7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups

Seven fantastic books on Elon Musk to inspire and guide startups in their own quest to success.

Startup founders and wanna-be entrepreneurs often have a role-model, someone they admire for their vision into the future, and their ability to create a successful company out of nothing.  

For many, that role model may be Elon Musk. Musk represents the indomitable force and tenacity that it takes to transform one's dreams into not one, but several successful companies, all driven by innovation and a mission to accomplish something big: To change the world, to save the world, to build a world on another planet. 

Perhaps, just perhaps, Elon Musk will be known as the human being who was visionary enough to take humanity to the next level: A multi-planetary species. 

All the books I have chosen are ranked four stars and above.

Find a box of chocolates, get your favorite coffee, get comfy with one or all of these books, and happy reading! If you prefer to listen to your books while out for a walk, there is an audiobook option for each of the books. 

Elon Musk: A Mission to Save the World (2019)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
When Elon thinks of his life mission, saving the world comes first, Source: Anna Crowley Redding/Amazon

Is Elon Musk the most successful entrepreneur in the whole world? If you read enough about this maverick and visionary behind some of the most successful companies on the planet, you will be ready to answer the question yourself. 

Elon Musk is behind companies that manufacture electric vehicles, build underground tunnels, install solar panels, create chips for the brain, send rockets to space, and plan for colonizing Mars. If you think about it for a second, they are all intertwined. Those are the companies that will build the first human base on Mars. 

Behind the Musk's capacity to create marvellous things and devote his life to create a future that seems like a realm of a science fiction book, there is a story of a bullied, shy, and beaten school boy, someone who through creativity and determination decided to rewrite his story and work to make the world a better place. And what Elon Musk does is done with a sense of fun and style.

Elon Musk has always gone his own way. He follows his own rules. He makes his own path. Anna Crowley Redding takes readers on a well-researched trip through Elon's life and accomplishments. 


Elon Musk: The Life, Lessons, and Rules for Success (2018)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
Lessons by Musk, Source: Influential Individuals/Amazon

Elon Musk seems to be everywhere all at once. Have you ever wondered how can he manage to do all what he does, as if his days had some secret extra hours that we do not have? Will he run companies on both Mars and Earth in the future? 

Between space rockets, electric cars, solar batteries, and research into killer robots, Elon Musk still has time for personal life. What lessons can we learn from him to lead a more productive life? 

The author's aim of this book is to be educational and inspirational with actionable principles that we all can incorporate into our own life straight from the man who seems to have all the answers for success. 

Elon Musk: The Unauthorized Autobiography (2018)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
Source: J.T.Owens/Amazon

Elon Musk: The Unauthorized Autobiography by J.T.Owens chronicles his life and the history and philosophy behind Tesla, SpaceX, PayPal, The Boring Company, and Neuralink. In addition, the book goes further into exploring today's most pressing issues, and offers a radical vision for the future of mankind. Worth having a look, indeed. 


The book explores ventures such as: 

  • Igniting the electric vehicle (EV) revolution and transition the world to sustainable energy

  • Making life multi-planetary by establishing a human colony on Mars

  • Revolutionizing long-distance travel with multi-level tunnels

  • Developing a brain-computer interface to fight the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (2017)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
A best-selling biography, Source: Ashlee Vance/Amazon

This New York Times Bestseller is a walk-through Elon Musk's entrepreneurial vision and his business empire. Ashlee Vance writes an authorized look into the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley's most exciting, unpredictable, ambitious, and inspirational entrepreneurs. 

Ashlee Vance builds on Elon Musk's story to explore questions of our time. Vance argues that Elon Musk is "one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history, a contemporary, visionary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. This is definitely a must-read that will not disappoint you.  

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Young Readers' Edition (2017)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
A must-read for every young visionary, those who get bored at school, Source: Ashlee Vance/Amazon

If you enjoyed Ashlee Vance's Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, and have children of your own, or a curious nephew or niece, this adaptation for young readers would be a fantastic gift, indeed. 


The book features black-and-white photographs, and can be a great introduction to young readers into the life and work of a contemporary innovative leader. The book can sparkle curiosity in industries such as space, automotive, and energy. And who knows? Perhaps it could awaken the next Elon Musk. 

According to the author, the book was written with exclusive access to Elon, his family, and his friends, tracing Elon's journey from his early years in South Africa to his early youth in The United States. This book promises to give young readers a detailed but fast-paced look into Elon Musk's story. 

Rocket Man: Elon Musk in his Own Words (In Their Own Words) (2017)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
When words count, quotes make history, Source: Jessica Easto/Amazon 

Author Jessica Easto has compiled visionary CEO of Tesla and SpaceX's most insightful, thought-provoking, and revealing quotes all in a single book. Rocket Man: Elon Musk in His Own Words is an open book to the entrepreneur's sharp thoughts on business, clean energy, innovation, engineering, space, technology, electric vehicles, life lessons, and entrepreneurship. 


In this book, Jessica Easto took time to curate and compile Elon Musk's quotes from interviews, public appearances, online postings, company blogs, and press releases. This is a close look into Musk's creative thinking. 

Elon Musk has repeatedly said that both Tesla and SpaceX's missions are to improve life as we know it and better secure the future of humanity. If you want to know how you can try to achieve the same through your company, or if you are simply curious about how the mind of this serial-entrepreneur operates, you will enjoy this book. 

The Elon Musk Collection (2016)

7 Books on Elon Musk That Will Inspire Startups
A fantastic guide for startups and founders, Source: Steve Gold/Amazon 

In The Elon Musk Collection, author Steve Gold explores the seven key principles of Elon Musk’s business and personal success by having a deep look into the meaning of some of Musk's own quotes in order to shed light on topics such as:

  • The importance of knowing what you want and why you want it

  • The positive effects which stem from embracing change

  • Why we must plan for the worst to prevent it from happening

  • The simple truth when it comes to hard work

  • Why you must regularly monitor your results and question your actions

  • Knowing when to take risks

  • The value of patience and persistence

The fact is, these books are not just for startups and their founders. We can all learn a great deal from Elon Musk. Having a closer look into his life and entrepreneurial career, we can all accomplish some success, both in business and in life.

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