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The Elon Musk Blog Series: Wait But Why

4.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,518 ratings  ·  131 reviews
In 2015, Elon Musk reached out to blogger Tim Urban and asked him if he'd take a crack at explaining Elon's endeavors, and the industries surrounding them, to the world.

Tim accepted, and after extensive meetings with Elon and his staff, he wrote four blog posts that Vox’s David Roberts called “the meatiest, most fascinating, most satisfying posts I've read in ages.”

Kindle Edition, 550 pages
Published February 29th 2016 by Lioncrest Publishing
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May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely the best tech writing I've read recently. The blog series has four posts (each post might take several days to finish). My reactions after reading the posts one by one:
1. Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man - Hmm, I already know about Musk. But this guy writes really well, so I'm gonna continue.
2. How Tesla Will Change the World: Wow I thought Tesla is just a cool car company, but it's actually going to revolutionize the whole industry.
3. How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars: WTF I
Simon Eskildsen
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent series on what Musk is doing, and why. The Musk biography goes much more into the personal life of Musk, whereas this approaches it from a technical angle. This is what Musk would want you to read. If you only read one between the biography and the blog series, read the blog series.
Vlad Dobrovan
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is so freaking good. The E-Book (basically a big ass blog series) is focused on 3 things: Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX. Tim has a great style of writing. It is also coupled with some nice humor here and there and great, simple associations that are great when you are trying to explain stuff about combustion engines or the relative distance to Mars. He also covers a lot more than only those 3 topics in order to create meaningful context. This is a terrific book for pretty much anyone to read. Es ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not just about Musk. The blog series contains a lot of information about the science of cars and space. I'm pretty sure that all of it is understandable to everyone and very interesting. Highly recommend it ...more
Guilherme Zeitounlian
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so great.

I read Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future , and that biography was a nice starting point to get to know more about Musk and his personal history.

In this book (which is a series of blog posts condensed) the focus is mainly on Tesla and SpaceX.

Tim Urban is very talented in making complex topics (such as energetic matrix and aeronautics) become fun and engaging.

I feel that is the way science and engineering are supposed to be: brimming with desire
Awesome series of essays written by Tim Urban, originally on his blog Wait But Why (very highly recommended), about Elon Musk's work, why it's incredible, and why its later developments and his visions are important for the survival of our species as a whole. ...more
Caio Ferreira
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing and it blew my mind! It was super cool get to know more about Elon way of think and his way of look to the world. The way Tim Urban writes is amazing and easy to read.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The Elon Musk Blog Series" is not just about Elon so don't be fooled by the title. Ok? The main reason the author has written these series is "to understand why Musk is doing what he's doing" and "to understand why Musk is able to do what he's doing." If you want to know about Musk, read his biography. If you want to know about science, read this.

The blog mainly focuses on Tesla and SpaceX, but it also covers other interesting topics. In the second part "How Tesla will change the World" you can
Mike McDonald
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first three of the blog sections I found absolutely fascinating. The author does a great job of making physics understandable and even enjoyable to think about. The things Elon Musk is doing are pretty amazing, and this book is well worth the read. I did find the fourth post about Musk's "special sauce" rather disappointing, as the author repeatedly contradicted himself and argued for a typical humanistic, individualist mindset as the secret to success. He frequently refers to reasoning for ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tim Urban has amazing writing style, he makes very complex things sound very easy and he dissects why what Elon Musk does is important and ground-breaking. You can see he is a big fan of his work but so am I.
I learned a lot about sustainable energy, car industry, solar system and space industry. I loved last chapter of the book where Tim talks about what makes Elon special, critical reasoning and being a chef.
I couldn't help thinking that we live in amazing era of mind-blowing discoveries and I
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Elon Musk: he was more than a genius and more than a billionaire. His stories have brought me back to my childhood's dreams which were buried with "educated" realities. He definitely is my inspiration.
For the book: it has explained not just what but how and why Elon is doing what he's doing. It doesn't just showcase Elon's genius visions but also inspires me to think different and reassess my goals.
Yet. I still find some parts of the book is quite cliche and redundant, prolixity which kind of b
Andras Fuchs
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology
Fantastic subject, fantastically written!

This book contains so much amazing information that it blows my mind. The most wonderful surprise was the last chapter for me which is basically a recipe how to mimic the ways of thinking of the exceptional men like Elon Musk, Steve Job or Richard Feynman.

Highly recommend reading for everyone, who wants to follow his/her highest excitement to make our world a better place (just like Elon).
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2011-2015
If there is one book I would recommend to any random stranger I meet, it would be this.

Witty, fascinating and mind blowing.

I recognize my bias here but if this were a physical book it would be worth its weight in gold.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's awesome to have read something that is so balanced between fun and science-y. I started this book after finished the other Elon Musk book by Ashlee Vance. Both compliment each other quite amazingly. ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's hard for me to comprehend how much this blog series affected me. Great stuff. Looking forward to see the future. ...more
Jon Zuckerman
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Have you read this yet? If you haven't then shame on you. It's a life changer and it's free on, I promise there's nothing in your life more important than this. Cmon now. ...more
Ramin Shams
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Tim Urban is one of the best (if not simply the best), most insightful bloggers ever. He's got a very distinctive writing style and has an absolute gift in taking rather complicated subjects, dissecting different layers around them and explaining them one by one in an easy-to-read manner, helping the reader gain a very structured, deep knowledge about the subject. Add Tim's excellent sense of humor to this already fabulous mix and you have something you can hardly put aside.

