Elon Musk, Founder and CEO, Tesla and SpaceX
More than any other Silicon Valley entrepreneur today, Elon Musk is a fountain of audacious, world-changing ideas. Tesla’s electric cars are upending the automotive industry and reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels that cause global warming. SolarCity also aims to reduce fossil fuel dependence by making solar power for homes affordable and easy to install. SpaceX is one of a handful of companies trying to accelerate space exploration by bringing the energy and enthusiasm of the private sector to bear.
If that weren’t enough, Musk also came up with an idea for a new type of high-speed transportation system called the Hyperloop, which would take people between San Francisco and Los Angeles — about 400 miles — in 30 minutes. Now several companies are raising funds from venture capitalists to try to make this dream a reality.
Musk has a reputation of being tough on employees, expecting long hours and hard work. But the rare ability to conceive of huge ideas that benefit humanity, and then getting enough people to buy into the vision to form companies around it, is a singular talent.