How Elon Musk’s Storytelling Can Help You Grow Your Good Idea

Elon Musk, the marmite man.

Do you love him, or hate him?

Whatever your view, it’s undeniable he has an unparalleled track record in bringing big ideas to life – using masterful storytelling to get people on board.

It takes skill and effort to take a complex subject matter and make it simple.

Answering this question is one route to demonstrating how you convey your idea in it’s simplest terms…

What problem are you committed to solving and why?

If I can only chose between love or hate. Then, I love him, but with the caveat that he’s human, so isn’t perfect.

I read the following Twitter thread recently, which digs into stories that might be driving him. Especially around his recent comments that he hates Chomsky. It’s well worth a read.

Great find Neil – an interesting example that interrogates the winners and losers that fall out of a story system that is mainly controlled by the 1%.

A stark (excuse the pun!) reminder about how important it is to examine the stories we tell ourselves about the work we do, within the context of wider narratives within society. Whether you identify with them or not.

I found a great example of Musk’s own elevator pitch - and as always, he certainly places himself as the hero in his story.

“I’m Elon Musk, I’m an internet billionaire, I founded PayPal and I sold to Compaq for 165 million dollars in cash and I could spend the rest of my life on a beach drinking Mai Tais, but I decided that humanity needs to become a multi-planetary species to survive and I want to do something with my money to show that humanity can do that and I need Russian rockets and that’s why I’m calling you.”


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Love it (and because this post needs to be a minimum of 20 characters, here’s some emojis :+1: :+1: :+1:

In Will Storr’s The Science of Storytelling he suggests that flaws might be part of a hero’s appeal:

“At the start of a story, we’ll often meet a protagonist who is flawed in some closely defined way. The mistakes they’re making about the world will help us empathise with them. As the story gives us hints and clues about the causes of their errors, we’ll warm to their vulnerability and become emotionally engaged in their struggles. When the dramatic event of the plot coax them to change we’ll root for them.”

Might explain why people who like Musk, love Musk?