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The two rules of Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, to learn anything quickly

In addition to being an eccentric billionaire, Elon Musk is considered by many to be one of the gurus of innovation and knowledge. A genius of the XXI century. Pioneer of online payments with Paypal, an unavoidable reference for electric cars with Tesla and of the aerospace industry with Space X, his word is often highly valued in the business and entrepreneurial environment.


A few years ago, Musk opened a AMA (Ask me anything, “Ask me what you want”) on the social network Reddit, with its own user, which is ElonMuskOfficial. At that time, Musk was asked how he learned new knowledge.

And it was then that he detailed his two sacred rules to learn something: the first is to build a “tree” of knowledge.

Elon Musk’s Reddit post

With this post he had opened, 5 years ago, the possibility that they would ask him anything.


“One piece of advice: it is important to see knowledge as a kind of semantic tree. Make sure you understand the fundamental principles, for example, the trunk and large branches, before going to study the leaves or details, or if there is something that ‘hangs’ from those branches ”, was the first point he made.

This, as he explains, means understanding that not everything has the same weight in knowledge, and that it is essential to understand the different parts that make up that tree.

In order to understand a problem, according to Musk, it is key to identify the “trunk” of it.

The second tip has to do with “connect”The different“ branches ”of the information, in their analogy. Let’s see.

Musk, a reference in innovation. Photo EFE

Musk, a reference in innovation. Photo EFE

His maxim is “You can’t remember what you can’t connect.” This is the whole point of the way Musk conceives of incorporating new information.

According to his explanation, Musk never learns something by chance. Everything that he incorporates is taken within a much broader idea of ​​progress of knowledge than, according to him, it has to do with the “hooks” we use to connect data.

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Combined, the two rules can be summarized as not rushing when incorporating new knowledge: it is key to identify the trunk first, and then start to study how their branches and leaves are connected to each other.

Musk, always looking to the future

Space X, your aerospace company. AP Photo

Space X, your aerospace company. AP Photo

“You want to wake up in the morning and to think that the future will be great, And that’s what being a space civilization is all about. It is about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out and being among the stars, “says Musk of his” mission “in Space X, one of the companies he founded and runs alongside others like Tesla, Neuralink and The Boring Company.

One of its great fixations is Mars and outer space. SpaceX is developing Starship, a fully reusable transportation system that will carry crew and cargo “to the Moon, Mars and beyond”, according to Musk, who boasts that his company “will be the first private company to take humans” to outer space.

This is how he defines his most ambitious company: “SpaceX pursues the long-term objective of turning humans into a species of multiple planets by creating a self-sufficient city on Mars”, the website states and they assure that “it is working on a next generation of fully reusable launch vehicles that will be the most powerful ever built, capable of transporting humans to Mars and other destinations in the solar system. “

Surely most of your companies have been founded under this guiding principle of knowledge that the South African businessman handles.

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