It’s not every day you get the opportunity to ask two great businessmen any question you wish. On Thursday, Tesla Motors CEO and the man who wants to use a hyperloop to send people from L.A. to San Francisco in 30 minutes, Elon Musk, and Virgin’s Richard Branson participated in a Google Hangout, answering questions from curious entrepreneurs on how to start and manage a successful business.
Some of the highlights:
According to Musk, the first two to five years are the most challenging for a startup. He reminded everyone that the first three launches SpaceX did failed because “we were too stupid to know how to make a rocket go to orbit.” He recommended against trying to start two companies at once.
Musk says, when starting a company, to seek out feedback and advice, even though it might be hard to get an honest response.
When asked how to change the world without letting the world change you, Branson said, “a good leader does not try to do everything themselves.”
Asked about his next venture, Musk said that while he has too much on his plate right now, running SpaceX and Tesla, he wants to see a supersonic, electric, vertical take-off aircraft. “If somebody doesn’t do that, maybe at some point in the future, I will.” Oh, and he added, “teleportation would be cool, certainly.”