Elon Musk believed Tesla & SpaceX would Fail

elon muskWhen Elon Musk was in London for the launch of the Tesla Model S in the United Kingdom he did an interview with the BBC's  (British Broadcasting Corporation) Business Daily podcast.  He talked with Business Daily correspondent Justin Rowlett about Tesla, SpaceX, and his early career on the internet.  It was a pretty interesting and I was surprised by what he said later in the interview.

“I like working on technology that will have a positive effect on the world. You know, stuff that is going to matter and if we don't solve it there could be some bad outcome for out future, the future of humanity.  When we started SpaceX, and Tesla in particular, I didn't think either of them particularly would succeed.”

Justin Rowlett, the interviewer, than asked, “So you imagined both of them would fail when you started them?”

“I thought that was the most likely outcome… Initially I thought I'll take half the money and I'll keep the other half, and this other half will probably be lost and then I'll still have the other half.  That was my initial thought, but then the company's needed much more money than originally anticipated and of course we had the big recession in 2008.  Well, I could either keep the money, and the company was definitely going to die, or invest what I have left and maybe there is a chance.”

Elon Musk also discussed the early days of the internet and how nobody really thought it would go anywhere at the beginning of the interview.

“When I started Zip2 which was in the summer of 95, nobody had made any money on the internet.  It wasn't some land of riches or something like that.  Most people didn't know what the internet was including Silicon Valley.  We tried getting funding from venture capitalists and most of them had never used the internet.  If they had used the internet they were convinced nobody would ever make any money on it.  So our initial goals with Zip2 were quite modest, would we ever be able to make enough buy to eat and pay for rent?  That was our goal in the beginning.”

If you would like to listen to the whole interview with Elon Musk, visit the BBC Business Daily podcast page.  The Elon Musk interview was posted on June 9th, 2014 and is titled “Elon Musk: Space and Electric Cars.”  Be aware that the BBC only keeps podcast available 30 days after airing.

Let me know what you think about entrepreneurship and failure.  Is that just part of the game?  Especially with innovative companies like Tesla and SpaceX?

*Article originally published here

Smart and Simple Domain Name Marketing in Real Estate

domain name marketing

The other day I was walking my singing dogs when I saw a smart and simple domain name marketing tactic for real estate.  Look at the “For Sale” sign in this picture.  Do you notice anything different?

Well, on top of the For Sale sign there is a domain name for the house.  If you visit “3808Greenway.com” the website is basic but shows you information on this house which is up for sale.  Information on the site includes the price, detailed pictures of the house, property highlights, a loan calculator, aerial view, map it feature, send to a friend, and even more.  In addition there is a widget to “Call Me” and you can request info on the house from the realtors if you more interested in more details.

What I like about putting a domain name on top of a “For Sale” sign is that I have no interest in buying this house.  Yet as someone passing by (who knows about domain names, web marketing, SEO, etc) I still visited the website to see what it was about.  Who knows, maybe I know a friend looking for a house in the area and I can easily email them this website on the house.  Someone could also be walking around the neighborhood looking for a house and automatically get more information, without having to call anyone.

Considering that web hosting only costs $10 a month with from a reputable hosting company, like Site5, it is a no-brainier expense if you are a real estate agent.  Since real estate agents earn a nice commission on a house like this, why wouldn't you invest the money to setup a website for your houses listings?

Honestly, I don't think I've seen any other real estate marketing that has been this effective.  After I noticed this For Sale sign I've checking around town to see if there are other signs using this simple website marketing tactic.  It seems Andrea Griffin and James Baldwin of Prudential Homesale YWGC Realty are the only ones in the Baltimore area that I have seen.  Of course, I am not in the market for a house in Baltimore so I am not too focused on checking every house listing.  However if you know of a good deal on a house in Hawaii, let me know.

What do you think of this smart and simple domain name marketing tactic?  Do you think setting up a website could help sell a house?  What about selling other products?

Sir Richard Branson Interview on Necker Island

If you want to get some solid advice about starting and running a business you need to watch this interview of Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island.  While the interview runs 36 minutes, a bit long for some people's attentions spans nowadays, it is definitely well worth the time to watch or listen to.

The interview was conducted by Joe Polish along with Marie Forleo and Yanik Silver.  Branson takes about what he thinks makes people successful in business.  One thing I really took away from the interview was when he said, “You don't set out to be an entrepreneur but you set out to make a difference in people's lives.”  I totally agree with this as I think too many people get caught up in being an entrepreneur and making a startup instead of actually making a useful product or service.

He also emphasizes that you need to build a great team as well as find people that have skills which are beyond what you can do.  I know I don't always delegate tasks well and others don't too.  This is something good to keep in mind when trying to expand or start a business as a lot of people try to do too much themselves.

Richard Branson also has a lot other great advice in this interview which I think anyone who owns or wants to start a business will get out a lot out of.  If you want to be successful you need to get advice from successful people.  Since Branson's Virgin empire includes an airline, a space company, a wireless company, and everything in-between he knows what he is talking about.

By the way, in case you didn't know Necker Island is a 74-acre private island that Sir Richard Branson owns in the Virgin Islands.  Ahhh, how nice it would be to be a billionaire.  If you take his advice maybe one day you will be.

sir richard branson