Elon Musk: the real Tony Stark of the 21st century?

Written by Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner shares some futurist quotes from Elon Musk, who could be this generation’s bona fide Tony Stark.

I just got back from Hong Kong having keynoted at the Next Bank FF16 Fintech Finals conference, which ran Monday and Tuesday, in partnership with StartmeupHK.

Elon Musk. Photo by OnInnovation

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A highlight of the week was a fireside chat with Elon Musk, who appeared before a sold out, invitation-only audience that I felt lucky to be invited along to, as well as the whole thing beamed out live to the Next Bank Conference and online.

I’m sure most of you know who Elon is, but just in case … he was one of the founding team of PayPal, who, after eBay bought the firm, went on to create the world’s most successful electric car brand, Tesla, as well as other visionary activities around space travel with SpaceX, solar power with SolarCity, and replacing high-speed trains with the Hyperloop transport system.

You can watch the whole interview if you want (see end of blog entry), but I would suggest missing the first 20 minutes or so, as it was just a discussion about Tesla cars. This is an important area for Hong Kong, because the country is the largest Tesla car market in the world, where 2,221 Model S sedans were sold in 2015, making the electric car the top-selling sedan in Hong Kong. However, talking Tesla wasn’t as illuminating as much as the second half, when Elon expanded on some thoughts around technology, space travel, and more.

Elon Musk quote highlights

 All new cars will be self-driving within 10-15 years.

 Innovation comes from questioning the way things have been done before.

 Just as elevators used to have drivers, that’s how we’ll see cars.

 You could easily power the whole of China with solar (power).

 We’ll have the first flights to Mars by 2025.

 Going to Mars will be dangerous, challenging and difficult. If you want safe and comfortable, Mars isn’t it.

 If we could upload our brains to the cloud, “you’d never forget anything,” but beware DDoS.

I was particularly gratified to see the tweet below afterwards:

The best moment was seeing the startup pitches from the very early growth visionaries in Hong Kong (yes, these are children).

StartmeupHK youth. Image: Chris Skinner

– This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. You can read the original article here. Image: JD Hancock

About the author

Chris Skinner

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets through the Finanser, and chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club, which he founded in 2004. He is an author of numerous books covering everything from European regulations in banking through to the credit crisis, to the future of banking.

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