How To Generate Ideas Like Elon Musk
Does Elon Musk even need an intro?
"Sending money through the internet is hard". Fuck that, I made Paypal. Global payments? Solved!"Wait, it costs HOW MUCH to get to space?" Boom! Reduce costs by 90% and make reusable rockets. Space X.
"Fossil fuels are going to kill the earth" Build a solar power company!
"Car companies suck..." Reality is just a recommendation, I built Tesla!
Oh, and for fun on the side, I'm going to drill tunnels (The Boring Company) under cities and spec city to city high speed transport (Hyperloop) and connect human brains to computers (NeuraLink)
Who is this guy? It's like the rest if humanity isn't even trying.
So how does Elon Musk come up with all these killer ideas?
Simple: Have Diverse Interests
Have Diverse Interests
Throughout history, some of the greatest idea generators -- like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Leonardo DaVinci -- had wide and varied interests.
(A) Letting your subconscious mind work - Much of creativity and ideation happens when your mind isn't actively attacking a problem, something that Einstein solved by drifting aimlessly at sea. Working in multiple interests means you can shelve one problem and work on another, but your mind is still subconsciously turning a problem over in your head.
(B) Encouraging cross pollination - Often there are ideas in one discipline that can be applied to solve problems in another. One famous examples of this is the Black Scholes equation. The Nobel Prize winning options pricing formula was an application of a known solution in physics (heat diffusion)
(C) Reinforcing a growth mindset - Have you ever met a know-it-all who is stuck in the past? Being an expert in one field can do that to anyone. But constantly exploring new domains forces you to start from nothing, stay curious, child-like, and humble; this can help even experts keep an open mind about different ideas and solutions.
Ideas For Cultivating Diverse Interests
1. Host Jefferson Dinners
A Jefferson Dinner is a dinner with a specific format the encourages sharing ideas and expanding your knowledge. Thomas Jefferson famously did this at Monticello and gathered experts in various fields to learn from. Here's more about Jefferson Dinners. (link: https://jeffersondinner.org/jefferson-dinner/
2. Read other people's ideas
A great way to expose yourself to other ideas is to read from diverse sources. Bill Gates has someone bring him a new stack of books every week, which he reads from in his spare time.Another way you can expose yourself to other people's ideas is to read people's posts on Daily Idea!3. Listen to podcasts
Listen to podcasts - podcasts can often give you an inside look into HOW people think or their dialogue between friends.