The Elon Musk Blog Se
Daniel Sociu
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, if you ever wonder how to improve the world and how Elon Musk does this already you can read this. Tim has a very objective view here, going to the roots of space and cars, explaining you pretty much everything you need to know to understand more about Elon and his companies. Also it explains you where the world's science level is at the moment, and imo most of the companies that should improve science are stuck in their own world, not daring to make a huge change.
I honestly think it had a
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This blog series tried to explain how and why Elon does what he does. Very interesting!
Highly recommended.
Srikkanth G
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Man, this book is a mix of philosophy, Musk, Science, human behaviour and other stuff.

I read somewhere that this book simplifies what Elon Musk is doing. Since I wanted to know, in simple terms, what the man is doing, I tried to give this book a shot.

At about a quarter of the book, I realized that it's not as simple as I thought. The book is simple for science lovers and people who understand most concepts but doesn't want jargons to bore them. Think of simplifying a science text for a group o
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tim, I enjoyed every letter of it!!! Amazing! Exciting!
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Simply wow. Tim Urban is the man. Possibly the most inspiring, fascinating, compelling, interesting and thought-provoking blog series I've ever read. Tim masterfully weaves together a tremendous story that is simply captivating while also incredibly educational. From the background on Musk and his upbringing to the bigger picture behind the companies he's created to how Tesla will change the world to why SpaceX is attempting to colonize Mars to how in the heck Musk is able to accomplish wha ...more
Himanshu Modi
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The definitive Elon Musk book.

I think Tim would hate the review title. Not because he would deny being a musk fanboy - I don’t think he would, and there’s no one more deserving of having fanboys. But more because the scope of the book is much larger than Elon Musk. And Tim earnestly wants you to glean the important lessons to make your own life better, the planet a better place to love in, and hope for our species to become a permanent fixture in the grand timeline of the universe. It is a massi
Nathan Hatch
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book on the Wait But Why website, thinking it was just a blog post. To be fair, Tim warns you up front that they made an ebook for offline reading. I should have listened. Had I listened, I might have had more realistic expectations about what I was getting into, might have read at a more moderate pace. But no. This blog series completely sucked me in, took over my life, and finally spat me back out again when I was finished with it two days later.

When you finish this book
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read for fans of Elon and simple explanations of complex things

Tim's discussion of the neat technologies is a great hook for what later becomes a deep dive into the histories (and reasons) for the industries that grew up around those technologies. He discusses a lot of the "why" regarding the decisions that Elon has made, Tim himself has made, and surprisingly the decisions that people in general make.

Would recommend the read if both you fancy a glimpse into a possible future (with elec
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Holy shit, that was amazing!
This is about the most inspirational book I've read in the past many years. Tim Urban has some brilliant pieces on the Wait But Why blog, but this... this was a whole new level of awesomeness.

Communicating important ideas clearly to the general public has become increasingly important and quite difficult to pull off without either A) oversimplifying the idea or B) drowning the listener in a sea of technical terms - but Tim has somehow managed without too much of eithe
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Context: Have recently been attempting to understand the future implication of bitcoin and associated blockchain technologies (which has seemingly captured every other headline over the last couple months), so decided to revisit these blog posts (on Mr. Musk's companies and goals, which is arguably the "coolest" thing in auto, energy and aerospace) to round out my knowledge of where we are now, in relation to where we're likely heading in the future.

Liked: Incredibly cool, mind-blowing content.
Piinhuann Chew
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who want to do something bold but lack of courage
Two things:
1) Records of inspiring things Elon Musk is working on:
- Send people to Mars (SpaceX)
- Make very efficient electric cars so that gasoline cars will be reduced (Tesla)

2) The author's opinion on what we can learn from the conducts of Elon Musk
- Think originally ( We should think based on "First reasoning principle" instead of "Reasoning by analogy/conventional wisdom" )
- The best way to live life is to treat it as a huge laboratory and carry out many bold experiments to test bold hypoth
Rishabh Natarajan
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best pieces of writing I've ever read

In the first two posts of this blog series, Tim Urban beautifully lays out the background for each industry that Elon Musk operates in, including how it began and how we got here and hence why Elon does what he does. Then Tim delves a little more into Elon, the man himself, before finishing off with how and why Elon Musk is who he is and how we all can be like that.

If you've ever read Tim Urban's Wait But Why? blog you will once again be treated to
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. I loved the chapter on Tesla which is mind changing. Describing how eating is a way to "steal joules" as a induction for why electric cars matter was highly relevant and very well explained.

Unfortunately, the other chapters are not matching the Tesla chapter in quality. SpaceX is still less well motivated. I somehow get it, but the bet of aliens had not much to do with the storyline.

There is a thought provoking last chapter where the author describes his scientific view
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