"Speed Wins, Even Against a Much Larger Competitor"

"Speed Wins, Even Against a Much Larger Competitor"

"Speed Wins, Even Against a Much Larger Competitor"

At the October 7th session of the Whiting-Turner Business and Entrepreneurial Lecture Series, entitled "Making the Most of Change and Opportunity," Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of SpaceX, held forth on "Technology and Entrepreneurship" before a capacity crowd in the Resnick Lecture Hall.

Musk has degrees in physics and business and has built and sold two successful Internet-based companies, PayPal and Zip2. He focused most of his discussion on his latest enterprise, SpaceX, which competes in the highly challenging market for commercial launch craft dominated by Boeing, Lockheed, and Orbital Sciences. SpaceX to date has obtained commitments for two launches. In addition to reviewing technical aspects of his company's small and medium payload rockets, Musk drew a number of conclusions about entrepreneurship:

  • "Speed wins, even against a much larger competitor. Do it faster than they can."

  • "A small change in the convenience of using a product can have a major effect on customer acceptance."

  • "If you fail, fail for a new reason, not the same reasons that brought everyone else down."

An intensive Q/A session, including a request by one listener for a job application, was held after the lecture.

The next Whiting-Turner lecture will be given by Robert Murphy, President, Technology Solutions Sector, BAE Systems, November 18, 2004, on "Strategy and Disruptive Leadership in Defense Services."

October 7, 2004


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"If you fail, fail for a new reason, not the same reasons that brought everyone else down."

Elon Musk



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