Elon Musk has an interesting set of view points at D11. The Top 10 highlights:
10. The reason for Tesla was to create a compelling long-range electric car that people would buy.
9. Norway is our largest market. The single biggest purchaser of Tesla cars is an ophthalmologist who lives above the Arctic Circle – and takes an electronic pill ;o)
8. (About Internet Entrepreneurs) “I recommend that people consider arenas outside of the Internet because there’s a lot of industries (particularly oligopolistic industries need new entrants for innovation) that could use that entrepreneurial talent and the skills that people have learned in creating those companies.” This inspired Loic Le Muer to say “Let us follow Elon”. I agree ! Also an inspiring read – The Dreamers Dilemma
7. (Mainstream Tesla-”At profit, in market conditions”) ~3-5 years away, would be about 20% smaller than Model S. 3 Steps – High Price-Low Volume, Mid Price-Mid Volume and Low Price-High Volume. They are in Step 2. 3rd generation is 3-5 years away
6. (Politics) I think we shouldn’t give into the cynicism of politics, we should fight the cynicism. And if we don’t, we’ll get the political system we deserve.
5. (Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us) I supported it initially but I think the methods that were employed was a little too much of the Kissinger-esque realpolitik.
4. (About Hyperloop) There’s a Tesla announcement around June 20 … at some point after that will be a good time to talk about it. For those that aren’t aware, the basic idea is will there be a better way to travel quickly from LA to San Francisco than high-speed rail - a “cross between a Concorde, a Railgun & an Air Hockey Table”
3. (About “fully & rapidly” reusable rockets) The cost of the propellent in the rocket is only .3 percent of the vehicle (~$200,000 vs $60,000,000). Think about a commercial aircraft — you don’t want to buy a new plane every time you book a flight.
2. (Spacex) SpaceX was able to achieve orders of magnitude savings in rockets. Instead of looking at what other rockets cost, they looked at the material cost (which is only 1-2% of total cost) which was small; clearly people were doing silly things on how the rockets were put together; for SpaceX, the savings came from efficiently putting the rocket together! Interesting. Elan expected SpaceX to fail !
1.a. Either we spread Earth to other planets, or we risk going extinct. An extinction event is inevitable and we’re increasingly doing ourselves in.
1. “Mars is a fixer-upper of a planet, but we could make it work” – multi planetary life with a base camp in Mars (“difficult but achievable”) ! That is worth living for (“The future is better than the present”)… even though the trip will take 3-6 months … one way … but the security lines should be shorter …
[Update June 3,2013] A summary of D11 observations – good read
Photo: Asa Mathat/AllThingsD