8 Perfectly Genius Elon Musk Quotes

By Chris NeigerMarketsFool.com

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TeslaMotors(NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has been hailed as a visionary genius not just for his company's innovations in automotive technology and space transportation but for his thoughts on business and the future of technology as well.

Here are just a handful of quotes that sum up Musk's approach to business, innovation, and what he expects the future to look like.

On being an entrepreneur

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Despite the joke, Musk takes his companies very seriously and invests much of his own cash to make them successful. The Wall Street Journalrecently reported that Musk has taken out personal credit lines totaling $475 million to fund his businesses, and has purchased shares of both Tesla and Solar City when they've needed funding.Musk currently owns a 27% stake in Tesla and 22% in SolarCity, but his stake in SpaceX is unknown (it's a private company).

Musk has said why it's so important to invest his own money into his companies:

On innovation

After starting and selling many successful companies, the serial entrepreneur believes that true innovation comes from simply trying to make the best thing (whatever it is) you can possibly make. In an interview with Google back in 2013, Musk said:

That perspective has certainly paid off for Tesla at times, which received the highest possible Consumer Reports score for the Model S last year (though CR later dinged the car's reliability and recently called for Tesla to pull back on its semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system).

Musk's penchant for innovation comes not just from making the best things he can possibly make (whether it's cars or space rockets) but also from making things that he believes will change the world. As hesaid in a 60 Minutesinterviewin 2014:

On the future

Musk certainly believes that his companies are changing the world. Tesla's Autopilot system is often seen as the face of driverless cars. Musk thinks autonomous driving features aren't just an add-on option, but will eventually be a permanent part of automobiles.

It's not all that crazy of an idea, either. Driverless cars could save 1.25 million lives globally every year, according to Reuters.

But when Musk thinks about the future, his thoughts sometimes leave this planet altogether. While SpaceX is primarily focused on transporting cargo for NASA, Facebook, and other customers, Musk continually sees the company as an eventual vehicle for manned space exploration.

That's why Musk has said that SpaceX will send humans to Mars by 2025.

One area of the future that the billionaire is less than optimistic about may be artificial intelligence. As he said on Twitter two years ago:

This is why he started OpenAI last year, which is a non-profit designed to share artificial intelligence research with the hope of achieving a peacefulAI world.

That hesitation comes from Musk's realistic approach to life. He summed up that philosophy -- along with why he's started two of his most important companies -- by saying:

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Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook, Tesla Motors, and Twitter. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.