Tesla CEO Elon Musk Fails Like Any, But Admits, Learns, And Succeeds

Elon Musk

JUN 8 2018 BY EVANNEX 13


Elon Musk may be renowned for being one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing throughout his entire career.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Elon Musk (Instagram: mel.gruening)

Although Musk is considered by many as a business icon, he’s experienced many failures in his life. In turn, these “epic fails” have helped him learn and transform into the great success he is today. There’s no doubt Musk will endure many more failures in his life, but even some of his biggest setbacks can be outweighed by his successes — after all, when you look at Musk’s companies you can see why he’s set to become one of the world’s richest men.

Not many people can endure being ousted as CEO of their own company and then (later) get fired from another company while on honeymoon — not to mention surviving both a major crash and cerebral malaria! Let’s walk through Musk’s history of successes and failures.

Back in 1995, despite not having significant experience in computer science, Musk applied for a job at Netscape but was too shy to follow up and speak with anyone after his application was denied. Almost immediately after this happened, he founded a company called Zip2 but was promptly fired by the board of directors. On many occasions, Musk was told he didn’t have the skills to be a successful businessman and CEO, however his recent string of successes proves otherwise.

Above: Elon Musk continues to face ongoing challenges (Youtube: CNBC)

Fast forward a few years to 1999 and Musk founded X.com which got voted as one of the worst business ideas. Later, this transformed into PayPal — one of the most popular online payment systems worldwide.

Then, despite Musk not having an aerospace background, he approached the Russians in 2002 in order to acquire rockets for SpaceX. They turned him down. Following this, Musk decided to build his own rocket, which he first launched in 2006. But it wasn’t easy — his first few rocket launches ended in explosions.

Between 2008 and 2016, Musk started to focus heavily on Tesla and SpaceX and despite them both nearly going bankrupt early on, Musk managed to pull through and bring them back to success.

Needless to say, every business goes through a whirlwind of both failures and successes. Musk’s ventures aren’t an exception. If you’re planning on starting a business and you’re afraid of the potential pitfalls that may occur, just remember this key tip from Elon himself: “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

For more, take a look at RS Components’ infographic timeline…


*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.


Source: RS Components

Categories: Tesla

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13 Comments on "Tesla CEO Elon Musk Fails Like Any, But Admits, Learns, And Succeeds"

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MTN Ranger

Some may complain about his brash boasting and over promising. But unlike any other CEO, he openly admits his faults and mistakes.


It will be interesting to see if he can get Tesla to sustained profitability… My opinion is no, but just an opinion.


No profitable in the next 10 years when Tesla is building new Gigafactory/Assembly plants around the world to make millions EV’s a year.


good luck on that…

MTN Ranger

I’ll just be happy with cash flow positive later this year.


If I had one free wish it would be to finally learn something from failure…

William L

I don’t think Elon learned from every mistake he made, otherwise he won’t be married and divorced 3 times. 🙂


Or having 4 different door design on 4 of his Tesla models…


He has said on every car they will simplify the next one… hmmm, Model 3 looks about as simple as you can go, even in parts count, but there sure have trouble building it.


Lets talk about “success” when Tesla becomes profitable.

So far Tesla produces record losses quarter after quarter, and Q2 will be the next. The company only survived thanks to generous capital infusions from wallstreet.


Elon has been blessed by a surging economy, and lots of free capital wandering around in the market. Someday that will change.


Oh yeah, just all good luck.

I’m very relieved to know that it has nothing to do with vision, perseverance, intelligence, dedication, guts.


At least he is beta testing the next level of autopilot with TELSA workers….https://youtu.be/KhhazlE-_Ng?list=WL