When asked how he learned about the rockets, Musk reportedly replied, “I read books.” His voracious reading habit was essential to launch his history-making career.
Here are five books that shaped the entrepreneur:
1. “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson
Musk told Rose that he was influenced by the biography of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, and it’s clear why.
Einstein’s famous quotes, like “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new,” speak directly to Musk’s vision for his companies.
2. “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” by Peter Thiel
Musk said that this book by his Paypal co-founder’s book offers an interesting exploration of the process of building super successful companies.
3. “Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down” by J.E. Gordon
When Musk decided he wanted to learn rocket science, he studied astrophysics and engineering textbooks.
“It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design,” Musk said in an interview with KCRW.
4. “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” by Walter Isaacson
Ben Franklin is one of Musk’s heroes. “You can see how [Franklin] was an entrepreneur,” Musk says in an interview with Foundation’s Kevin Rose. “He was an entrepreneur. He started from nothing. He was just a runaway kid.”
5. “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” by Nick Bostrom
Bostrom’s book, which discusses the potential challenges presented if computational intelligence overtakes human intelligence, is worth reading, Musk tweeted in 2014.