Elon Musk – when positive disruption changes the world and takes us to the stars

Elon Musk. Rarely has a name produced so much emotion. Joy, anger, jealousy, frustration, admiration. It’s fair to say that Musk attracts all of those feelings and more from all various factions of the internet.

Well, at Startup Disrupt, we love the guy. Beyond his incessant Monty Python references and memelord status, there’s something deep in his approach to life, business, and innovation which we at Startup Disrupt want to promote and emulate to the best of our abilities.

From a divorced family, with two siblings and a mum who worked several jobs to keep her children in school and to keep food on the table, Elon’s upbringing was far from ‘here’s money son, go start a company’. He left South Africa for a better life in the US where he knew innovation and positive disruption was seen as a plus, not a hindrance.

Disrupting the status quo was the core for Elon and his brother, with whom he started his first company, Zip2. Things followed in very quick succession, showing the world how PayPal, which Elon also cofounded positively disrupted and completely changed the world of finance and online payments.

Some people might give up at this stage – take the money, buy a yacht, and live happily on a huge sum of money until retirement. But this isn’t the Musk way. This isn’t the innovator’s way. This isn’t the way of positive disruption, which is more of a way of life and an embedded behavioral trait than something that leaves you.

With the historic launch of Dragon with live crew on May 30th, the culmination of 18 years of hard work, failures, emotion, and struggle transformed into a moment of global joy, a sense of hope, and a new dawn for space travel and exploration.

The thought of starting a space company, an electric car company, a brain interface, an AI open source company, a company to dig tunnels under cities for a fraction of the current tunneling price, as well as the invention of novel solar roofs, is daunting. You’re essentially disrupting several old, institutionalized industries simultaneously (and boy, did this earn Elon a lot of enemies). It’s enough for several people for several lifetimes to attempt. But Elon went for it and decided to dream big, with the probability of failure being truly high.

But the risk paid off. Yes, he doesn’t do everything perfectly. Yes, there have been bumps in the road. Yes, there’s a long road ahead. But SpaceX, Tesla, Solar City, Neuralink, Open AI, the Boring Company, and PayPal have redefined the world in which we live. All through positive disruption. All through innovation and dreaming, ad using your life to work hard and go after your dreams, however crazy they may sound.

These risks won’t always pay off. How many rockets exploded before the historic launch of Dragon a few days ago. But as Elon himself says: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

Disrupt. Innovate. Dream. Don’t be afraid. Taking the risk is always better than waiting for the future to come to you. We’re here to support you as much we can and it’s our mission to make positive disruption a reality.

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