  wants to expand the scale and the scope of our consciousness, exploit the earth's solar dependency to fuel the world and he really wants to take us to Mars.

"I guess I'd like to go to Mars while I am able to make the journey. I'd like to get there ideally in my 50's. I aspire to make that happen. I think it can happen."

He'll be 42 in June and looking at his track record, he's pretty fast off the mark. We won't have too long to wait.

By Deborah Gale

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