Elon Musk
Ronald Lasky, Professor of Engineering, Thayer School of Engineering

One hundred years from now, historians of technology will rightly claim that Steve Jobs had a profound effect on technology, society, and life in general for hundreds of millions of people in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. However, he may be eclipsed by one person: Elon Musk.

Musk is the most curious polymath of this era and, at only 45 years old, has already made an overwhelming impact on the world through PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX. Author Ashlee Vance was able to get considerable one-on-one time with Musk in interviewing for the book, and this access enabled a biography with many amusing and fascinating anecdotes, making the book a fun read. Much of the book covers Musk’s relentless drive to reduce costs. For example, SpaceX reduced the price of an actuator from $120,000 to less than $4,000, and avionics systems from $10 million to $10,000. These cost reductions have allowed SpaceX to dramatically lower the cost of launching satellites.

Much of the book covers the genius, drive, and ambition that make Musk the technology leader of this age, and this book a must read.