If you saw “60 Minutes” last night, you know that Elon Musk is a billionaire entrepreneur who, as head of Tesla Motors, has built an electric car that goes from zero to sixty mph in four seconds. He is also the cofounder of Space X, which builds launch vehicle rockets and spacecraft. And these are just two of the science-fiction-like ventures he’s involved in.
When Musk described how he went broke and almost had a nervous breakdown in his thirties, it was yet another example of just how relentless great entrepreneurs can be. They also have little regard for conventional wisdom. Everyone Musk knew tried to convince him that starting a rocket company was crazy. He did it anyway, and today he has the distinction of being the only private contractor to send a spacecraft into orbit and retrieve it.
The god of the masses is “conventional wisdom,” which is a belief that just because something hasn’t been done before, it can’t be. Until, of course, some crazy guy like Elon Musk comes along and actually does it, after which that person’s way of doing things becomes the new conventional wisdom.
It’s yet another reminder why you should always be skeptical of conventional wisdom. Not only is it often wrong, it tends to be diametrically opposed to progress.