Elon Musk gave advice to Reddit

Elon Musk gave advice to Reddit

Elon Musk Tesla TSLA

In January of 2015, Elon Musk, then with an estimated net worth of $8 billion, took to Reddit to participate in an interactive Ask Me Anything (AMA) session ‘I am Elon Musk CEO/CTO of a Rocket Company, AMA!’. Fast forward to today, and Musk is the richest person in the world. During that AMA, a Reddit user employed by Toyota Tsusho in Fremont, who was working on Tesla’s wheel assembly, asked Musk for advice on handling “seemingly insurmountable adversity.” Musk responded by citing a quote he attributed to Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

While Musk didn’t further elaborate on how he interpreted that quote, his advice was scrutinized. Reddit users and publications alike noted that the quote could not be verified as originating from Churchill. One user posted, One user posted: ‘Holy Made-Up Context To A Misattributed Quote, Batman!’ Along with a link to the 2009 edition of “Finest Hour: The Journal of Winston Churchill,” confirming the saying was “not by Churchill, or at least not verifiable in any of the 50 million published words by and about him.”

The International Churchill Society has also stated that the quote “is not a phrase that is contained anywhere in the canon of Winston Churchill’s written or spoken words.” Despite the misattribution, the quote’s message of enduring through challenges struck a chord with many.

Despite the misattribution, the quote’s message of enduring through challenges struck a chord with many. One user wrote, “Too bad it was falsely attributed, still a great quote though.”

The misquoted Churchill line could have originated from a 2012 Forbes article that explored Churchill’s leadership and resilience, particularly during the trying times of World War II. The article featured the disputed quote and outlined Churchill’s relentless defiance against the Nazis, an ethos seemingly similar to Musk’s own approach to business and innovation.

Musk continued to answer other questions during the AMA, including one from a teacher asking how educators could better foster innovative thinking in students. Musk responded by crediting his elementary school principal as his best teacher, someone who accelerated the math curriculum and shared personal war stories as a form of motivation.

One user questioned the feasibility of landing on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Musk called for a science mission to the moon, steering clear of making any audacious claims. Another Reddit participant inquired about daily habits that had a significant positive impact on Musk’s life, to which he responded, “Showering.” The tech entrepreneur also touched on the topic of artificial intelligence, advising caution and more work on AI safety.

The 2015 Reddit AMA provided a window into Musk’s thoughts and inspirations at the time. Regardless of the quote’s original authorship, his message was still about persevering through “hell” is a testament to a universally valued trait—resilience. It’s a message that has apparently served Musk well, seeing as he moved from being a billionaire entrepreneur to the richest individual on the planet in less than a decade.

Betting on Musk in those early days would have been a high-stakes gamble that clearly would have paid off. His trajectory highlights an important point for potential investors: the next big thing is often not found in established companies, but in startups and visionaries who are daring enough to radically rethink the status quo. Whether it’s a revolutionary concept or a new take on an old idea, the key is recognizing its potential before it becomes mainstream.

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