.Silicon Valley Beer Week

If anyone can reinvent the universe as we know it, Elon Musk can

GROUND CONTROL: Sometimes boastful, but usually serious and a bit shy, Elon Musk shared his thoughts about his life and business ventures at SXSW in 2013. Photograph by Dan Pulcrano

Just as the world was growing weary of the endless paeans to Steve Jobs as our times’ defining entrepreneur, along comes a figure who seems to be even more audacious, complex and transformational—while just getting started. His steely resolve makes Jobs look like a cultural romantic. Elon Musk combines a disciplined scientific mind with a dash of John DeLorean recklessness. The vastness of his ambition and formidable track record suggests the past and present—Paypal, Tesla, SolarCity, SpaceX—is but prologue, and bigger things are yet to come. For starters: hyperloop mass transit between the two Californias, battery-powered homes, self-driving cars, a mission to Mars.

The elusive Musk keeps writers at a distance. Undeterred by his subject’s refusal to cooperate, technology journalist Ashlee Vance, who like Musk is South African-born, began researching what became “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.” After digging for 18 months, Musk contacted Vance and met him for dinner at The Sea in Mountain View. Musk agreed to grant access without conditioning it on an advance reading, resulting in this groundbreaking biography.

Published three months ago, it quickly became a best seller. Metro is pleased to present this excerpt from one of the year’s better Silicon Valley reads…

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