Elon Musk has built three revolutionary multibillion dollar companies. What makes it even more incredible is that they are in entirely different fields — Paypal (Financial Services), Tesla Motors (Automotive), and SpaceX (Aerospace). When asked about how he managed to do this, he said the following: “I do think there is a good framework for thinking. It is physics – you know the sort of first principles reasoning … What I mean by that is boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there as opposed to reasoning by analogy. Though most of our life we get through it by reasoning through analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations. And you have to do that, otherwise mentally you wouldn’t be able to get through the day. But when you want to do something new you have to apply the physics approach. Physics has really figured out how to discover new things that are counter-intuitive, like quantum mechanics … so I think that’s an important thing to do. This may sound like simple advice but hardly anyone does that and it’s incredibly helpful.” Just like Musk, some of the most brilliant minds of all time — Aristotle, Euclid, Thomas Edison, Feynman, and Nikola Tesla — use this model to accelerate learning, solve difficult problems, and create outstanding work.
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