Tesla Motors is on a roll, now manufacturing 600 of its Model S electric vehicles per week as the company’s stock price sits above $200 a share. But that success has come as somewhat of a surprise to Elon Musk.
The Tesla co-founder and CEO was featured during Sunday’s 60 Minutes show and admitted that he didn’t think Tesla would be successful when he started the company more than 10 years ago.
“I thought we’d most likely fail,” he said. “I thought that we’d at least address the false perception that people had that an electric car had to be ugly and slow and boring like a golf cart.”
So why even invest money and time into something he didn’t even think would work?
“If something is important enough, you should try — even if the probable outcome is failure,” Musk said.
The 60 Minutes segment, which aired two months after the controversial report on “The Cleantech Crash,” examines both Tesla and SpaceX, Musk’s other ambitious company that manufactures and launches rockets. Musk didn’t use the interview to reveal any headline-grabbing news, but he did open up about the difficulties he faced as an entrepreneur in 2008.
That was when SpaceX was on the verge of failure, Tesla had its own problems and the economy was tanking. Musk, who also got divorced during the same time, called it the “worst year of my life” as he suddenly was in debt.
But after three failed launch attempts, SpaceX nailed its fourth try — if it hadn’t, Musk said it was “game over” for the company — and would go on to land a $1.5 billion contract from NASA.
“That was helpful,” Musk said.
Musk, who splits his time every week between SpaceX and Tesla, said he wants SpaceX to be the company that brings humanity to Mars.”
“I hope I see it while I’m still alive,” he said.
Check out the segment below: