It is truly amazing what Elon Musk achieved for both Tesla and SpaceX. Has a unique capability to transform day dreams into reality. Therefore he is exceptional, unique and impossible (and not recommendable) to be followed.
In the case of SpaceX, it took 8 years to create a recoverable rocket and 18 years to achieve a human flight. He moved faster than Boeing, who became a bloated giant, while NASA ended up to the conclusion that it is easier and cheaper to externalise.
In the same time, in this entire successful story, I remark once again the iconography of the providential entrepreneur. Perhaps it’s just a personal tension, but the personality cult creates models from genius and outliers. The first one was Howard Hughes, the next in the modern era was Richard Branson, the best was Steve Jobs, now it is the time of Elon Musk.
Regular people have the psychological need for heroes, to deify and follow other humans. That’s why they go to stadiums, concerts, buy the book or the album, go to the movie, purchase their product. It’s another form of narcissism.
Media feeds from the audience built around explores, the super-humans that assume out of the extraordinary risks. In the past they conquered the Pols, piloted firs airplanes which the built, and tried to cross the ocean through the air. Now the send humans to space, in something that looks like a personal effort (the 7,000 people from SpaceX most probably have a different view).
But if you see the pictures and you read the article, maybe you can be the next one. Statistically you’ll have between 8% and 12% to achieve entrepreneurial success, but don’t stumble on probabilities.
For Elon Musk, as for Steve Jobs and Richard Branson in the past, any occasion is great for PR. In our case, no detail was speared either. The costumes were made by a Hollywood designer (Jose Fernandez), who worked for Marvel and its Batman franchise (Netflix takes notes). Coincidence or not, Elon Musk archetype is explorer – creator (Tony Star, another Marvel hero). Superheroes form the pictures are now making their way into reality. Life becomes a set. Interesting and to be remembered also the way how Elon assumed the entire story “I am to blame for a failure”.
The single issue: singularities like Elon Musk are not scalable. Where he was successful by disrupting the old rules, other broke their necks. But the storytelling glorified those who made it, not the ones that failed, even maybe they proceeded in the same way.
Thus, the forthcoming young entrepreneurs have a new hero. Following the portrait narrative, they most probably will forget to put their teams on the first place. Will omit to glorify the “we” and will celebrate the “I”. Will slip the probabilities, research and strategy, because cannot see the value. It’s alway easier to dream big and follow the instincts.
This is the American Dream. Achieve the impossible, statistical improbable, however confirmed to exist from time to time by an optimistic and clairvoyant singularity.