Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  1. "As the food arrived, Musk consumed it. That is, he didn't eat it as much as he made it disappear rapidly with a few gargantuan bites. Desperate to keep Musk happy and chatting, I handed him a big chunk of steak from my plate. The plan worked...for all of 90 seconds. Meat. Hunk. Gone."
    From the author's first meeting with Elon.
  2. "I would like to allocate more time to dating, though. I need to find a girlfriend. That's why I need to carve out just a little more time. I think maybe even another five to ten - how much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours? That's kind of the minimum? I don't know."
  3. "It was a high-pressure slog full of explosions - or what the engineers politely called 'rapid unscheduled disassemblies.'"
  4. "Marketing people who made grammatical mistakes in emails were let go, as were people who hadn't done anything 'awesome' in recent memory."
  5. "The couple had lunch the next day and then went the White Cube, a modern art gallery, and then back to Musk's hotel room. Musk told Riley, a virgin, that he wanted to show her his rockets. 'I was skeptical, but he did actually want to show me rocket videos.'"
    From Elon and Talulah Riley's first date (he's married and divorced her twice, presently divorce papers have been withdrawn. 1) lololol show her his rockets 2) A virgin? Hmmmmmm
  6. "He interviewed almost every one of SpaceX's first one thousand hires, including the janitors and technicians and has continued to interview the engineers as the company's workforce swelled. Each employee receives a warning before going to meet with Musk."
    "Elon will likely keep on writing emails and working during the initial part of the interview and not speak much. Don't panic. That's normal. Eventually, he will turn around in his chair to face you. Even then, he might not make actual eye contact with you or fully acknowledge your presence. Don't panic. That's normal. In due course, he will speak to you."
  7. "Everything he does is fast. He pees fast. It's like a fire hose - three seconds and out. He's authentically in a hurry."
  8. "An employee could be telling Musk...that there is simply not enough time to build a part by Musk's deadline. 'Elon will say, Fine. You are off the project, and I am now the CEO of the project. I will do your job and be CEO of two companies at the same time. I will deliver it.'"
    "What's crazy is that Elon actually does it. Every time he's fired someone and taken their job, he's delivered on what the project was."
  9. "The volume level on the sound system [of the Tesla Model S] naturally goes to 11 - an homage to This Is Spinal Tap and a reflection of Musk's sense of humor."
  10. "There was a wooden pole perhaps 30 feet high with a dancing platform at the top. Dozens of people tried and failed to climb it, and then Musk gave it a go. 'His technique was very awkward, and he should not have succeeded...But he hugged it and just inched up and inched up until he reached the top.'"
    Elon at Burning Man. "He dances a lot."
  11. "Even in social settings, Musk might get up from the dinner table without a word of explanation to head outside and look at the stars, simply because he's not willing to suffer fools or small talk."
    THIS SOUNDS WONDERFUL and I wish I could get away with doing the same. (Though this came after the story of how he unceremoniously fired his assistant of 12 years after she asked for a raise and said he wanted her to get a life.)