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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Elon Muskの伝記、BWで抜粋が読める

 


今やアメリカを代表する起業家となったイーロンマスクの伝記が発売されたようで、NYTも書評を出しています。マスク公認の伝記ではないものの彼もインタビューに応じたりして協力している現時点での決定版ともいえる内容のようです。

ビジネスウィークの記者が書いたためか、抜粋を今週号のビジネスウィークで読むことができます。9千語近くの長い記事で、スペースXの立ち上げ時の一番大変な時期を描いています。テスラとの両立が難しくなっている中、なんとかやりくりをする様子は読んでる方も息詰まる感じでした。マスクでなければこんな修羅場を乗り越えられなかっただろうと書いている部分です。

Elon Musk’s Space Dream Almost Killed Tesla
By Ashlee Vance | May 14, 2015
Illustrations by The Red Dress
SpaceX started with a plan to send mice to Mars. It got crazier from there.

Antonio Gracias, a Tesla and SpaceX investor and one of Musk’s closest friends, had watched all of this transpire; 2008 told him everything he would ever need to know about Musk’s character. “He has the ability to work harder and endure more stress than anyone I’ve ever met,” Gracias said. “What he went through in 2008 would have broken anyone else. Most people who are under that sort of pressure fray. Their decisions go bad. Elon gets hyperrational. He’s still able to make very clear, long-term decisions. The harder it gets, the better he gets.”

ニューヨークタイムズの書評はどちらもジョブズとの比較をキャッチとしています。スペースXやテスラの部分は太鼓持ちじゃないかと評価は厳しく、むしろ彼の生い立ちに詳しく触れた部分を褒めています。

‘Elon Musk,’ by Ashlee Vance
By JON GERTNER MAY 12, 2015

Since the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, only one Silicon Valley titan seems to carry a similar air of dark mystique. This would be Elon Musk, currently the C.E.O. of the rocket company SpaceX as well as the electric-car company Tesla Motors. The 43-year-old Musk is also chairman of SolarCity, the largest American solar power installation company. His wealth at the moment is estimated by Forbes to be around $13 billion, yet Musk emigrated from South Africa to Canada at age 17 with barely enough money to feed himself, living off the kindness of Canadian relatives and working odd jobs — cleaning boilers, cutting wood — before ultimately signing up for undergraduate classes at Queen’s University in Ontario. Not long after, Musk switched to the University of Pennsylvania to study economics and physics. Then he moved west to Silicon Valley and began to build and sell companies. He is now, quite arguably, the most successful and important entrepreneur in the world.

‘Elon Musk,’ a Biography by Ashlee Vance, Paints a Driven Portrait
MAY 12, 2015
By DWIGHT GARNER

“We’ve become a nation of indoor cats,” Dave Eggers wrote in “A Hologram for the King” (2012), his existential novel about an American doing IT work in the Saudi Arabian desert. “A nation of doubters, worriers, overthinkers.”

Ashlee Vance, in his new biography of the celebrity industrialist Elon Musk, delivers a similar notion of the deflating American soul. An early Facebook engineer tells Mr. Vance, “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” The author quotes the venture capitalist Peter Thiel: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

If Silicon Valley was holding out for a hero after Steve Jobs’s death, a disrupter in chief, it has found a brawny one in Mr. Musk. This South African-born entrepreneur, inventor and engineer is the animating force behind companies (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity) that have made startling advances in non-indoor-cat arenas: electric cars, space exploration and solar energy. He is all of 43.

ビジネスウィークの抜粋を読んでも、ほとんど何もないところから作り上げたエネルギーを感じますが、猛烈に働いていたところはどちらの評者も触れています。1日23時間働いていたというのは誇張でしょうが、文字通り休みなく働いていたのでしょう。動画でも1日20時間働いていたと語っていましたね。

(By DWIGHT GARNER)
The best thing Mr. Vance does in this book, though, is tell Mr. Musk’s story simply and well. It’s the story of an intelligent man, for sure. But more so it is the story of a determined one. Mr. Musk’s work ethic has always been intense. One observer says about him early on, “We all worked 20 hour days, and he worked 23 hours.”


(By JON GERTNER)
Vance traces the chaotic early years of these two firms — SpaceX and Tesla, respectively — with a compelling ticktock of events. We see that Musk is brutal on himself, routinely working 100-hour weeks. He is brutal as a boss, too, often berating or summarily firing colleagues while hogging credit for ­others’ accomplishments. Yet he is without question a leader who pushes risky ideas forward through a ­combination of long-range vision and deep technical intelligence. He knows how to hire good people and how to motivate them. Most important, he never, ever gives up.

どちらの評者も最後にはジョブズの比較ではなく、マスク自身がすごい存在であることを認めて終わりにしています。JON GERTNERの締めの部分です。

These faults hardly make Vance’s book unreadable, however. And until we see how things finish up many years from now — Will Tesla crash? Will SpaceX take us to Mars before NASA? Will Musk become the richest person in the world? — this work will likely serve as the definitive account of a man whom so far we’ve seen mostly through caricature. By the final pages, too, any reader will sense the need to put comparisons to Steve Jobs aside. Give Musk credit. There is no one like him.
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