Elon Musk - the man, is synonymous with Tesla, Hyperloop, SpaceX, SolarCity, and Neuralink. He is held in awe by many for exploring and exploiting technologies in methods few can even conceptualize.
So, when the genius innovator states that 'technology does not just automatically improve,' one must pay heed! Technology is something we have taken for granted in our everyday lives. We assume that the internet will get faster, the AI more advanced, transportation easier, and food production more efficient. Most of us, end-users of technology, blindly consume it expecting it to keep getting better and better.
But, as Musk suggests, the development of technology is not a linear curve. In fact, history shows that humans as a race have lost much of the tech developed by ancient civilizations over time. We wonder how our ancestors built the pyramids or the aqueducts and consider them 'wonders' of the world. The strides we make today can be lost in the sands of time. It is indeed a humbling lesson.
According to Elon Musk concerted and focused effort by many is what makes advancements and innovations possible. He stipulates that failure is an option, especially when one tries to build something that has never been built before. The ability to fail, yet not lose focus, is a running theme among those who have made a world of difference in this world.
The dedicated focus that he refers to is the product of his philosophies on life and living. It is the direct result of his conviction that life must be preserved, and for this, sustainability is key. His conviction that sustainable fuels are necessary for the future has driven him to pour his considerable resources, time, and reputation behind projects like Tesla.
Meaningful competition, he believes, can bring forth better innovations and provide customers with products of more value. This thinking has led him to not 'protect' his intellectual property patents. He has made Tesla patents open-source, meaning anyone can use the technology to develop an electric car.
Working 'for the greater good' is a theme that is often repeated in his interactions. That in itself can be the biggest motivation to keep pursuing a goal, even if it's way ahead of its time. As Musk has said, "If it has a small amount of good for a large number of people, I think that's fine. Stuff doesn't need to change the world just to be good."
This could be the mantra for us all: Keep Improving.